The Flagler County School Board has assigned fellow-board member Will Furry to hire a labor attorney–at the district’s expense–who will then shepherd them through firing Kristy Gavin, the board’s attorney, without risking a lawsuit. Board members Sally Hunt and Christy Chong pushed the idea of outside counsel. Board Chair Cheryl Massaro joined them in assigning Furry.
Flagler County School Board
Bunnell Elementary school’s leadership environment that enabled a trio of teachers to hold assemblies targeting only Black students last month was disjointed, incurious, careless and oblivious to the optics of segregating Black students in the name of improving test scores, regardless of their academic standing, a pair surprisingly limited and identical internal investigations reveal.
If you think the appointment of LaShakia Moore as superintendent will make a difference, think again. Moore’s biggest job will be to run interference to save what’s left of this district from the Huns, because the problem was never with the administration or the ranks. It’s with the majority of a board that doesn’t know its role, doesn’t know its limits, and doesn’t know education from flip-flops.
Donelle Evensen this morning announced her resignation as Bunnell Elementary principal five weeks after being named to the position, and not quite three weeks after being placed on leave following her approval of an assembly where faculty segregated Black students. At no point in either letters does Evensen take responsibility or offer any regret for the tenor of the assembly or the misjudgments that led to it.
The highlight at Tuesday evening’s meeting of the Flagler County School Board should have been the triumphal appointment of LaShakia Moore as superintendent, a rare unifying moment for an often divided school board. It was briefly all that, until School Board member Sally Hunt hijacked the occasion with what amounted to a hit list for coming meetings: School Board attorney Kristy Gavin. School Board Chair Cheryl Massaro. The school board’s own conduct. “Bullies.” “The media.”
The Flagler County School Board this evening voted unanimously to appoint LaShakia Moore superintendent, eliminating the “interim” part of the title she had held since July 1 and making her the first Black superintendent in the county’s history. But it wasn’t entirely a joyful occasion.
LaShakia Moore this morning was fully in control of a Flagler County School Board that has often been unmoored and adrift for much of the past year as she parried questions and asserted how she would handle her first hundred days as superintendent, if the board were to appoint her into that role this evening. There seems to be little doubt that this evening’s vote will be anticlimactic, and that come 5:15 p.m., Moore will be voted the new, permanent superintendent.
Unscheduled (and illegal) huddles aside, the Flagler County School Board is holding four separate meetings Tuesday, the last one at 5:15 p.m., where one of the agenda items is a potential vote on ending the search for a new superintendent and permanently appointing LaShakia Moore to the position.
Flagler County School Board Chair Cheryl Massaro said fellow Board member Sally Hunt considered calling for a vote of censure against her because Massaro did not stick to a script provided her before last week’s press conference denouncing Bunnell Elementary’s segregated assembly days earlier.
It is now so routine to reduce individual students to cogs among subgroups enslaved to the expectations of standardized testing that our educators have lost sight of their purpose. The state’s transformation of education into a dehumanizing machinery is to blame. So is the Flagler County School Board’s emphasis on running the district as a business, and now branding its superintendent a “CEO.” The individuality and dignity of students is lost to a damaging bottom-line mentality.