Schild: can we no longer be civil, agree to disagree in Scottsdale?

Michael Norton, Scottsdale’s local political gadfly and Facebook warrior, is claiming wherever he can that I “hate” current acting Superintendent John Kriekard and want him removed and replaced with an interim superintendent by the end of the year.

Christine Schild

Nothing could be further from the truth. I’ve known Dr. Kriekard for over 15 years and followed his career at both Scottsdale and Paradise Valley school districts. I have the highest regard for him.

Nor do I “love” the acting superintendent. He is a public servant who deserves to be treated with civility and respect. However, that does not mean a neighborhood should remain silent and endure a blight suffered on them four years earlier with no end in sight. Dr. Kriekard has now addressed the primary concern of the community — communication — and the neighbors are looking forward to seeing those field improvements soon.

The district is in upheaval.

What it needs now, more than anything else, is stability. Dr. Kriekard knows the political landscape and is capable of calming the waters. He just needs more time. If the Governing Board does nothing to address the divisiveness and distrust that is running rampant throughout the district, it will simply impose this legacy on whoever is hired as Scottsdale’s latest permanent superintendent.

I sent the following in an email to the Governing Board:

“I do not believe now is the time to change superintendents. I would urge you to leave Dr. Kriekard in place until June 2019 and abandon the interim search. Focus on hiring a permanent superintendent to replace Dr. Kriekard in the ordinary course of business.”

If you agree, please email the Governing Board. Keep it civil and to the point. State your reasons why Dr. Kriekard should remain in place and for how long. Keep in mind that the board members make the ultimate decision and be polite.

The community can achieve its goals without division and hatred. We do not have to rally to make our opinions known. We don’t have to show up at board meetings with posters and pitch forks. Scottsdale is better than that.
Let’s show the board our community members have the leadership skills to solve our problems productively.

Editor’s note: Ms. Schild is a Scottsdale resident and former member of the Scottsdale Unified School District Governing Board and the Scottsdale Neighborhood Enhancement Commission.

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