Outgoing school board members reflect on tenure

Tuesday, August 10, 2010 at 11:45pm

Three Metro school board members signed off from their final board meeting last night before welcoming their recently elected replacements into their new positions.

At the conclusion of one of the shortest school board meetings in recent memory, board chair David Fox, along with board members Karen Johnson and Steve Glover, each took turns reflecting on their four-year runs on the board, expressing optimism on the direction Director of Schools Jesse Register is taking Metro Nashville Public Schools.

“Complacency is the biggest threat to our school children,” Fox said. “As long as the incoming board feels a sense of urgency to continue improving and reforming our schools, then I’m highly confident we’re going to have a success here that’s beyond expectations of almost anyone in Nashville.”

The trio, each elected in 2006, opted against re-election bids to their posts. Some of the panel's highest-profile actions included the hiring of Register to replace departed superintendent Pedro Garcia; the implementation of a controversial new student assignment plan, which went into effect last year; and the approval of last year’s budget which saw the district’s custodial services outsourced to a private company.

Replacements are Michael Hayes, Cheryl Mayes and Anna Shepherd, respectively. All three of the newcomers ran unopposed and were officially elected Thursday. Their first board meeting is later this month.

One of the first acts of the newly constituted board will be to appoint a new chair to replace Fox, who Register called the “greatest board chair” he’s ever worked with.

Current vice chair of the school board, and possible candidate for the chair position, is Gracie Porter, who represents parts of East Nashville.

6 Comments on this post:

By: artsmart on 8/11/10 at 5:40

Now let's hear from people that actually tried to get their help on anything that were not part of the inner circle.. David Fox was one of the most gutless people I ever met.

By: girliegirl on 8/11/10 at 6:59

Karen should run for Council At Large. Until I met Kare Johnson, I had never met a woman who works to tirelessly.

By: global_citizen on 8/11/10 at 7:34

Art, I never knew I was part of David Fox's inner circle. I just thought I was a constituent in his district and he talked with me, came to my neighborhood association meetings, answered emails, etc. because he was an effective school board member who cared about his constituents.

By: bettysands1 on 8/11/10 at 8:27

David Fox provided very effective leadership to the Board (and this community) during a challenging period for Metro Schools. Among his many gifts are his quiet intelligence, his calm temperament, and his insight into how to move the Board forward through tumultuous times.

David Fox's selfless contribution of time and effort to lead the School Board no doubt came at a sacrifice to his family and career. While I can understand his decision to leave the Board, his departure is a loss for Nashville schools.

By: dogmrb on 8/12/10 at 7:31

David Fox initially ran blind on the platform of total confidence in Pedro Garcia's leadership. When he opened his eyes, he became a very effective school board member.

By: govskeptic on 8/16/10 at 6:35

I'm sure Ms. Porter will be the Union's candidate for Chairman as most of her actions and remarks while serving has been toward protecting everything involving her fellow teachers verus improvements for the children!