Interim leadership has made a huge impact

Published 8:35 pm Saturday, August 9, 2014

For some members of the Selma City School Board, it would be OK if they would just admit they were wrong.

Sometimes, admitting your errors is the best way to move on and to learn from the experience.

We’re in the same boat. There are some political endorsements we might have done differently with hindsight being 20/20.

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So, with the start of a new school year upon us, it is time for us to help some others admit they were wrong, that some decisions made were not the best for the Selma City School System overall and that sometimes playing politics is a game best played by those with better political skills.

Compare the start of this school year to last. Just sit back and remember the storm clouds looming over the system.

There were discussions of a system-wide internal investigation that was voted down by the majority of school board members. There was the aftermath of a teacher accused, arrested and charged for an inappropriate sexual relationship with a student. And, there was the overall feeling that really no one was in charge and leading the school system in the right direction.

It’s amazing the difference a year makes. Well, there’s that and the difference a state takeover of the Selma City School System makes.

The changes — positive changes — are nearly too many to list. The leadership put in place by State Superintendent of Education Dr. Tommy Bice has been decisive and thoughtful, dramatic and relentless.

Acting superintendent of education Larry DiChiara has become the main driver for changes within the system and is in the process of seeking a permanent superintendent of education. We can only hope he finds someone with the same principles and convictions he and the rest of the state intervention team have worked to instill since the state’s takeover began in February.

We have this before and will continue to do so; the Selma City School System is made up of tremendous teachers, staff and administrators. It remains the most important public service to our area’s future and has, at times, been failed by its leaders.

With those decision makers out of the equation, the system has made great strides and it is our hope, everyone has learned a valuable lesson.