When Stan Kelly and Peggy Leland retired two weeks ago, 45 years of teaching experience at Central High School walked out the door with them.
“I kept asking Stan, ‘Are we really old enough to be doing this?’ ” said Leland, who taught art at Central for 20 years and directed her students in creating high-profile art projects like the huge banners hanging in the school commons and other areas.
“I know a lot of you’d really like to see me get re-elected,” Chancellor Daryl Fansler told the guests at his campaign reception in the upstairs room at Calhoun’s on the River. “And some of you are afraid I won’t.”
He drew raucous laughter and knowing looks from the big, bipartisan crowd.
He’s about to become the poster boy of Lt. Gov. Ron Ramsey’s campaign to unseat three Tennessee Supreme Court justices who are up for a “retention” election (supreme court justices are not elected outright, but the voters are given the opportunity to say whether they should get another eight-year term).
Chief Justice Gary Wade, plus justices Sharon Lee and Cornelia Clark all received high marks from the panels empowered to evaluate them, with Wade and Lee receiving perfect scores and Clark getting one “no” vote.
The second-most commonly cited reason for preferring appointed school superintendents over the elected kind is the contention that elected superintendents are forced to waste half their time campaigning (the first reason is being able to attract a better selection of candidates).
De-politicizing education isn’t the primary argument for appointed supes, but it’s a pretty good one. But does it really hold up under scrutiny?
“There’s something happening here. What it is ain’t exactly clear …
I think it’s time we stop, children, what’s that sound
Everybody look what’s going down
There’s battle lines being drawn
Nobody’s right if everybody’s wrong
Young people speaking their minds
Getting so much resistance from behind …”
(Selectively excerpted without permission of Buffalo Springfield, who might agree that a “Man with a gun” lyric doesn’t belong in an education discussion.)
The Knox County primary elections are upon us. Early voting begins April 16 in this odd kind of election year. The contests that are drawing the most interest are the school board races, primarily because of the controversies surrounding Superintendent James McIntyre. The incumbents are all McIntyre supporters, and all have drawn opposition.
First District challengers Marshall Walker and Robert Boyd are able guys who know their way around schools (Boyd has taught on the college level; Walker is a retired school social worker) but seem slow to get off the blocks.
Contrary to what a lot of people probably think, Ed Harvey never met my brother John. Not that he knew of, anyhow.
Even though John put Eddie in the Prank Call Hall of Fame (if there’s not such a thing, there should be) when he called him up in the late ’70s to complain about buying a bad oil filter at Eddie’s Auto Parts, the two were never formally introduced, and John was long dead by the time the tapes went viral in 1987. (Note: Viral was not a word we would’ve thought to use back in the day.)