Opinion

Recall supporters lose sight of 'bigger picture' | Guest Column

Just a few questions for those who are involved in the "movement" against the SJISD School Board and superintendent:

First, are you aware of, and prepared for, the potential for the serious, and probably significant, unintended consequences of your actions in "leading" this "movement"?

Real leadership involves listening to, understanding and acknowledging all facets of an issue.

Do you realize how much of the school district's resources are going to responding to you and your legal filings rather than to the education of our kids?

Is this where they should be spending their time and energy? Or perhaps should it be in the classrooms, and the offices, and on the financial well being of our school district?

Are you really providing a solution to the issue at hand, or creating more problems? Do you realize the divisiveness that you have created in this community?

Understand that you are not speaking for the community at large on this issue... you are speaking for a small minority of people, or for lack of a better term, a "movement".

And I say to those of you in the community at large that understand these questions, now is the time to join in and speak out on behalf of our school board. Silence is not the answer when it comes to the education of our children.

Could not the passion, resources, and time you and your "movement" are putting in go to something more important like feeding/clothing the many challenged families we have here? Or perhaps your passion, resources, and time could go toward raising money for the funding gaps our school district grapples with every year in order to educate our kids.

Do you really think that we are going to get the kind of committed, bright, passionate, and well rounded school board members than those we already have? Who is going to want to submit themselves to this kind of vilification in the future? It is a thankless job to start with.

Do you really know what goes into being a school board member? What is your experience in volunteerism? How many boards have you served on? Have you ever been a manager who has to make tough decisions? I can tell you that it is not a popularity contest.

Do you really think that these five individuals, with the experience that they collectively have, would have made a hasty decision about a well liked administrator? Are you aware of how well this school board and previous school boards (with some of the same members) have done in navigating the financial issues of the past few years?

Do you know what kind of blood, sweat and tears have gone into keeping this school district relatively healthy?

It is hard work and it takes committed, bright, passionate, and well rounded people to do it. Do you know how hard it is to get a good superintendent in a small community like this?

How will our kids (and their education) suffer later this year when we find ourselves not only with significant budget shortfalls, but with a new/green school board and perhaps a new/green superintendent?

And finally, I understand how everyone feels about Gary Pflueger and his leadership at FHES. However, if he was the true leader that you all believe he is, then he would be standing up and helping with a solution. He would be standing up and asking for all of this madness to stop.

He has publicly, on numerous occasions, asked that the community respect his decision to resign. He would be doing something other than being silent.

At the end of the day, all of this is NOT healthy for our kids. We should be teaching our children how best to go about positive change, not that the loudest ones get the most attention.

We should honor Gary's work, his love of children and his commitment to his job. We should also honor him in his request to respect his decision (regardless of how that decision came about).

I think that the more this "movement" carries on, the more difficult it is going to be when Gary starts interviewing for his next endeavor.

What is this all going to mean to the next FHES principal (who may be equally great or even greater)? Will you welcome him/her with open arms?

Just food for thought.

Please be mindful of the BIG PICTURE here.

Jim Skoog

San Juan Island

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