By Ashley Rader
Meeting Friday to review Director Ed Alexander’s performance, Elizabethton Board of Education members agreed that improving their relationships with each other and Alexander would be key to doing what is best for the school system.
Board chair Rita Booher said it was no secret that there were issues for the board, and suggested members have a board retreat hosted by a Tennessee School Board Association professional to help them talk through their issues and help board members gain a better understanding of what their role is in the system.
“Sometimes our role gets murky,” Booher said. “If you are a new member, you might not know what exactly a board member is supposed to do, and if you are a veteran member, sometimes you might take on too much. This can make you frustrated because your expectations are not being met.”
She said as board members, they hold an oversight role for the system. She said it was important for the board members to know what was going on in the system, but that they did not need to be aware of things the minute they occurred unless it were an emergency or special situation.
Board member Phil Isaacs said each individual has their faults or areas that could be improved. He said a board retreat would be a positive experience for the board and would help him to be sure of what exactly his role is as a board member.
“I would like see us as a group work closer with the director and staff to let the system continue to move forward,” he said.
Dr. Grover May said there were some issues in the relationships of the board members that could lead them to be dysfunctional, but that they had not yet reached that point. He said the board does work professionally together.
“We need to move forward as a team,” May said. “We need to treat each other with respect. We need the ability to bond as a team. We need to be transparent with each other and get to know each other. Relationships underpin everything we do. There are issues but I think we can get past them if we recommit ourselves to each other.”