Change is difficult; real change, out of the comfort zone. The local school district has released the administrative changes (as of now, keep in mind, a lot could also be done over the summer). There is talk about this everywhere you go–online, in the market. My thought is, this was to be expected. My own tiny issues over the last few years with VCS taught me something. It wasn’t about me. Where there’s smoke, there’s fire. The pot has been boiling for a while, and it only takes picking up a newspaper, here, over the past couple of the years to know that VCS has been in turmoil.
One thing I know from my years as an administrator with VCS is, the public sees the tip of the iceberg. No matter the transparency in the Sunshine State, there are personal and personnel factors which play into these changes. But, it is my belief that the individuals employed at the highest levels (school-based as well as district) have the welfare of each student at heart, rather than being driven by some sort of small-pond ambition. Most of the cutthroat people who were selfish in their ambitions are gone.
When I was growing up, I learned all about being an educator from watching two of my aunts, who devoted their careers to VCS. They inspire me to this day. Lynn (Gold) Schaefer and Carolyn (Burkett) Lawrence. I remember Aunt Lynn pretty much having a rolling office in her car when she was director of Staff Development; she was everywhere at once and often came home well after dark after leaving at dawn. Many’s the Saturday I spent swimming in her pool while she worked at a table on the patio.
I also remember my Aunt Carolyn, former Principal of the Year, being moved from a school she loved to one which needed major revision, because it needed that revision. She had to let go of 17 teachers her first year at Starke. It wasn’t easy but it needed to be done. Sometimes, change is hard. But for those who want what is best for the students, necessary.
I for one am optimistic about the health of our local school system and excited about these changes. Let’s all support those who are willing to rise before dawn and be on call 24/7 for the good of the order.