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To the Editor: Out of sight, not out of mind
The losses of Dr. Patrick Hardy, Dr. Robert DeLacey and other principals and educational leaders within the Rockford School District and our Rockford community have been serious blows to ethical leadership and honorable behavior. Is the current school administration aware of the brain drain this creates? These leaders had proven themselves after years in this community because they were vetted and invested in the spiritual and educational growth of Rockford. Now, Dr. Sheffield has added another principal from outside the state, Waverly Powell, who has no previous experience with our district, its strengths, and its weaknesses. Of course, the former principal at the Leadership and Learning Academy, Jennifer Sims, is still employed by the district, as a district-wide assistant principal for special education. How clever of you, Dr. Sheffield, to continue to invent job titles and positions throughout the district. Has anyone thought about the cost to our district of her hasty personnel decisions? Has anyone considered the problems she has created instead of solved throughout the past year?
I wonder how many threats, humiliation, duress and punitive damages Dr. Hardy had to endure under the current leadership, which finds it so easy to squander taxpayers’ money and people. Indeed, the school board approved by 4-3 the $41 million overdraft of our funds for a rainy day. I beg to differ! We have endured a turbulent maelstrom of rainy days since Hurricane LaVonne touched down in Rockford. How blind we are to her questionable spendthrift methods of disposing of people, programs, secretaries and principals. How blind are we to the abuses of power? Leaders who have left our district are far better off, but are we, the people of Rockford?
Why? When we had respected administrators, did we ever allow them or force them to leave? Why? When we had outstanding leaders who cared about our students, their education, parents, and our community, were they forced to leave this district? Dr. Sheffield, you and your cabinet are complicit in this miscarriage of justice and should be ashamed of yourselves! Your excessive spending habits and abuse of personnel do not go unnoticed! The only out of sight, out of mind will be when you leave our district, indeed probably bankrupting us before you do!
WEE, Watchdogs for Ethics in Education
From the July 28-Aug 3, 2010 issue