Back in April, 2011 the SCPR did a blog on the unhappiness of a number of North Canton City Schools (NCCS) constituents in how the the administration in tandem with a majority of the board of education (BOE) handled the restructuring of North Canton elementary schools in the Dogwood city.
Then again on October 21, 2011 (days before the general election in which incumbent Jordan Greenwald was up for re-election and a vacated seat (Bundy, not running for re-election) was being filled, The Report blogged about the candidates and the appropriate standard for boardmanship.
Yours truly editorialized that Greenwald (the man - if Gallina would have accepted - put Gallina under a 10 year contract), in particular, was way over the top on being a "good" board member.
The Report thinks it was a move forward for appropriate administration/BOE distancing that Greenwald was defeated. However, it appears that the election did not go far enough.
The newly elected Betty Fulton appears to have fallen in lock step with Gallina and his uncritical supporters on the board. Accordingly, more work needs to be done in the elections of 2013 to replace either Goldthorpe or Marion if Thomas runs again; both if he does not.
One would of thought that the defeat of Greenwald (by Jennifer Kling) would have sent a loud and clear message to the administration and the remaining members of the BOE (except for Thomas) that major work needed to be done to repair the breech in confidence in NCCS/BOE standard of communication with the consumers of North Canton education.
But apparently not.
A source tells the SCPR, which is confirmed by the timeline between announcement and BOE approval, that the Gallina administration of the NCCS presumed BOE approval of a 2012 - 2013 school year calendar in issuing a press release reported by the North Canton Patch (Gallina: What Does the New Year Hold for North Canton City Schools, Morgan Day) on December 18th.
According to the source, board member Chris Thomas raised the "presumption of BOE approval" issue with the administration in the regularly scheduled January 12, 2012 board meeting and again at Wednesday night's February meeting in light of yet another development in which the Gallina administration announced staff changes in a release to the Akron Beacon Journal published on February 4th of this year; eight days before BOE approval by a 3 to 2 vote (Thomas and Kling voting no) at Wednesday's meeting.
Obviously, Superintendent Gallina has too comfortable of a relationship with the board majority (Fulton, Goldthorpe and Marion).
As far as the SCPR is concerned, in Stark County, there are too many instances across the 17 boards of education in which the relationship between the administration and the board does not have an "arm's length" quality to it.
The SCPR has written repeatedly that school superintendents have a marked tendency to overdo cultivating working relationship with their boards of education. The relationship should not be adversarial, but board members owe it to the voters of their respective school districts to take a critical look at each and every proposal put before them by the superintendents and their administrators.
For North Canton to allow (as evidenced by the necessity of two BOE "after the fact" approvals) its administration to announce changes before they are approved by the board is clear indication that the board does not have control of its superintendent.