Wednesday, December 14, 2016

RISD Finds its Leader

Dr. Jeannie Stone, who has been serving as Richardson ISD's Interim Superintendent since June, has been named the Lone Finalist for the permanent position by the RISD Board of Trustees. My congratulations. She's well-regarded inside and outside RISD. Given the no-win nature of the job, I'm impressed that she's managed to keep even some reflexive RISD critics open-minded about her personally.

Earlier, I wrote about the RISD's board of trustees' search for a new superintendent. Maybe I was reading too much into things when I wrote: "Could 'effective listener' have been added as an explicit qualification because of the failed proposal to build a new school on White Rock Trail? Is this a tacit admission that the RISD school board blames the failure on ineffective listening to the opposition in that neighborhood?"

It was a failure, right? The district did buy a building on White Rock Trail and now insists it has no plans to use the property for anything. Near as I can tell, no one is being held accountable for the purchase decision, at least in public. With this latest announcement, it's clear that the school board is not blaming Stone. More reading between the lines: maybe the school board even credits Stone for having the courage to reverse a bad decision taken by her predecessor. She's showing leadership and independence. Now, if Stone manages to find a different solution to overcrowding in Lake Highlands that pleases everyone, she will have proven to be "practically perfect in every way". Let's give her a chance.

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