The School Board has what is called an "organizational meeting" every year. During this meeting they elect the board chair and vice chair. The Council only does this after every election and at that time we elect a Vice-Mayor.
The leadership of the School Board during recent memory has consisted of Messrs Albrecht and Bushnell. I have had the opportunity to work closely with both of these gents. First with Mr. Bushnell as the chair then Mr. Albrecht. Both guys were reasonable to work with and good partners. Both guys genuinely have the schools interests at heart and, even though I've known both guys for years, there is still a healthy tension between us when it comes to city/school policy. That's good. A lack of borders invites a lack of respect.
So it was with some surprise that I was notified this afternoon that Mr. Demeria has been elected the new Chair of the school board and Mr. Albrecht the Vice Chair. It's the end of an era; either Scott or Art has been the chair as long as I've been in office. Both are dedicated to the success of the schools and have been instrumental in making some tough choices over the past several years. However, time moves on and I suppose that the balance of the board felt as though it was time for a little bit different approach.
I've known Tim for a long time and, safe to say, that Tim and I have almost opposite political views but that doesn't stand in the way of a friendship that started on the baseball diamond in 1979. Early on, our friendship was based on the fact that he was much bigger than me but I could outrun him. Even then Tim was in a leadership position in our youth group. He was tough and plain spoken. When I made mistakes Tim let me know about it (and still does). I expect that he will continue that tradition of direct communication as Chair of the board.
It's a change and it's probably time for it. I don't say that to denigrate the efforts of the past chairs but we've got a new Super in DMag who, although I haven't seen her lately, I don't expect is at home with the knitting needles, a new CIP and as a board a renewed sense of urgency. Both past chairs also continue to serve on the board.
I believe that Tim will unapologetically advance what he thinks is best for the kids. I think we'll see a continued vigorous dialog between the Council and the Board and Tim will help drive the "what's best" question. I look forward to working with Tim and balance of the board. Congrats Tim!