The following letter was sent by Ms. Susan Hicks to the Gilbert Public Schools Governing Board Members and interim Superintendent Dr. Jim Rice, following the March 11, 2014 board meeting. The letter to which Ms. Hicks refers can be read HERE.
Dear School Board Members and Dr. Rice,
I want to thank Dr. Rice for filling in for us at the helm of Gilbert Public Schools. You have arrived during the process of Gilbert Public Schools creating excellence in education as we take the beginning steps of restoring values, integrity, transparency, and accountability to our school system. Forgive our "construction messes." Thank you for being here.
I would like to address some issues that were brought up at last night’s meeting and Mrs. Humphery’s list of 10 questions or concerns. Mrs. Humpherys, I appreciate your input and questions. There were items on your list that caused me to wonder what your priorities would be for our school district. A major concern for me was that you questioned what this letter, this investigation, has to do with educating our children. I would like to answer that. Every governing, and/or administrative body has the fiduciary responsibility to see that the highest standards of integrity and accountability are achieved. Integrity and accountability should be the cornerstone of excellence in education.
At last week’s board meeting, I heard the term "pillars of character" promoted many times by various speakers. I have to agree, these pillars are the foundation of success. If you don’t build on a sound foundation, an organization has everything to lose. That would include money, and morale and everything that goes with that— in our case—our children’s education, the funds to the classrooms, teachers. Integrity, or the lack thereof, has everything to do with educating our children.
Your vote against scrutiny of possible wrongdoing, or corruption, is troubling. The activities under investigation may have happened in the past, but this investigation must be carried out to deter repeated offenses today or in the future. It is also of grave concern that various "misdeeds" may have happened under the oversight of previous boards and was ignored.
The letter that was approved at last night’s board meeting provides the Gilbert Police Department full investigative access, without a subpoena, and by no means is it a superfluous endeavor. This investigation is an integral part of education to improve student, teacher, and staff morale, as well as provide the best allocation of funds to the district.
Who would vote against the pursuit of integrity and accountability of any administrative body? Integrity, transparency, and accountability are of extreme importance to our students’ education at Gilbert Public Schools.