BRADENTON – During Monday's meeting, Linda Schaich became the first person to criticize the new Interim Superintendent at a board meeting. Dr. David Gayler's recent comment about what he called "detractors," or critics, being unhelpful to school districts drew a sharp rebuke from Mrs. Schaich, who said that such people have not had their concerns and criticisms adequately addressed by the board. In a follow-up comment after the meeting, Dr. Gayler stood by his words, saying, "Everything I say comes from the heart."
The interim superintendent made the comment during the day of his swearing-in ceremony. He had acknowledged that the district's image was in dire shape and said that critics were not helpful during such a recovery process. "I've never in my 35 years in education seen a detractor help a school district," he said.
Mrs. Schaich made it clear during her alloted time at the dais that she felt that she fit into the interim superintendent's classification, and noted the dictionary's definition of the word. Schaich said that many others did as well, claiming that some wear school district name badges and even sit on the board, "in addition to citizens and taxpayers." The claim that some board members fit such a characterization drew a sharp interruption from board chair Harry Kinnan, who called her claim a personal attack. "I don't think anybody on this board is a detractor from the school system. These people are up here because they serve children, so I'm going to have to object to that."
Continuing, Mrs. Schaich noted Dr. Gayler's remark that he was aware that many people working for the district are silent about its troubles, saying that they "have been bullied into silence by fear of retribution," and that "the detractors became this way because their honest and concerned questions were met with disdain and they were marginalized and minimized by the administration."
Also during the meeting, was announced that the auditors had come aboard that same day, and had already interviewed 2 board members, Mr. Toomey (title) and CFO Michael Boyer. Schaich also expressed further concern about the accuracy and honesty of the audit, and expressed hope that a newly elected board member would help call for a more thorough one after the election.
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