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Group demands action on superintendent search

Bremerton Community 4 Kids wants new person in place by Aug. 1.

News of the Bremerton School District Board of Directors plans for a leadership criteria committee to aid the district in its search for a new superintendent haven’t received the warmest greeting from the community, especially those who attended the Jan. 9 school board meeting.

At that meeting, numerous community members and parents took the board to task over its inaction in beginning a superintendent search. Superintendent Bette Hyde, who announced her retirement in April, was rehired on an interim basis by the board in August.

Board member Dewayne Boyd proposed a Superintendent Selection Process Task Force, which was approved by the board, and the district began soliciting interest from the community in an effort to bring the community onboard with the process.

Shortly after the meeting, a group calling itself Bremerton Community 4 Kids was formed. On Monday, the group delivered a resolution to the board requesting a new superintendent be in place by Aug. 1 and that the board “immediately commence the processes to conduct a cost-effective search for a qualified candidate to replace Dr. Bette Hyde.”

“Bette Hyde has done so many really great things for the district,” group spokeswoman Christianne Martin said Tuesday afternoon. “It’s sad to see her end on such a bad note. We need to let her retire.”

The group’s main goal is to expedite the superintendent search. Its members are concerned about the appearance that the board isn’t anxious to move ahead with the process, Martin said.

“Right now we feel the timing is so critical on this issue that we haven’t talked about anything else,” Martin said, when asked what role the group might play in this fall’s school board elections.

In terms of its communication with the board members, Martin said from her personal experience, board president Cynthia Galloway and board members Vicki Collins, Boyd and Louis Mitchell have at least responded to e-mails, but board member Pat Jones has not.

“A lot of the board members just tell us to attend board meetings, but he (Louis Mitchell) responds to questions,” she said.

Currently, the group has eight core members, but there are others in the community who are supporting the effort behind the scenes, she said.

The group has its own Web site, which can be viewed by going to markiemark0.com/BSB/index.html, she said. Visitors are encouraged to sign the site’s guestbook.

With the board slated to discuss the superintendent search process and the superintendent for the 2009-10 school year at last night’s meeting, Martin said the group had no idea about what the discussion would entail, but added that based upon the decision to table an extension of Hyde’s current contract, she was surprised it was on the agenda.

No details about either item were included in the meeting packet delivered to the Bremerton Patriot Tuesday morning either.

An update on last night’s meeting can be found on the Patriot’s Web site at www.bremertonpatriot.com.

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