I imagine a year ago Scott Shine thought things would be different this year, and that he not Paula Wright would be chair of the school board. Supported by Cheryl Grymes he made a bid to be vice chair of the school board and historically the vice chair has become chair after a year which makes Mrs. Wright’s reelection all the more amazing.
I have been following the school board for nearly a decade now and I can’t remember a two consecutive year board chair. Shine so unpopular on the board was rebuffed last year and Ashley Smith Juarez then the chair stepped back into the vice chair role only to be replaced this year by Lori Hershey a second year school board member which is something of a meteoric rise in itself.
Mrs. Wright bide ed her time and I am sure her tongue for six years as members with less seniority became chair several times over. It must feel good and validating that she has been chosen to lead the board for a second consecutive year especially when this year is arguably more monumental than others. The state continues to pound public education mercilessly, teachers aren’t working with a contract and there is the superintendent search as well, any one of which would be a full plate by them self.
A few years ago, Mrs. Wright was the school board member that asked tough questions and rubbed the majority of the board the wrong way, now she is running the board and will be doing so for a unprecedented second year in a row.
I haven’t always agreed with Mrs. Wright. I felt for her first term like fellow board member Couch, she sat on her hands too much. I had great hope that they would both be champions of teachers and would hit the ground running. I also felt she and the board gave Vitti a lot of rope (with which he eventually hanged himself) and a rubber stamp for to long but all that is the past as I believe she has evolved into the fierce advocate and the leader that our schools need.
Finally I will say I feel a lot more comfortable this go around with the superintendent search and that’s because I think we are in better hands. I have great confidence that Wright with the help of Couch and Hershey will find the super we need.