By Elsa Maxey
With Stafford MSD’s new superintendent Lawrence Hindt having started his official duties this week, interim superintendent Betty Baitland winds down as her term comes to an end this month, which may continue on a limited basis. Also with the May trustee election behind them, the board proceeded with its business. The district’s board of trustees recently showed a marked split when it came to electing their board president.
Two trustees expressed a no vote of confidence for the president nominee, and he was elected, anyway. Elected school board trustee Ettienne Zak now serves as President of the Stafford MSD.
Trustee Virginia Rosas, who read a statement to the board before the vote, made it clear she has trust issues with Zak and went on record stating why she would not vote for him for president.
“I will not ‘give’ my vote to anyone, especially if he attempts to pressure the board by throwing down the ‘race card’ as he pursues his personal agenda.” In her statement, Rosas also said by reference that Zak uses fear and intimidation to control others who do not agree with him or his personal agenda, bullying behavior she called it.
She specifically mentioned school staff intimidation on his part and said Zak lacked positive leadership qualities. Trustee Gregg Holsapple also read a statement. It was about his non-vote, which he said meant a no confidence vote for the board president nominee. Hosapple said he did not feel that Zak is the best leader for school district’s board of trustees. In the end, four voted in favor, and three, including Holsapple against along with Cindy Hoelscher, outgoing president of the board.
Other elected officers include Vice-President Ed Castillo, ShaMekka Pratt-Simmons, who was elected as the board’s secretary and Hoeslcher, as a convention delegate for the school district.
The school board reported that it would be tackling issues relating to their operating procedures to discuss changes. In particular, Hoeslcher said there was an opportunity for the public to speak before the board, but there was no procedure for follow-up.