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BreakDown: Tuesday’s Danville School Board Meeting

Let’s do a BreakDown of Tuesday night’s Danville School Board meeting. SouthsideCentral will be covering Danville’s school board meetings now and it was our first time doing it LIVE! – so let’s see what happens, what happened and our thoughts about why it happened.

Here’s the BreakDown Big Board for us…

  • School Board meetings are quite unlike City Council meetings. There are a lot more staff members present and clearly fewer members of the public come to watch.
  • Steven Gould and Sharon Dones had already taken their oath of office earlier and that was strange. I’d expected the formal ceremony to have been done in front of the public and media.
  • I’d have also expected seating arrangements to have been drawn at random to mix things up some but that didn’t happen either. Steven Gould was in George Wilson’s old seat and Sharon Dones took over Rebecca Bolton’s position.
  • Ed Polhamus is a very good chairman so I’m not surprised that he seems to have all of the school board’s support. He seems a bit uncomfortable with SouthsideCentral’s style of being critical and reporting things on a LIVE! basis, but I think he’ll come around to it.
  • Hoo boy. Lets get to the vice-chairman position. The position really doesn’t mean much except for ceremonial titles, but it’s still semi-important. Renee Hughes has the most experience of the other school board members and Philip Campbell nominated her for  vice-chairman and I thought that was a fair thing. Steven Gould made his first power move only 10 minutes into his first meeting by nominating Terri Hall for vice-chairman and I found that interesting. We know that Hughes was a Ed Newsome supporter and Terri Hall was the one who directly called Newsome out for going against what the school board directed. The other Newsome supporter was Philip Campbell and he voted for Hughes, along with Sharon Dones. The other board members, Cheryl Bryant and Ed Polhamus, went for Terri Hall and she got the vice-chair on a 4-3 vote.
  • Yep. The vote was on racial lines, but I don’t want to think nor do I think it was a race-based vote. I want to think and I sorta think it was payback for the support of Newsome. Ed Polhamus, Cheryl Bryant and Terri Hall herself sure didn’t look surprised when Gould nominated Hall for the vice-chair position so I’m sure that they had discussed the matter before the meeting. Once it was clear what was going to happen, Renee Hughes had her nice bemused look on her face knowing that she was going to get ran over, Philip Campbell looked quite perturbed and Sharon Dones had a look on her face that was deadly. School Board Politics. Serious Business. Both Renee Hughes and Terri Hall were qualified for the vice-chair position. Politics won.
  • I’m not surprised that the “N-word” wasn’t spoken all night during the meeting. I meant “Newsome”, you people!
  • Acting superintendent Kathy Osborne sure has hit the ground running. She delivered her presentations perfectly and clearly. If she applies for the job, she’d be a great candidate for the permanent superintendent’s position. (Can we use the words “permanent” and “superintendent” in the same sentence in the Southside region?)
  • By the way, SouthsideCentral hearts Juliet Jennings. For someone who handles the personnel side of operations, she’s happy, friendly and always has a smile on her face.
  • Back to business… the board thankfully changed the time of the “work sessions” from Friday morning at 7 AM (what the hell were they thinking?) and made it a lot more public friendly to Thursday nights at 6 PM. We’ll have two school board meeting a month now, 1st and 3rd Thursdays at 6 PM. That’s quite doable for the public (and SouthsideCentral). They’ll also have closed session student disciplinary meetings during the month, with those times to be figured out.
  • The school system has the most overblown job titles for their senior staff that I’ve ever heard. It’s also quite amusing to look at the senior staff sitting on the front row of the gallery like they’re in school themselves.
  • Bonus points for Steven Gould pinning down Kathy Osborne on some dollar amount savings on the job consolidations.  Osborne’s original answer was non-responsive as she was caught by surprise at his question. Gould would make a good lawyer. Wait, what?
  • Cheryl Bryant, you need to loosen up. She has that stone face and that constipated look. Everybody else on the board is perky and smiling.
  • Even if you don’t like certain people and policies at the central office, Kathy Osborne was right in saying that summertime isn’t downtime for the educational system.
  • The idea of a new website to recruit teachers is an awesome idea and didn’t cost much money. or are the sites and the school system is smart enough to support those sites with Google’s AdWords advertising.
  • I’m still quite amazed that a decent and working sound system mysteriously appeared last night. Hmm. That being said, is there any reason that the school board can’t move their meetings into the Danville City Council chambers? It’s 100% ADA compliant.
  • Last night’s public comment session: Nothing. I was going to speak to ask for opening up Wi-Fi so that we could provide better coverage, but Kathy Osborne agreed to that before the meeting so I had no need to speak. As for the rest of the Public No-Comment session: I’m not surprised. the promised “outrage from the black community” never has happened and it’s not going to. The lack of the returning crowd of “interested people” at last night’s meeting proved that they weren’t in it “for the kids”. They were in it for Ed Newsome. Now that he’s toast, screw it and on to their next cause.
  • I’ve been wrong on endorsements before and I’ve confessed my errors. I’ll say it again here. I was wrong in not endorsing Sharon Dones in this year’s school board election. I like her. I like her style. I’m sure that she’s going to do a great job and I’m glad that she got elected.
  • Although I’m sure that the process is underway, I’d like to know that the search for a new superintendent has started.
  • Number of city council members at last night’s school board meeting: Zero – Number of school board members at the last city council meeting: Zero. Do you see where I’m going with this? Exactly.

All righty. That’s a BreakDown and some observations about last night’s Danville School Board meeting. That comment box is there for you.

More coming up on SouthsideCentral!


40 comments to BreakDown: Tuesday’s Danville School Board Meeting

  • jimmie3velasquez

    great stuff!

