Archived Story

Symmes board gets it right

Published 10:13am Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Only time will tell if the Symmes Valley Board of Education made the right decision on who to hire to lead the district, but one thing is certain: The board certainly got it right as far as the process.

On Monday, the board voted 4-1 to hire Symmes Valley High School Principal Jeff Saunders to take over the leadership at the district. We think Saunders will likely do a great job for the district he knows well. But even more encouraging was how the board made this hire.

The board — three of whom won’t be serving in January — decided to move forward with filling their superintendent position before the new year begins.

In the past, we have been critical of lame-duck boards making these types of long-term decisions prior to a new board taking over. But the Symmes Valley board absolutely understood the importance of this decision and made one key distinction that other districts have not: They included the incoming board members.

All three incoming elected officials were part of the hiring process, sat in on interviews and reviewed applications.

And perhaps most important, even though they didn’t have a vote in the matter, they apparently agreed that Saunders was the right person to lead the district toward a bright future.

Although it could have been argued that this decision should have been left to the new board, the reality is that the position was vacated mid-year and this would have been asking a lot of a new board to make a decision of this magnitude immediately.

This is exactly the way this situation should have been handled and shows that the Symmes Valley school board, present and future, were working together to do what they thought was right for the district.

What more can we ask of them?

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