By Bobby R. Henry, Sr.
There are 7 BB items posted for next Tuesday’s regular School Board meeting on December 13, 2022, and they will prove to spark the skies like an early New Year’s eve Fireworks Show.
In a strange twist, the new Board Chair, Lori Alhadeff made an announcement late Tuesday, at the December 6, 2022, Board workshop. She notified the public, her Board colleagues, and Superintendent Cartwright that she would bring two BB agenda items forward at the regular School Board meeting on December 13.
The first item, BB-6 would be to conduct an interview with Dr. Earlean Smiley and appoint her Interim Superintendent.
Dr. Earlean Smiley is the former deputy superintendent of Academics (formerly Curriculum and Instruction) for Broward County Public Schools. She was known for using student and teacher data and standards driven lesson planning and teaching. She was instrumental in executing the One Voice 7-8-9 plan with a districtwide focus on Larry Lezotte’s Seven Correlates of Effective Schools, Bazosport Texas’s Eight Step Process and Robert Marzano’s Nine High Yield Strategies. She worked hand in glove with the districts professional learning department to ensure every employee, including bus drivers and maintenance staff were trained in One Voice.
Smiley is the former principal of Blanche Ely High School. During her tenure as principal of Blanche Ely, she also served as principal of Pompano Beach High School during its reopening from a previous school closure. The Four-Day Student Week was her brainchild for both Blanche Ely and Pompano High Schools. It still remains in effect today at Pompano and has been replicated in schools in districts all over the country.
Smiley left Broward to serve as superintendent in McCormick School District in South Carolina. After completing her time there, she retired to Broward.
Smiley was known for her tough, but love leadership style that has inspired dozens to enter leadership in schools and district departments.
Alhadeff’s second item, BB-7 would amend Dr. Vickie Cartwright’s employment agreement. This announcement took the embattled superintendent by surprise as she looked as if she could spit nails into the Chair’s face. For the rest of the meeting, she appeared temporarily speechless. Cartwright wasn’t the only surprised face which I am not sure how and why they were surprised. This has been coming since it started.
But what of BB-1 through BB-5?
District five’s new Board member, Jeff Holness also posted three BB items. BB-2 is to rescind the termination of Dr. Cartwright without cause and reinstate her contract. This may now be a little awkward considering the ‘gut punch’ Alhadeff threw out in the 11th round.
Holness’s BB-3 is to halt the national search for a superintendent, a conversation that started at the December 6 Board workshop. So, he/them wanted to stop it before it ever started? This is getting really cornbread good.
Oz’s last item, BB-4… excuse me I mean Holness’s BB-4 item is to reset the timeline for the Superintendent’s 90-day statement of action that was approved at the October 25, 2022, Board meeting. It’s enough to make you chuckle.
I am thinking with the bombshell hand that Alhadeff has, the BB’s that Holness has put out there exemplifies for a “Whoop der it is, see you later!”
The last two BB items are sponsored by Torey Alston, the former Board chair. His first item, BB-1 is a motion to direct the Chief Auditor to seek an outside option from the Florida Auditor General or the Florida Attorney General on three employee separation agreements negotiated by Cartwright for former Chief of Staff, Jeff Moquin, Assistant Chief Building Official, Ron Morgan and Director of Diversity and School Climate, David Watkins. I am wondering if this second opinion being sought by outside counsel is contrary to the decisions made by the superintendent, can the agreements be revoked? Only time will tell.
Alston’s last item, BB-5 is to move forward to discuss and take actions to appoint an interim Superintendent of Schools.
This should be an interesting Board meeting. Will all of these agenda items survive to December 13? Some overlap and can be combined and others seem doomed to die a slow and painful death.
Will Cartwright continue riding a dead horse or will she dismount before December 13th and avoid the public embarrassment of being fired three times in three weeks.
This is almost like the movie Friday when Smokey (Chris Tucker) asked Craig (Ice Cube) how he got fired on his day off. Get your popcorn and soda ready for the comedic drama debuting on December 13.