  • “the promised “outrage from the black community” never has happened and it’s not going to.”

    Nope. Even the people who were coming here and taking up for him seem to have vanished.

  • Berkeley Bidgood

    It usually helps when your supporters know your name when the sing your praises.

  • David

    Just because the black community did not respond with their outrage in the manner you would have been able to write a good story about doesn’t mean there isn’t a lot of it. You are the first on to try to eliminate race from any subject matter that comes up, yet you are the first to poke for or provoke racial responses.

    • Where is this outrage at then? Specifics, please. I’ll take any “manner” that you choose to tell me about.

      I call race when I see it. Are you directly saying that Renee Hughes was steamrolled because she was black?

      • David

        Sometimes things are better left unsaid, especially when they will only be exploited for a good story…and yes to answer your question Bruce, Renee should have gotten that position! You can call it steamrolled, you can call it closing ranks, you can call it whitewashed, I call it a travesty…

  • Philosopher

    Is the Conferedate Flag still hanging up on Main Street in Danville-Just Curious…. eventhough off topic…?

  • Philosopher

    @South Central-You made a statement “Hall was the one who directly called Newsome out for going against what the school board directed”? What exactly did Newsome go against? I hear talk but where is the DETAIL. WHAT SPECIFICALLY DID SHE CALL DR.NEWSOME OUT ON. CAN YOU ENGAGE US A LITTLE BIT HERE ON THIS TOPIC?

    • Ahem. SouthSIDECentral. Heh.

      She called Newsome out for advertising and continuing the hiring process for new postions. He wanted that new layer of administration, and the school board said no to it. That’s when Newsome really blew it.

  • Philosopher

    Talk about school board not having comments…Looks like all of those NEWSOME HATERS ARE QUITE TOO….At one point this site was overflowing with NEWSOME HATERS..THEY QUITE NOW…

  • Centurian

    Osborne a good pick? Please …….ask city council meets what they think of her “budgets”. Six years on the job and she still hadn’t moved to the Danville area. Where do you think all the miscalculations on the school closing a came from? Not the person we need to head the district…….a virtual “spender” …….with no accountability.

    • Trevor

      where does Osborne live? What has she done prior to her finance/operations job? I heard she worked in North Carolina? what’s her 411 and profile?

    • Beenthere

      Exactly! Anyone who has worked in the system for the past ten years can spout numerous horror stories working with/for her. This just can’t be permanent! She is not an instructional leader and that is what DPS needs!

    • David

      Osborne was the pick all along, there was talk of sliding Osborne in long before Dr. Newsome resigned, what are they trying to hide, cover up, and/or keep from getting out? The time for business as usual is over!!!!

  • Philosopher

    @SouthSideCentral- “She called Newsome out for advertising and continuing the hiring process for new positions. He wanted that new layer of administration, and the school board said no to it. That’s when Newsome really blew”….Elaborate please? What was the problem with him advertising positions. DPS has 45 positions that need filling so isn’t advertising appropriate?…..What was so bad about that?

    • Those positions that he kept going for were his own non-essential creations that the school board had not funded.

      • Lee Smallwood

        The Board has to okay all hires the last time I checked. Newsome advertising positions was clearly in anticipation of him being able to work this out with the Board because he wanted to have prospects ready to be in place. It wasn’t as though he could get them on staff without their approval. This is pretty close to a non-event and a sad cover story for whatever the real issue with the man was.

        • Philosopher

          @Lee Smallwood- You hit the nail on the head! And took the word right out of my mouth! “SAD COVER STORY” LAMBCHOPS…..ehh…

  • Philosopher

    LIke what? Danville has 45 positions that need feeling. Maybe he was a step ahead of the game…..

  • Philosopher

    @SouthsideCentral- You have answered the question vaguely. It if for this reason that I am asking you for specific detail. Do you not know the specific detail. If so then it is okay to say that you do not know. But I do not have full clarity from what you have told me. It appears that alot of people seem to have answers to that question but the answer do not tell anyone anything…. CAN ANYBODY ELSE OUT THERE ANSWER MY QUESTION ? LEE SMALLWOOD?

    • Let’s try again. The position I’ve talked about were an extra layer of bureaucracy that Newsome wanted to add in. The school board struck that idea down and Newsome was quite unhappy with that. His going ahead and posting the jobs anyway was seen as a direct cross of the school board’s wishes and that partially led to his downfall.

  • Philosopher

    @Berkeley and Lee Small wood-> So are you all telling me that because he wanted a few extra positions that may have been 20,000$ over the amount that was in the budget -are you telling me that cost more than BUYING HIM OUT -160,000. Spending 20,000$ on a few extra positions to me is cheaper than buying him out? I am still not understanding. It does not add up.

  • Philosopher

    Why aren’t school board members required to go to so many city council meetings a year… I mean our kids are being affected by the council’s decision.. I do not understand?

  • Philosopher

    The decisions at the council meeting affect the children in DPS. We as a community need to “Tighten up” It takes a village to raise a child. How can we expect better for the children when we are not on the same communion at times..?

  • Philosopher

    The city council can go out in the community and have more community events for the kids… Or go to specific schools and have mentoring set up….I MEAN CITY COUNCIL AND SCHOOL BOARD SHOULD WORK TOGETHER sometimes to help our kids who are at risk…

  • trevoe

    those 45 positions??? seems they are not in a mad rush to fill. I have a friend who is waiting to get called —she has some leverage cause she subbed last year. HR In DPS is a JOKE !!!! julliet Jennings talks a big show but she and Mona don’t walk the walk. HR is slack slack skack and won’t shake the bushes to get teachers.

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