Another Southwest administrator resigns

Thursday, March 16, 2006

A second administrator at Southwest R-V School District has made the decision to leave her post at the end of the 2005-06 school year.

Last Thursday night, Southwest High School Principal Vicki Enyart submitted a letter of resignation to the R-V School Board at its regular monthly meeting.

In her letter, Enyart wrote that "it is with great sadness in my heart that I submit my resignation. I would like to thank the SWR-5 District Office, fellow administrators, Southwest R-V faculty and staff, especially the high school faculty and staff, and most importantly of all, the students of Southwest High School for your support, trust and love these past three years."

She went on to thank a list of individuals that included Richard Asbill, Robert Shockley, Danny Dalton, Robert Paul, Becky Stephens, Albert Pendergraft, Steve Pendergraft, Jane Hobbs, Robert Catron and Dale Rose for "having the confidence and trust in me to let me lead Southwest High School in the new directions I thought necessary for raising student achievement."

Enyart's resignation was accepted by a 4-3 vote. Judy Friend, Janet Ballard, Angie Corn and Jane Hobbs voted in favor of accepting Enyart's resignation, and Robert Catron, Robert Shockley and Danny Dalton voted against it.

In an interview this week, Enyart said her decision to resign was not made 'lightly."

"My entire professional career has been built upon team," said Enyart. "There is nothing more powerful than people, of all ages, coming together and working toward a positive goal. I have seen miraculous outcomes happen when that sense of belief, commitment, trust and genuine love for each other binds a group together. It can only happen when 100 percent of all involved can push the obstacles to the side and start working together toward a common goal.

"With everything that has happened, I cannot make that necessary commitment to the team," Enyart continued. "For that one reason, I believe it is in the best interest of all that Southwest begin again with a new administrative team.

"I wish this district the very best," Enyart said. "I hope with all my heart team becomes their most important words and actions. When, and if, that truly happens, Southwest R-V School District can make up lost ground and move forward for the sake of each and every student."

With Enyart's resignation, the R-V Board will be faced with finding a new high school principal and a new superintendent for the coming school year. Richard Asbill's resignation was accepted by the board last month.

The board also received communication from two patrons who addressed the board concerning the future of the R-V District as it pertains to board performance.

Before Christine Sneed and Glenn Erwin were allowed to speak, Janet Ballard questioned whether or not board policy had been followed in allowing them to be placed on the agenda.

"My concern is that it (the communication requests) did not meet board policy, but I'll hear them speak," Ballard said.

Friend asked that in the future all requests to address the school board be dated. Corn said she did not mind if Sneed and Erwin spoke as long as "there's no negativity." Dalton, Hobbs, Catron and Shockley did not voice any opposition to the agenda items pertaining to communication.

Sneed was the first to address the board and she read a two-page typed statement, which laid out her concerns for the students of Southwest.

"I would describe the duties of a board member to be impartial and open minded," said Sneed. "This sometimes means having to find neutral ground when opinions are split. I believe that the decisions made by this Board of Education are crucial to the wellbeing of 834 students and 115 total administrators and teachers of our school.

"When a board is at odds with each other, this begins to overflow to our administration, teachers, students and communities," Sneed continued. "We have had a personification as a school district from area communities of not being up to par. I do believe that began to change about three years ago. These changes happened under the leadership of a competent administrator and administration. Decisions and attitudes portrayed this past year (by the board) have halted this progress and have left us taking steps backwards."

In conclusion, Sneed asked the board to consider all students when making future decisions.

"I don't expect seven people to all agree on every issue put before you, but I do, however, expect you to agree to disagree and then move forward to find solutions that will benefit our school as a whole," Sneed said.

Erwin asked the board to become solution-centered, to identify problems and then develop a plan to fix the problems.

"As a community we have fallen into an all too familiar trap," said Erwin. "We are placing the hope of the future and the reason for our failures on individuals. We are too often eager to look at people in authority and either blame them for our problems or believe they are the reason for our success. If we continue to subscribe to this blame/credit the person, we will be doomed to a never-ending cycle that is neither successful nor pleasant."

Erwin also reminded the board of Southwest High School's Class of 1932 motto, which was 'Good, Better, Best . . . Never Let It Rest . . . 'til the Good is Better and the Better is Best."

"What a wonderful picture of a community striving together for the greater good," said Erwin. "Anything short of becoming our best will doom our greatest resource, these students, to less than they deserve."

In other business conducted on March 9, the board:

  • Approved the district's Career Ladder application for the 2006-07. Board approval of the plan was contingent on full state funding of the program. This motion carried by a 7-0 vote.

  • Voted to revise the 2005-06 school calendar to reflect an early release day on May 12 at 12:30 p.m. and a faculty work day with no student attendance on May 15. This motion carried by a 7-0 vote.

  • Approved minutes from the Feb. 16 board meeting by a 4-0 vote. Shockley, Catron, Hobbs and Dalton voted in favor of the motion and Friend, Ballard and Corn abstained from voting.

  • Set March 23 as a special board meeting to evaluate certified staff.

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