Experience matters

Dear Editor,

Experience matters. That statement is most exemplified during the election of County School Superintendent. Orlenda Roberts has a multitude of educational experiences. She has also demonstrated a high degree of integrity, honesty and unquestionable moral character. She has served Pinal County and its 15 school districts and 122 schools with admirable accomplishments. I would encourage citizens to contact their local school or district to get information regarding the relationship between the county office and their schools.

Orlenda Roberts has been the Pinal County School Superintendent for five years and during this time her accomplishments and educational programs with school districts have resulted in Pinal County School Office being a model with a reputation as the most efficient and high achieving county school office in the state.

Looking at comparison of the experience of Orlanda Roberts and her opponent it is obvious that it is a mismatch. Mrs. Roberts has been in education her entire professional career, in Pinal County. She holds a Bachelors Degree in Education, a Masters Degree in education (plus 45 college units above the Masters). Her opponent has taught only 3 years at one grade level and has no experience with supervision of personnel or school budgeting. She clearly has no understanding of the responsibilities and authority at the office. She states in her publicity that she will wor with districts “to make school budgets sound”. The County School Superintendent has no role in deciding budgets for school districts. She also states that she will “create sound volunteer networks in our schools”. The state already mandates that each school have a volunteer site-council and most schools develop a parental volunteer program. The County Superintendent has no role or responsibility or authority to tell schools what to do in this area.

The Arizona Constitution allows anyone with a teaching certificate to run for the office of County School Superintendent. This includes, I suppose, even those with temporary provisional certificates. Arizona Department of Education informs me that Jill Brousserd holds a temporary provisional certificate which will expire in May 2013. Over the years I have witnessed three persons who had only the minimum teaching certificates to be removed from office by the courts. Let us not repeat the mistakes of those three counties by electing a person with no experience or understanding of our county public schools and who has no supervision of budgetary experience.

This letter is written based upon my 14-plus years as the former County School Superintendent and working with Orlenda Roberts for several of those years. It is an unsolicited letter and not written at her request or by her knowledge.

 

/s/ Dr. Jack Harmon, Ed. D.

Oracle, Arizona

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