Pesterfield was nominated by board member Murl Dirksen to serve for a third year. Dirksen said the board made the move because it’s in a time of transition searching for a new director of schools, and in the middle of various projects, and experienced leadership is needed in the coming year.
Dawn Robinson was also nominated for the position by board member Steve Morgan.
After the board had stopped taking nominations, Robinson started the discussion. Robinson said in the past the board had discussed the importance of rotating leadership. For this reason when nominations came about three years ago, Robinson withdrew her name from nomination to serve for another year. That year Pesterfield was voted into the position for her first year.
Later Pesterfield was chosen for a second year. When discussion began in October about board chairman for 2011, Pesterfield gave personal reasons for not seeking to be chairman a third year. Robinson and another board member had said they would like to be considered.
In response to Dirksen’s comment about a time of transition, Robinson said the board will always have that situation facing it.
“We always are in the middle of something,” Robinson said. “We are a good board that works hard.”
Robinson also said she has the experience necessary to handle the changes the board is going through.
Morgan said he was curious what made Pesterfield change her mind about pursuing a third year. Pesterfield said the situations that would have prevented her from serving as board chair had changed since the previous discussion.
“I did give reasons why I wasn’t going to run, but those situations have changed,” Pesterfield said. “This is not a career for me. I’m happy to serve as board chair. I’m happy to serve as a board member.”
Since the board discussion had seemed to make it clear what to expect when it came time for nominations, Morgan felt that the entire board should have been made aware of Pesterfield’s decision. He also stressed the importance of the vote.
“I think ... that the year that’s coming, the decision we make today will be far-reaching,” Morgan said, commenting that the decision would affect every child in the school system.
A substitute motion to put the vote off until the next meeting was not passed. Pesterfield was elected chair by a 5-2 vote.
Tom Cloud was elected vice-chairman and Richard Shaw was elected chairman pro-tem.
- During the Thursday meeting, the board also approved Option B as the calendar for the 2011-12 school year. A total of 145 parents and staff responded via e-mail indicating the calendar they would prefer. Option B, which gives a week for spring break, was preferred by 125 respondents. Dirksen said it would have been good to be able to break down the data dividing the parents’ responses from staff responses.
- The board also discussed replacing the hollow metal framework of a large floor-to-ceiling picture window at Blythe-Bower Elementary School with an aluminum framework. The board inspected the windows on the south side of the cafeteria during a visit to the school, and found the framework has started to rust.
Director of Schools Dr. Rick Denning told the board the concern is frameworks will leak and damage the tile during heavy rainstorms. The worst section has already been leaking, according to Denning. The board would also be able to save money by reusing the existing glass, according to Denning. The item is already on the board’s long-range plan.
Robinson made a motion for Denning to find quotes on how much the project would cost. After reviewing the quotes, the board would revisit the issue and consider modifying the long-range plan.