Friday, April 17, 2009

Appearance is EVERYTHING

Imagine our surprise when, at the 4-13-09 school board meeting, Tim Culver introduced Ms. Lisa Heipp as the "new high school principal"....and then quickly added..."oh...I mean...assuming you vote to accept the personnel report tonight".

The school board must approve ALL personnel decisions, before they are final. Guess this means that it really is just a rubber stamp.

WOW! If the graffiti on the wall wasn't clear before about who's in charge and how things are done outside the public eye, then it has certainly been permanently sand-blast etched into it now.

Why would you DO something so brazen?
There are a million ways that this could have been done....correctly.

When the Personnel agenda item came up, Culver could have indicated that administration's top candidate was present this evening to take any questions from the school board. In fact, perhaps she could have been present at this meeting to make a short presentation and then her hiring voted on at a subsequent meeting---even a special session.

But...that didn't happen.

Instead of taking the opportunity to do something right in front of the community, Culver made no effort to hide the fact that this hire was a done deal. The only thing lacking was the de facto unanimous board vote to "officially" seal the deal.

How does one get so bold? The answer is that when one is allowed free roam without any boundaries from the "employer" (the school board), then roam they will, as Culver has done.

How does a guy get to toss so many of his administration (and staff) freely under the bus, yet is immune to reproach from his "bosses"? many of you know that as part of his annual performance review, Dr. Culver is charged with undergoing a "360 degree" survey of his performance? Wanna know the catch? Culver himself gets to decide who he sends the survey to and the surveys are returned to HIM! When was the last time your supervisor allowed you to choose who would perform your review and the review information would go directly to you?

Culver has publicly stated that he sends his survey out to people on the district's "Key Communicators" list. Geee...we've been on that list for about 4 years now...and we've never been asked. You don't suppose that's just a statistical you????? Rumor has it that some folks that were "very close" to the recent co-head basketball coach issue had PREVIOUSLY been given surveys...but not this year. Hmmmm...."I may have irritated those people with our recomendation to continue with co-head coaches. Nope, no survey for them this year!".

Kinda makes the annual performamce review (which is tied to his raise) like standing on a ladder and having to just drop the ball into the Tim?

In all seriousness, welcome to Sun Prairie, Ms. Heipp; we wish you the best of luck. Certainly the Sun Prairie High School poses some daunting challenges, but her energy seems to indicate that she's up to the task. We take issue with HOW she was introduced (and even she surely felt a little weird about the way it was done), not with her hiring.

School board members...take a will NOT win over this community until you deal with the problems that YOU create.