Cantor: Proper decision making is key for Scottsdale Schools

It is a new term for some of you and a first term for some. Some of us greet you with trepidation.

You bring individual agendas developed during the mess created during the previous administration. And a stellar mess it has been.

Nancy Cantor

A mess exacerbated by lack of leadership, poor communication, sloppy administration and purposeful neglect of the Peterson administration.

All told that adds up to close to 10 years of a big mess.

Rehashing any of it is infuriating. Let’s just say no one, from board room to classroom to social media has clean hands.

Parents and community bear some of the blame, too. Never forget we are all the most important advocates for our children. That means we must question and help seek solutions and create opportunities working with our schools directly not via grapevine or social media. Got a concern? Talk to the boss.

You have in John Kriekard not just a seasoned school/education administrator, but someone who has known SUSD and all of its pluses and minuses for many years. An educator who cares about all children being successful learners so they can be positive, productive adults. He also brings perspective as a parent and grandparent, important as consumers.

As an aside John knows well the ups and downs of the Coronado Complex, as well as the politics of North vs South, and the issues charter schools have brought to bear on school finance and public education in general (and the impacts on neighborhoods caused by the charter process).

It is hoped that all of our board members will learn from him and help him re-create the quality learning process SUSD has been known for, for all students, no exceptions.

Last winter I spoke before the Governing Board about the 1998 Attorney General’s investigation into SUSD and it’s findings and recommendations.

One recommendation was for the Legislature to review, update and create, where needed, new language for school contract and procurement policies and procedures.

The Tonalea community is proud of the fact that they helped bring about some of those contract and procurement changes that were adopted, last May, by the Legislature. Retired teachers, retired business leaders, parents and grandparents, current students and former students worked over three years to research, study and put forward possible changes.

Scottsdale is one city, made up of unique neighborhoods, many cultures, many lifestyles, many challenges, with each and everyone adding to the strength of our community. Each deserving respect and sometimes a helping hand. Please remember that as part of your decision making process.

Editor’s Note: Nancy Cantor is co-chair of Coronado Neighborhood Schools Alliance, a founding member of Community Council of Scottsdale and a proud Coronado High School graduate and parent of graduates.

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