Melissa Wheeler, Farm Bureau

The North Bend Eagle

 

Audience strong by silent on betrayed confidence

by Mary Le Arneal
Published 6/16/21

The North Bend Central Board of Education had over 50 people, many of them NBC faculty and employees, in attendance at its regular meeting Monday night.

The June 14 meeting had on its agenda the school improvement survey results and that brought teachers, classified staff and others to see how the board would respond to what they felt was a breech of confidence.

The survey was given to faculty and staff with the understanding that their responses would be confidential. It was for the board use only. Participants were not required to put their name on their survey, but some did. When the results were in, it was shared with Superintendent Dan Endorf, contradicting the survey statement that is was for board members only.

The meeting began with board president Dan Wesely apologizing for his error in releasing of the survey to Endorf.

“When the board agreed to do the survey everyone said it was something we would like use as a positive for our school,” Wesley said. “I believe we can still do this, use the survey as a building block to improve what we have at North Bend Central.”

Only one person signed up for public comment and he requested to speak after the board’s discussion of the survey. It denied as policy states public comment comes first.

Of the people receiving the survey, half (61 of 102) responded.

“This survey just solidified what many people have been saying and thinking for many years,” board member Doug Hoops said. “There is a lack of trust, accountability and integrity throughout the board and the administration of this school district. You have to listen to your employees and that is how this survey was presented to them.”

Hoops said that the results were to be assessed and used to set goals for the board.

“There was nothing shocking that came out,” board member Francis Emanuel said, saying the survey could have a positive impact on the board.

Wesely presented the goals the board had taken from this survey. One was to hire a team builder for the teachers, staff and board to start the year off.

Hoops said that the board and administration would have a rough time overcoming this breech of confidence.

Emanuel disagreed, saying that breaking the confidence was a mistake, but the board would move on.

Board member Bob Feurer said he was surprised at the amount of emotion on both sides of the situation.

Board member Justin Taylor said that part of earning trust back would be to apologize, which he and other board members did.

“In the big picture,” Taylor said, “we all want the same thing. With that we’ll just move forward.”

Endorf said that this mess should become a message for the district to move forward, “but it’s going to take all of us working together.”

“In the long run this is actually going to be a good thing,” board member Jeff Bauer said. “A lot of people have expressed their views with what is wrong with the system. It’ll give us something to work on. We are going to figure out what is wrong and we will work trying to fix things to get more unity. I don’t think one mistake should nullify the good things we have done as board members, as superintendent, principals. We’ll use the survey to try to straighten things out and get on a good path.”

After a half hour discussion the board moved on to their agenda as the majority of the audience left.

 

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