The Christian County Board of Education met for just over an hour and half in closed session Thursday night to discuss the potential hiring Marvin Welch. The community and school leaders, who waited that time to learn about Welch’s fate, were surprised when the board moved to go into open session and then promptly moved to adjourn. The News Edge spoke with Board Chairman Barry Cornelius, who had very little to say.
Board member, Betsy Glover, who has been one of the most open about displeasure with Brady Link’s service, was absent from the meeting. Board Attorney, Jack Lackey told the News Edge she had been admitted to the hospital for a previously existing condition.
She and Mary DeBow were in attendance earlier in the day at the public forum, where after a day of “introductions” that were much more akin to interviews by different groups with stakes in the choice of superintendent, Welch faced his harshest critics, the general public—a group that has been vocal about Link’s performance as well as the district as a whole.
Dozens of questions were asked on a variety of topics from his job and dealings in Madison County and why he chose Christian County to his thoughts on discipline and testing. Welch says it has been an interesting day with a lot of positives.
He adds that he has spent the majority of his educational career in administration and his thinks he would be comfortable in Christian County.
Of Welch’s 27-year career, only 7 were spent in the classroom as a teacher. The News Edge asked him how he plans to increase achievement in the schools, a focus of the KPREP testing.
As a note, Madison County scored above the state average as a district in nearly all No Child Left Behind categories. The Madison County website says “Madison County Schools is proud to be student centered, data driven and continuously improving. The district strives to ensure that Every Student Counts.” Welch used several of those words to describe his vision for the district.
It is important to keep in mind that not only was the community interviewing Welch during the various meetings Thursday, but he was also interviewing the community to help him decide if he is willing to take the job offer, should it be extended. Those in attendance were asked, at the end, to place their thoughts on note cards that would be passed on to the Board of Education members before their meeting Thursday night.