Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Rivera Chosen As SDL Superintendent After Rancorous Meeting

The School District of Lancaster Board hired Pedro Rivera II as Superintendent of Schools after nearly two hours of rancorous discussion. The vote on the motion to hire Rivera was 5-4: Board members Boben, Howell, Marten, Snyder, and Rowen in favor; members McCain, Faller-Miller, Owens, and Simms opposed. A crowd of some 300 members of the public were in attendance, along with five police officers brought in for security (though they were not really needed).

The meeting began with Board Member Nenita Faller-Miller objecting to the manner in which the eventual outcome of the night's vote had been announced ahead of time in the news. Board Vice President Michael Rowen explained that the executive committee had decided to schedule the vote specifically on whether to hire Rivera rather than make it more generally on hiring a superintendent based on a straw poll of members which had been taken earlier. Rowen said that the agenda was sent to the news media with Rivera's name but that he had attempted to contact each board member first. However Ms. Faller-Miller and another board member, Mrs. Janelle Simms, both complained that they did not receive any communications from Rowen until after the news had hit.

Much of the public comment also seemed to be in response to the Board's premature announcement. While several members of the public spoke in favor of longtime Lancaster Schools teacher and administrator Leon "Buddy" Glover, many of them also complained about the high-handed way in which the Board seemed to be operating. Darrell Glover, Buddy's brother, accused the board of attempting to drive a wedge between the African-American and Hispanic communities.

More details will follow soon.