By Mark Vasto
Despite strenuous opposition to the move from both a grassroots and official level, the Park Hill Board of Education voted tonight to offer a contract to Scott Springston, Ph.D to succeed Dennis Fisher, Ph.D as the next superintendent of the school district.
The offer was confirmed but the terms of the contract were not disclosed by Park Hill in their press release Tuesday night.
The offer flies in the face of those opposed to the hire of Springston and the frequent fliers are prominent local officials and a determined cadre of active parents who even assembled in downtown Parkville for an impromptu rally Monday night to formulate opposition.
District 1 Commissioner Kathy Dusenbery, Parkville Aldermen Chris Fisher and Scott McGruer as well as Parkville Municipal Judge Sandra Ferguson have roundly criticized the Park Hill Board for not only their selection process, but also their selection. (See accompanying story.)
They are not alone in their thinking. According to comments made on the internet -- particularly on social media sites like Twitter and Facebook -- sentiment overwhelmingly backed deputy superintendent Mark Miles, Ph.D for the position. Miles, who came to the district in 2002, was recommended to the position by outgoing superintendent Dennis Fisher, Ph.D. Fisher will leave his post in July.
The overwhelmed were also underwhelmed by Springston's resume and the track record of the Valley Center School District -- a school district just outside Wichita that is about 75 percent smaller than Park Hill and rated far below Park Hill in virtually every measure of achievement. According to the California-based non-profit group "Great Schools," Valley Center rated a 4 out of 10 for achievement. The Park Hill School District currently rates a 9 out of 10.
If the Board hires Dr. Springston, he will start in July 2012, taking over after the June 2012 retirement of current superintendent Dr. Dennis Fisher. The next meeting of the Board is Thursday, February 9.