CANTON CITY SCHOOLS
JANUARY 20, 2015
COMMUNITY LEADERS FORUM
JANUARY 20, 2015
COMMUNITY LEADERS FORUM
LEADER INPUT WITH ALLISON’S RESPONSE
COUNCILMAN KEVIN FISHER
DR. ADRIENNE O’NEILL
ATTORNEY GUST CALLAS
TAGGART’S ERNIE SCHOTT
COUNCILMAN RICHARD HART
MALONE UNIVERSITY PRESIDENT DAVID KING
The predominant message that The Stark County Political Report is hearing from stakeholders is that the "acquisition" (community activist/former board member Eric Resnick's word) by school officials/a majority of board members of the Canton City Schools' Timken High School to be totally absorbed in the more highly renowned and titled McKinley High School.
A week ago yesterday, Allison invited what he terms as being community leaders to a breakfast meeting (muffins and coffee) at the McIllwain Center located at the schools' administrative complex on - where else - (only kidding) 305 McKinley Avenue.
Last week the SCPR focused on the major dissident to seeming "fast track" that the administration and school board have embarked upon in "merging" (if one opts for Allison's descriptive term rather than Resnick's pejorative one) Timken and McKinley into one secondary school.
(Video LINK to Resnick/Allison tete-a-tete; also SCPR blog LINK commenting thereon)
Most of those present (The Report's take) supported Allison's/the board's timeframe. But not all. And Resnick was not the only "cautioning voice."
The major question now is whether or not Superintendent Allison will pause to listen even if it means postponing the scheduled February 25 meeting which as of now is supposed to be "the drop dead date" on CCS Board of Education voting "yes" or "no" on what is formally known as Phase III of the school systems "Brighter Tomorrow Plan."
Here is an indicative e-mail that the SCPR received about a perceived need "to slow down the process," to wit:
Interesting enough, the e-mail is from a McKinley alum.
And noted in the above e-mail there is an allegation of politics being played. Undoubtedly, there are many Cantonians who buy into "this is politics as usual" scenario.
Moreover, there is the Hall of Fame Village (adjacent to the formerly name "Fawcett Stadium/McKinley High School) project thing.
The SCPR was present with camera in hand on January 20 when Allison made his presentation to about 40, more or less, community leaders.
The Report starts its "video-run-through" with the Hall of Fame issue.
To the SCPR, the most disturbing thing about Allison's presentation of Phase III was his outright dismissiveness of the signifIcance of the Hall of Fame project and an apparent disinterest (or, at least, a low priority) by Allison and the BOE about the effect that shutting down of Timken will have on efforts of Canton and Stark County leaders to revive downtown Canton.
Here is Allison had to say about any coordination between the CCS and the HOF Village project. In a word: "none." Which, the SCPR thinks, should be alarming to all.
The SCPR wholeheartedly agrees, though, with Greater Canton Regional Chamber of Commerce president Denny Saunier's word of admonition on the schools connecting to Greater Canton concerns on a nexus with the the HOF complex and a continuing presence in downtown Canton, to wit:
From this point on The Report's video track starts at the beginning of Allison's presentation.
In Part I Allison's focus is on four factors in implementing Phase III of the Brighter Tomorrow plan:
- cutural, and the
In the Resnick blog, one gets a full dose of this fight from the Timken perspective.
It appears to the SCPR that most of the community leaders assembled on January 20th at the McIllwain Center were pro-merger community leader supporters.
Later on in this blog will focus on the community leader feedback - leader by leader, except for Resnick who has already had "his day in the sun" of a SCPR blog - with video footage of their respective comments.
Of course, The Report has already presented Canton Chamber of Commerce CEO Denny Sanuier's reaction/input above.
That reaction was, the SCPR believes, prompted by Allison's discouraging comments about CCS's lack of liaison with the HOF Village project.
Here is Part I:
And Part II:
And Part III:
Finally, Part IV - Phase III Decision Timeline
The important part of the presentation and the one which should have taken up most of the superintendent's time and attention was the reaction of the community leaders who made the early morning (7:30 a.m.) trip to the CCS McIllwain Center.
Considering the schedules that community leaders have to meet, he correctly allocated one hour for the session.
However, he took way too long for his presentation.
Accordingly, the SCPR thinks that he and board members present (Brahler, Rinaldi, Milligan and Ross-Freedom) were denied the opportunity to hear a spontaneous exchange between the community leaders present and Allison.
In this section of today's blog, the SCPR honors the community leader participants in creating a separate video for each and every one of them in their back and forth with Superintendent Allison.
- Ward 5 councilman
- talks about brand name value of McKinley
DR. ADRIENNE O'NEILL
- Long time Stark County Educational Partnership president
- keep a competive factor in play
- maintain presence in downtown Canton
- Repository "intellectually dishonest" on Phase III timeline matter,
- the owner of Taggarts Ice Cream Parlor and Kennedy Barbecue.
- commends CCS BOE for effort to save taxpayers money
- Canton councilman at large,
- questions on cost to CCS on home schooling and charter schools
- president of Malone University,
- keep the focus on the students
There is no doubt that the Timken/McKinley merger is a hot topic that has the potential to create yet another division in Canton.
The Hall of Fame city has all too many ruptures in relationships that have materialized over the decades of Canton's continuing decline.
The Report has the sense that the CCS BOE and Superintendent Allison are not effectively managing the implementation of the Brighter Tomorrow concept.
They need to step back, regroup and take whatever time is needed to ensure that all stakeholders in the reorganizing and restructuring of Canton's schools is bought into by the vast majority of Cantonians.
If they rush "pell mell" forward and the "rush to judgment" is just that, Canton may be set back even further than it is on getting things going in the right direction.