CLINTON — Newcomers Ann Reed and Scott Bengtson, incumbent Eric Gettes and current interim board member Missey Sullivan-Pope have been elected to four-year terms on the Clinton School Board.
Mike Pelham has been elected to fill the two-year seat, defeating write-in candidate Jack Wenzel, current board president.
“I am excited if those are the results,” Sullivan-Pope said of the outcome of Tuesday’s unofficial results soon after they were posted on the county’s website.
Both Sullivan-Pope and Reed noted the important role they are taking on. They are dedicated to the commitment they made to the families of the community.
Newly hired Superintendent Gary DeLacy said that the previous board endured sacrifices in the form of budget cuts and other sticky financial situations, and his oversight is focused on open enrollment. Last year, the school board wrote checks, DeLacy said, collectively worth about $2 million to other school districts. This is because of 380 choices to register out of the Clinton School District. The district enrolled in between 50 and 60 students from other districts.
“In our case, we had 380 students that lived in the Clinton School District that chose to be educated in another district,” DeLacy said.
He suspects parents, and students, want to leave the district because of some misperceptions about larger school districts.
An “actuate portrayal” needs to be communicated with the leaving families, that at Clinton schools the “kids aren’t just a number,” the superintendent explained.
In order to address the open enrollment imbalance, DeLacy has a vision. Treating the students and parents as professionals, and offering “first class” service is the first box to check. It’s not exactly the way that it sounds.
Education, DeLacy said, is a humanitarian profession. With the initiative Capturing Kids’ Hearts, educators get back to the core of why they do what they do. It is a two-day coaching on how to improve students’ performance through healthy bonds with their teachers. Two-hundred and eighty teachers have been trained in the program so far.