Petitions Cause Controversy at School Board Meeting

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On Monday, August 22, a large crowd gathered at the Milford Central Academy for the last School Board Meeting before the 2011-2012 school year. There were two public hearings set for the evening. One was the public forum for the new school uniform policy that will be in place on the first day of school. Even more controversial than the uniform debate, however, was the public forum that was set to be held to discuss a petition that was organized by Paul Mills to discuss the “serious problems with the Milford School District” and the removal of Superintendent Sharon Kanter.

In opposition to that petition another group, led by Dwayne Powell, organized in support of Ms. Kanter and the job she has done at the Milford School District. Before the meeting on Monday both sides were informed that the public forum would be replaced with an executive session so that all sides of the matter could be heard and discussed. Those in attendance at the Milford School Board District Meeting were asked to wait in the auditorium as the executive meeting was attended by the School Board Members and representative for both petitions.

The petition started by Paul Mills began a few weeks ago as Mr. Mills stated he wanted to “challenge the school board to do their job. “ The petition called for a public forum to talk about the “serious problem with the Milford School District” including things such as low morale and for the School Board to “take immediate action to relieve {Superintendent Kanter] of all duties”.

Spokesperson for this petition, Sharon Kirby, says there are some things that need to be addresses. “In the last three years there have been some questionable personnel decisions,” stated Ms. Kirby. “People leaving because their judgment is questioned, they are micromanaged from the top and job stability is nil.”

Dwayne Powell, organizer of the petition that supports Superintendent Kanter, disagrees with these statements and believes that Ms. Kanter is making the right decisions in her administrative post. “I think she has done a great job,” stated Mr. Powell. “She has put herself out there, not only in the schools but out in the communities.” Powell notes her work with the communities of Milford, Ellendale and Lincoln and her effort to reach poverty-stricken areas with after school programs. “She wants every kid in every school to succeed,” stated Mr. Powell. “That is the Superintendent I want.”

The executive session that was held at the School Board Meeting listened to representatives of each side. No official decisions were made on the matter of either petition but each side is prepared to advance their opinions in order to resolve this situation.