- Last Updated on Wednesday, 01 July 2009 20:12
- Published on Wednesday, 01 July 2009 20:12
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At Colonial Beach School Board's most recent meeting, resident Margaret Antosz addressed the board with concerns that it has accomplished little in the last year other than for members to bicker amongst themselves.
Her original desire to address only certain members was quickly squelched by Chairman Timothy Trivett who said she would have to address the board as a whole. Antosz wished to address Chairman Trivett, Mike Looney and Ann Congdon who campaigned in May of 2008 as a group known as TLC.
Antosz complained of broken campaign promises, lack of accomplishments and an inability of the members to get along.
“When you were campaigning, you made promises to hold people accountable and be open and honest; Mr. Trivett, you have not,” Antosz said.
Turning her attention to the whole group she said, “You all haven’t done anything this year except fight amongst yourselves, you have done nothing for the kids. I would like to know what you have done for our children this year. The only thing I know you all have done is agree to fix the heating and air conditioning in the high school.”
Antosz who has two children in high school continued, “You have meetings, you address issues and you say you’re going to bring them up at the next meeting. Then you don’t bring them up at the next meeting.”
Antosz referenced the newspapers as her source of information and implied that Tim Trivett leaked information about the school’s former Financial Director Barbara Worrell to the papers.
“Someone on this board betrayed this community,” Antosz accused. “Information got out that should never have gotten out. People of Colonial Beach elected you, you and you because they trusted you -- because you promised all this.”
Antosz focused on Chairman Trivett saying, “What got out about Barbara Worrell, which I called you before it hit the newspaper. You said you couldn’t comment. You didn’t have to comment because it was out. So one of you people have betrayed this Beach.”
Antosz brought up TLC’s accusations against the old School Board and Dr. Howard for misappropriation of funds, saying “you spent the whole year trying to accuse the old School Board which Patrice [Lyburn] and Rocky [Denson] were a part of.”
“OK, you got nothing on Dr. Howard, you got information on Barbara [Worrell] which the woman has devoted her life to the school board. Do I think she has done anything wrong?”
Chairman Trivett cut her off with “I’m not going to allow you to talk about personnel issues.”
A heated exchange began between Chairman Trivett and Antosz which resulted in some enlightening information.
Antosz said she spoke with Trivett on the phone regarding Worrell and her information ended up in the paper the next day. Antosz cited statements from Trivett that were quoted in the paper saying he did know the source of the leak regarding Worrell’s employment status.
Trivett said Antosz spoke with him on several occasions. Trivett said he did not recall seeing Antosz at any of last year’s School Board meetings and that he has no control over the press and who their sources are.
Antosz left about half way through the meeting.
Once the dust settled, comments from board member Ann Congdon revisited the issue.
Congdon sasid it was ironic that Antosz had voiced her opinions on that evening because, “The only thing I had written down for my report is that I don’t think we have achieved the ability to work together as a board.”
Congdon continued, “I would agree with her. I know for a fact, from my personal perspective, I haven’t been able to effect change in any of the areas in our school system that I was really hoping to do. I don’t think we have had any discussions about instruction, I don’t think we’ve looked at anything of real concrete value and depth, we haven’t received any reports from a single committee for the duration of the year and we haven’t received any updates of spending of our federal dollars or spend-down sheet.”
“I really think it would behoove us to take advantage of the training the VSBA offers to school boards to teach them how to work in concert,” Congdon said. “That’s what we are supposed to be: A board of people who work in concert. It doesn’t mean that we have to agree, but we need to learn how to exchange ideas and respect one another.”
Congdon took the opportunity to express her disappointment that a large percent of graduating students are not heading to a four-year college, an issue she has expressed for some time, but feels no one else cares about.
She touched on the issue that due to poverty many of the high school students don’t have driver’s licenses or cars in which to get down the road to Rappahannock Community College.
Congdon’s solution is to utilize the transportation already in place transporting students to and from the college and extend that transportation to graduating seniors to enable them to take advantage of the local college.
In other school news the board decided not to renew Financial Director Barbara Worrell’s contract and has appointed Janet Brown as parttime Interim Financial Director. Brown has come out of retirement and has previous experience in the position.
Barbara Hess has been appointed as financial assistant.
Monica Lotzgell has resigned as Spanish teacher for the high school and George Metz will replace her.
The board decided to postpone approving the ‘09-’10 school year budget in order for board members to review the budget more closely.