Wednesday, May 31, 2017

A Question of Leadership

You know that nagging feeling that you've forgotten something, but you can't remember what it is? What with all the good spirits and forward motion these days out at the BOE, I almost missed an important date: June 5th.

On Monday, June 5th, the PTA Council of Howard County will be having its elections for the coming year. The current President, Reg Avery, appears to be the only person who has put a name in for the post. When I saw that, a little warning signal went off in my head. Or rather, a troubling gut feeling turned up, rather like Detective Columbo in his rumpled raincoat.

"Just one more thing, sir. There's just this one question that's been troubling me."

Mr. Avery made the news earlier this year when he made some rather uncharitable remarks about a sitting member of the Board of Education. It seems odd to me that the leader of PTACHC would get involved in a lawsuit against the Board of Education in this way. Does this constitute of a conflict of interest?

Moving on. Or rather, looking back. In an email that turned up in a public information request about mold in Glenwood Middle School, Mr. Avery sounds off to former Board of Education member Ann DeLacy. The focus of the email is a request by Christina Delmont-Small to hold an upcoming meeting somewhere other than GMS, due to safety concerns. In his email, Avery speaks in a derogatory manner of Ms. Delmont-Small, another PTACHC member, and Paul Lemle, outgoing head of HCEA. You can read the email in its entirety here.

Again, it seems strange to see a leader of PTACHC allying himself with Central Office and against other members of his own organization. Does that compromise his ability to lead?

"That question? The one that's been bothering me? Oh, it's just this little thing, really. I just wondered ..."

What comes next?

Perhaps it would be a good time for the members of PTACHC to look at a change in leadership. It has the potential to be a dynamic and valuable voice for good for our schools. Who can best represent and empower that voice?

I understand that nominations from the floor can be accepted during the election process. It should be an interesting evening.

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