Jeff Branscome writes about Spotsylvania County schools. You can email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Army on School Board dais dropped tonight
The number of people seated along the School Board dais diminished dramatically for tonight’s meeting.
Superintendent Shelley K. Redinger removed her cabinet-level staff from the dais and placed them in the audience with the public.
Under Superintendent Jerry Hill, the dais was filled with his top lieutenants including the assistant superintendents for instruction, administration and human resources and the chiefs of finance and technology. Hill sat next to board chairman Gil Seaux on the left side of the dais.
Dr. Redinger removed all five of her top administrators, leaving just herself and the board clerk on the dais with the seven members of the School Board.
She also encouraged school principals to start attending at least one board meeting per month. Several are in the audience here tonight including the principals from Spotsylania, Riverbend, Courtland and Chancellor high schools, Battlefield, Chancellor, Thornburg, Post Oak and Ni River middle schools, and Parkside, Courtland, Riverview and Berkeley elementary schools.
My apologies to anyone I missed. The room is more crowded than usual. Superintendent Redinger also organized a reception for students before the meeting.
The students and their parents were here enjoying cookies and punch and chatting with school officials.
Regarding her removal of staff from the dais, Dr. Redinger said she wanted to convey that this is a team effort and that her staff reports to the School Board.
“I wanted to send that message,” she said.
UPDATE: Dr. Scott Baker just announced the number of students recognized tonight for their artwork. Here are the details Dr. Baker provided:
In October, 44 students from Cedar Forest Elementary and Chancellor Middle School displayed their artwork in the lobby and back wall of the Board Room. In November, 73 students from Harrison Road Elementary, Smith Station Elementary, Massaponax High, and Riverbend High Schools displayed their artwork in the lobby, 3D showcase, side bulletin boards, and back wall of the Board Room.
Dr. Redinger thanked all of the teachers who came out and said the division wants to express its support for the arts and how important they are for students in Spotsylvania. She said additional recognitions will be coming in the next few months for other arts such as drama and music.
School Board member Ray Lora also expressed his support for the arts and that they should not be sacrificed in tight budget times.