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The Manatee School District Interim Superintendent

The Manatee School District Interim Superintendent

by Linda Schaich

School board Community Activist

Why did the school board make the decision to put someone in the interim superintendent position who is not qualified?

The most qualified person for that position is Dr. Susan Agruso. She has volunteered for over three years on the district audit committee. She has a Ph.D., has been a superintendent in the past and is familiar with the installation of our new computer system. Dr. Susan Agruso is the best choice.

So why would the board choose some from the administration with none of these qualifications??? Perhaps the answer is “INTEGRITY.”

Dr. Susan Agruso has demonstrated integrity in serving as chair of the audit committee. If she sees something – she addresses the issue. Why is this a liability for the superintendent position? Well, we have three board members up for reelection and it could be problematic to have someone in the top position who will not be inclined to cover-up problematic issues.

The board wants to be reelected and needs someone from the administration who knows how to maintain the status-quo.

So, once again, our school board is not concerned with the education experience of our students nor our teachers but with their own issues.

And another RED FLAG. I did not hear the board to instruct the lawyer to restrict the interim superintendent from applying for the permanent position. Without this caveat, highly qualified persons will not even apply for the position, instead assuming that the interim will be chosen.

One board member said that they did not have time to vet an interim superintendent. Really --- in 2012 when we had to replace McGonegal, they appointed in succession two interim superintendents with no vetting. This is a temporary position – hired at will – and their reputation in the community should be their recommendation. He really had to reach for that one.

And let’s address why they are on a short time schedule. Our school attorney gave Dr. Greene a contract what was one-sided, favoring Dr. Greene to the detriment of the school district. What is the sense of a contract that penalizes the school district severely for letting the superintendent go early but no penalty for the superintendent who chooses to leave early? Time to replace both school attorneys.


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