My Goals Remain The Same Despite Recent Distractions - And Response

Wednesday, May 16, 2018

In today’s world of constant communication, it is very easy to lose sight of what is important, what is real, and what is meaningful. In the midst of sound bytes and confrontation, we risk ignoring what we should be focused on: the necessity of working together to create solutions for even the most divisive issues. 

Despite recent distractions and conflict, and despite my own personal frustrations at the inharmonious stances expressed among other school board members, my goal remains the same:

I believe that a school board must be responsive and receptive to students, teachers, parents, business leaders, partnerships, and the community at large. We should encourage an open, nonpartisan dialogue and work together with the shared goal of ensuring all our students are given the same opportunity for success. 

I believe our school board serves all of the students in the community; one student is no more or less important than another. We are a diverse community and should embrace that diversity, because doing so makes us all stronger.  

Our schools are here to serve the educational needs of all the students. We are here to serve our schools. Imagine if all of the opportunities, resources, and facilities were equitable for schools, students, and teachers in all districts. 

Imagine all the possibilities if we work together to make change happen, instead of focusing on the arguments that divide us. 

When I decided to run for school board, I wanted to bring new ways of thinking, new perspectives, and innovation to the school board. I have always believed we should learn from the past, and keep our focus on ensuring all our students have the same opportunities. 

It is difficult, at times, to move forward with the burdens of past failures, but inequities do still exist, and this is an issue we are obligated to continue to address. 

I do believe that we should continue to partner with community-based organizations to expand what is already offered in our school system, while continuing to improve that system from within. 

I am enormously encouraged by the recent strides made in our school systems through the collaborative efforts at HCDE. When we work together, we create Future Ready Institutes that challenge the traditional approach to education in high schools by developing career-themed small learning communities. When we work together, we bring complex, hands-on science and advanced problem solving into the classroom through partnerships with local organizations and businesses like PEF, Chattanooga 2.0, and Volkswagen. When we work together, we bring more art into our students’ lives, we increase open enrollment in our schools, boost funding for ESL students, find the best teachers for our Opportunity Zone schools, and much, much more.

When we work together, we can create the educational opportunities our children need and deserve.  

We should never say we can’t change something because it’s too expensive or complicated or difficult. We cannot dismiss the past, but must learn from history to ensure we do not repeat it. We have an obligation to acknowledge inequity and explore solutions. And work together to effect change that will benefit us all.

The inequities that affect our schools must be corrected for the benefit of every single student we can’t close our eyes to that.  As your school board member, I will continue to address these tough issues and have hard conversations about finding solutions.  Dr. Johnson is committed to make Hamilton County Schools the fastest improving school district in the state of Tennessee.  Change is coming to Hamilton County Schools to bring educational opportunities our children need and deserve.

Kathy Lennon
School Board Member District 2

* * *

Ms. Lennon,

 

I have no doubt you have a genuine interest in education. The task of school board member is monumental. It is a task that most people would pass on. I admire your diligence in public service.

 

However, you get an F for marginalizing public concern on your favorite organization that you failed to mention, UnifiEd.  Be honest, they funded your campaign too. I am looking at your campaign disclosures, same people.

 

I find your jabs at “other” school board members disingenuous especially  after reviewing your three campaign financial disclosures available at the Hamilton County Election Commission.  You have a similar donor footprint of UnifiEd candidate Katherlyn LanNore Geter.  You have UnifiEd board members, and a similar footprint of donors.  Of course, I just started your financial campaign analysis.  You see, I feel some of our elected officials are owned by outside interests.

 

Ninety-two percent of Ms. Geter’s campaign resources resulted from UnifiEd's direct funding, indirect resources, board member contributions, and board member followers.  I am finding the same pattern of names in your campaign disclosures. So, I find your letter curious at best.

 

Stop talking in veiled language of “other.” You are speaking about school board members Joe Smith and Rhonda Thurman.

 

That is clear as your campaign financial disclosures that bear similar donor footprint of other UnifiEd candidates.

 

When I finish my donor footprint analysis, I will share a copy.

 

In the meantime, how dare you marginalize public concern about a very fraudulent organization, by labeling public response as a “distraction.”  Your last day in office  will be the distraction.

 

April Eidson



Equity Study

What exactly is an Equity Study? Is the the damage control that comes in the wake of the UnifiEd outburst a few weeks ago? I can save the board a whole lot of hassle since the mere mention of doing such a study means that the study will reveal inequities, regardless of any basis.  If they would like to throw a quarter million down the drain for 20 pages ... (click for more)

Coppinger And UnifiEd

I am writing in response to Mayor Jim Coppinger's puzzling quotes in Roy Exum's column this morning, wherein the mayor seems to disavow UnifiEd and its position on the socio-economic desegregation of our schools. On  April 5 , I attended a candidate forum hosted by the North Brainerd Neighborhood Council at the Eastdale Recreation Center gym. That evening, Mayor ... (click for more)

Jury Finds Donaldson Guilty Of Second-Degree Murder In Killing Of Son-In-Law

A Criminal Court jury late Friday afternoon returned a verdict of guilty of second-degree murder against Glen Donaldson in the killing of his son-in-law, Adam Levi. He is facing 15-60 years in state prison. Judge Don Poole will set the sentence at a sentencing hearing on July 12.  He has been free on bond, but was taken into custody after the verdict. The jury deliberated ... (click for more)

1st Vote On Controversial Signal Mountain Grocery Proposal Set June 13; Town To Choose Either Tennessee American Or Waldens Ridge For Water Service

The next steps in rezoning 617 Cauthen Way were discussed at the Signal Mountain work session Friday afternoon. Since the last council meeting, Town Manager Boyd Veal created a list of conditions to include in the zoning ordinance relating to the proposed commercial development designed to assure that there is no negative impact to the surrounding properties or to the interest of ... (click for more)

Summertown Stops Sale Creek's Bid For A State Class 1A State Softball Title, 7-5

MURFREESBORO, Tenn. – Sale Creek had its sight set on making some softball history Friday. The Lady Panthers reached their first TSSAA state softball championship with a 3-1 victory over Cascade, powered by a Trinity Liner three-run homer on her 18 th birthday. A few hours later, they wanted to beat Summertown and set up a second title game for all the marbles. ... (click for more)

Silverdale Wins D-II-A State Softball Title

MURFREESBORO, Tenn. – Kaili Phillips got disqualified in the first inning of Thursday’s game against the Tipton-Rosemark Lady Rebels and nobody gave the Silverdale Lady Seahawks a snowball’s chance of winning that game. But they did. Nobody gave the Lady Seahawks much of a chance of repeating that feat less than 24 hours later in the winner-take-all final game, but once again, ... (click for more)