Cancelling of board meeting called bad timing
Too many board members were already leaving town before news hit
Eyebrows down everyone.
That is the word from school board members who were left as bewildered as everyone else in Valdez last week when word that two hidden cameras had been found in Gilson Jr. High and Valdez High Schools.
The fact the board was already in the process of cancelling its regularly scheduled meeting that was supposed to occur Monday night, April 23, did not help matters.
“The timing is unfortunate,” said Flynn Stuparich, who is the assistant to the superintendent and administrative assistant to the board of education.
“We do not have a quorum,” she said in an interview Monday. “That’s the challenge.”
The board of education must have at least four out of seven board members present to hold a public meeting. Only three board members were actually in Valdez Monday night.
The board routinely cancels meetings during summer months and typically at least one - sometimes two- during winter holidays. Cancelling school board meetings typically draws little fanfare or notice by the public.
This cancellation would probably have also passed with little or no upset if news of the hidden cameras had not occurred. The find changed everything – including the public perception.
“People are frustrated with the fact there won’t be a meeting,” Stuparich acknowledged.
Board member David Lawrence – who was in Valdez Monday - sees this as well as anyone.
“I understand the concern from the community,” Lawrence said Monday afternoon. “People want answers and I don’t blame them.”
Lawrence said he has requested the board meet to address the issue before its next regularly scheduled meeting, set for May 14.
“I appreciate their frustration,” Lawrence said.
The board actually has more than one special meeting slated before May 14.
According to paid advertisements in the Valdez Star, the board will hold a special meeting Tuesday morning, May 1, from 7:30 to 8:30 a.m. concerning the evaluations.
A public forum to discuss the proposed four-day school week is slated for the evening of April 30.
“It probably would have been best if we had had the meeting,” Monday night, Dan Walker, board vice-president, said Tuesday morning.
Walker was one of the four board members who were out of town Monday night.
Superintendent Jacob Jensen cancelled an out-of-state conference he was scheduled to attend after he learned of the crisis.