Letter: Running for office to stop ‘train wreck’



The recently removed girls’ basketball coach at Carmel High School called the process “a train wreck.” That accurately describes multiple recent actions of the school board and senior administration.

Three of the five positions are up for election in November in non-partisan races. These are currently represented by board President Layla Spanenberg, Vice President Pamela Knowles and Secretary Michael Kerschner.

The three other major train wrecks, or circuses if you prefer, would be the firing of Supt. Nicholas Wahl, potentially altering classes for high ability students and the closing or renovation of elementary schools. At this point, because of the failures of the board in these four recent cases, candidates are being sought to run against them. I have just filed to run in District 3 against Mr. Kerschner. The District maps are here: www1.ccs.k12.in.us/uploads/attachments/0002/4141/CC_School_Board__proposed_2017_11-28-1.pdf

At least Pam Knowles, in District 2, voted against the school closing and renovation proposal, seeking a delay until a new demographic study, scheduled for the fall, is completed. All candidates, and this is part of my platform, should follow this call for that prudent course of action.

Also, candidates should call on the board to fire its current lawyer, David Day. He negotiated the original contract with Dr. Wahl, conducted the long review, negotiated the expensive separation and recommended stonewalling against providing additional information.

In addition, I have been asking the school system since Dec. 17, 2017, for the amount billed by David Day to the taxpayers to fire Dr. Wahl. If a school system that still doesn’t know how much a review of its superintendent last fall cost, how can we trust them with much more expensive future decisions, such as building or closing school buildings? I finally received the invoices on July 19. The school system paid Mr. Day’s law firm over $41,000 to conduct this secretive review.

The central office operated effectively (meaning the children were still taught by the excellent teachers) with Dr. Wahl’s and Ms. (Corrine) Middleton’s positions open. That indicates a reduction in central office headcount is warranted by that unplanned demonstration.

Finally, I saw that my opponent was interviewed by the high school paper after winning in 2014. He had no plans at that time. I think we have seen the unfortunate results of that. I have some modest plans, as seen above, and most importantly the plan is to keep the focus on teacher-student interaction and not cause any planned, or unplanned, train wrecks that would jeopardize that. For instance, if parents/teachers/students thought the elementary academically gifted program was not working effectively, then it should have been studied. That wasn’t the case.

Please feel free to contact me at 970-846-1474 or ericsmorris@hotmail.com.

Eric S. Morris, Carmel

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