Search This Blog

Monday, April 22, 2013

Cheryl McGinnis "spin" of concerns about her behavior at the 4/8/13 board meeting

See below for an email exchange between Cheryl McGinnis, president of the Clarkston Community School Board, and me (Dawn Schaller).  Please read it completely.  As of Monday, 4/22/13 at 3:30 AM, she has not yet responded to the email from Friday.

From: Dawn Schaller
To: "Cheryl McGinnis" <>
Cc:,,,,,,  "Dr. Rod Rock" <>, "Heidi McClain" <>
Sent: Tuesday, April 16, 2013 6:28 PM
Subject: April 8, 2013 CCS School Board Meeting

Mrs. McGinnis,

I watched the 4/8/13 CCS School Board Meeting on UStream and was shocked to see the kind of behavior I saw at that meeting.

I found Mrs. Egan's comments to Phil Custodio, the Editor of the Clarkston News, to be totally out of line.  I think that she insinuated that the editor of the local newspaper must have needed an invitation from the board or administration to attend a board meeting...  Really?

I also feel that Mrs. Egan's comments directed to Craig Hamilton were accusations/insinuations that Craig Hamilton had conspired with other board members and Phil Custodio in regard to his request for information on the security badging system.

However, I found your comments about Craig Hamilton's legitimate request for information extremely unflattering and unprofessional.  He is a brand new board member.  Although his knowledge about board procedures may have been lacking in regard to proper protocol, I felt that your responses were of an "attack" nature and did not "fit the crime" of a simple lack of knowledge of protocol to be expected in a new board member, and certainly unprofessional.  Craig did not air dirty laundry about why he wanted the information he asked for, he just asked for it.  It was obvious from your comments that Craig had a security badge that was suddenly shut off.  I am not aware of why Craig would have had a security badge in the first place, but when he was given the responses he was given (as discussed in the meeting) from both Dr. Rod Rock and you, I can see why he would be wondering what was going on...  I feel that both you and Elizabeth aired a great deal of very dirty laundry and I believe that was very unprofessional as well.  

Then, when you invited the public to report Craig's request being put forward as an action item as a violation of the Open Meetings Act because it had not been announced at least 18 hours before the meeting, right after you had announced that others had told you about their requests right before the meetings and you had accommodated THEIR requests, it makes me feel that you were inviting significant fines and/or legal trouble to the district/board.  Besides, I believe that you have allowed Dr. Rock to add action items and discussion items to the board agenda (as posted to the district website and the outside door of the district Administration Building) with less than 18 hours notice in the past also.  You know the saying, "people in glass houses shouldn't throw stones"?  You should really live by that.             

I would like to know if you believe that what you and Elizabeth Egan said at the 4/8/13 board meeting was appropriate.  I would also like to know what will be done about it.

Thank you.

Dawn Schaller

From: "Cheryl McGinnis" 
To: "Dawn Schaller"
Sent: Friday, April 19, 2013 12:36:39 PM
Subject: Re: April 8, 2013 CCS School Board Meeting

Thank you for contacting the Board of Education,
All board members have access to Board Operating Procedures and Bylaws 24/7 along with professional development training from Michigan School Board Association.  Additionally, in my tenure as President, new board members have been provided a board member mentor to assist in their learning curve of becoming an effective board member.
Board Bylaws and Operating Procedures have been approved by the board and provide a clear process so that we can operate as an efficient board of education.  Additionally, any member may request an item be put on the agenda for discussion with prior knowledge to the board president that follows our Board Bylaws and Operating Procedures.  Therefore, it is unclear as to why a board member would need to spring a “surprise” Action Item on the board.  As President, I have worked very hard to establish meeting norms so that all board members can anticipate how we commence the business of the district.
As always, this board values the input of our citizens.  The board’s number one objective is our students and any waver from this objective naturally takes away from our effectiveness.   To that end, I will continue to encourage board members to become knowledgeable of these norms so that we can continue to provide excellent policy governance for our district.
Cheryl McGinnis
President, Clarkston Community School Board of Education
Home of Inaugural National Green Ribbon School 2012, Clarkston High School
“If you wait to do everything until you’re sure it’s right, you’ll probably never do much of anything.” – Win Borden
From: Dawn Schaller
To: "Cheryl McGinnis" <>
Cc:,,,,,,  "Dr. Rod Rock" <>, "Heidi McClain" <>
Sent: Friday, April 19, 2013 3:44:17 PM
Subject: Re: April 8, 2013 CCS School Board Meeting

Mrs. McGinnis,

You did not even remotely answer ANY of my questions/concerns.

Also, there was only one e-blast notice sent out to the public, although there are 31 separate CCS Groups that each should have received the notice.  That does not exude "transparency". 

The district's website has no reference to the 6 PM meeting start except on the agenda. 

The scheduled meeting information on the Board's web page says the meeting starts at 7 PM. 

The agenda for the 4/22/13 meeting is on the website, but the board packet is suspiciously absent.  Please ensure that Dr. Rock has Heidi load the board packet today.

I am tremendously disappointed in the district's poor communication to the public.   

I still invite your response to my comments below.

Thank you.

Dawn Schaller

I will say that sometime after my last email to Mrs. McGinnis at 3:44 PM on Friday, 4/19/13, and before Saturday evening, the district FINALLY loaded the board packet and corrected the board meeting time of 6 PM on the district website.  However, there were to be no further notifications to the public about the meeting.  So much for the "transparency" Dr. Rock claimed he would have on this subject.  Shame on Dr. Rock.  

1 comment:

  1. Good job Dawn! I hope you never tire of speaking out for us!