Saturday, June 21, 2008

Because the last letter made such sense.

June 20, 2008

To: Edmonds School District Staff

From: Nick J. Brossoit, Ed.D. Superintendent

Re: An Open Invitation

With some employees leaving soon for summer vacation, I wanted to share this month’s letter to staff earlier.

Because the last letter made such sense.

Please accept my deep appreciation for you and the many caring and hard working staff in our district. Thanks to you and many others we have made and continue to make important progress with student learning, instructional programs, professional growth, facilities/capital projects, technology, as well as other services and operations. Each of you has made a contribution to our collective success. Clearly, there is more to do and with limited resources, it will be challenging. Still, our dedication to the education of young people in our schools and the purpose for which we all serve in our respective roles are precious.

Saying you are dedicated doesn't magically make a leader dedicated. The dedication may come from the more than $200,000.00 in salary each year.

Four years ago, I accepted the responsibilities of serving this district and community as Superintendent. For all staff, I want to reaffirm my always open invitation to you. My regular site visits and open agenda meetings each year provide some information and opportunity for conversation; however, the pace of the school day during the year is busy and that time is limited. The summer schedule may simply provide more time for deeper listening and quality dialogue.

Clearly, this email was intended to do the following; 1. Flatter staff as they leave for an extended break and slip momentarily from the clutches of district control, 2. Leave the impression that the Superintendent wants to hear from staff and actually cares enough to constructively engage real issues, and 3. Provide an explanation as to why no real communication or constructive dialog took place during the school year. He was far too busy, after all.

If you would like to visit about our district or statewide issues, educational topics, career questions, professional growth challenges, questions, rumors, perceptions, directions on various topics, etc., please feel free to call JoAnn Kerns at 425-431-7003 and schedule some time for us. We may never have all the perfect answers, yet through open discussion we can better understand and together keep moving in a positive and productive way to the best of our ability.

This will make for a very interesting public records request. Who requested a meeting and when was that meeting actually held? I would be willing to bet that nothing of substance will surface because discussing real issues will ultimately result in a premature departure from district employment.

Thank you for the work you contribute to helping the education, services, and support our young people receive to be among the best.

That's quite a sentence. Smooth as stubble.

5 comments: said...

I used the term "leader" very loosely. When a person is hired to lead a school district, they are the leader whether they choose to lead or prefer to follow.

Anonymous said...

As we diagram that last sentence, students, you will notice that it doesn't make sense. It seems to be like conjoined twins-parts of two thoughts not clear as one.

Anonymous said...

Nick must have been really tired (poor thing) by the time he wrote that final sentence---maybe that's how he really writes when things are cleaned up by a proofreader! Wonder how he'd do on the Writing WASL?

Anonymous said...

As we all know, possessing leadership qualities alone (the ability to take charge and create a following) do not automatically make one a good leader. Respect for all, original ideas, futuristic goals, recognition of history, application of learned experiences and study, compassion, wisdom, excellent communication and many other attributes make a successful (real) leader. Does Nick impress anyone that he is truly a leader? Does he possess any of the above attributes? What do the people down in Tumwater have to say about him? All many of us have heard is that he strongarms people into following his beliefs. Where did that lead the prior District? He has become so confusing that it is not clear what his beliefs are, let alone allowing anyone to follow any of them.

Anonymous said...

I was just reading an editorial in the New York Times about Mugabe and Zimbabwe.

It brought to mind the question that has returned to me occasionally over the last few years: "How do you teach democracy when you work in a dictatorship?" How do you teach students democracy when your boss is interfering with and eliminating elections for department chair? When changes that he wants are imposed through intimidation? When people go along with what the boss wants, not because the plan is good, but because they don't want to cause trouble for themselves in the future? When pleas for relief to superiors fall on deaf ears?

If we are to lead by example, how can we demonstrate democracy in action when it has been killed by the Administration?

What do the students learn? Is this "what's best for the students?"