Terrina bids Guilford County “good riddance”

The image “http://tbn0.google.com/images?q=tbn:OoRE-bhmMFj3QM:http://www.createyourbestlife.org/images/Picture,terrina_2005_0031_AWBC.jpg” cannot be displayed, because it contains errors. Local schools advocate Terrina Picarello, who’s also chair of the GCS School Climate Task Force, announced on the N&R Chalkboard that she plans to load up the truck and move out of Guilford County.

While I respectfully disagree with Terrina and her position on the bonds, I tip my hat for her tireless efforts to make changes within GCS. She and I talked on many occasions, and often, she was rumored to run for a Board seat this year. Sadly, it appears that will not happen.

Chalkboard excerpt:

Your schools here are ratty, run-down, out-dated dumps. Is that good enough for your kids? Are you willing to have the children and the teachers continue to suffer just so you can “send a message” to a group of adults that don’t give a flip what you think?! Is making the kids and the staff continue to suffer additionally really going to make a difference in the way business is done here? NO! At least if the bonds pass it is one more step that we can take to get SOMETHING done for the children here. But why don’t you all just put your own egos and agendas ahead of the welfare of children here. That seems to be what the culture is here. That is why this county is 20 years behind in building schools and having adequate facilities for children. All of you who complain about school climate and fights at school, much of that is due to over-crowding. Look at the research, it is clear that over crowding and outdated facilities adds to poor and unhealthy climate.

And remember, that all these construction jobs are NEEDS, not wants. Look at the detailed list if you think I am blowing smoke. If you do not pass this bond now, you are still going to have the same list of needs, but in a year or more it will cost the tax payers MORE because of cost increases.

And in case anyone thinks I am biased for political reasons, my family is moving out of here because of just this attitude. So I have no agenda. I am leaving Guilford County because the taxpayers and the County Commissioners do not support children. To me, this is not a healthy place to raise my children.

***********************

That’s a powerful statement: Guilford County does not support children. In some respects, she is right…look at the toxic relationship between our school board and county board. Look at the “politicians” we have on both boards, who put their individual agendas ahead of the children. And it does lead to an unhealthy environment for our kids.

But I mostly blame our schools, because it starts with them. Public education in this county is a joke. It is a crime, it is a sin.

It will not be fixed with one or two or three people winning an election…it will truly take all of us, it will take the village to fix this mess. Who’s with me?

I say myself from time to time that it is sometimes difficult raising my sole daughter in this area. She’s very curious and inquisitive and I am starting to find myself struggling having to explain things that Deena Hayes talks about during board meetings when we’re watching them as a family on TV–for a 7-year-old second grader, I shouldn’t have to do that.

And if I weren’t running for school board, I’d probably would be working from out of town or out of state, because I’ve been in the active job market since Summertime. With few professional opportunities for 30-somethings in this area, it makes it real hard. Being jobless is no fun. But this race is far more important than me. This school board race is for the children of Guilford County who have no voice…and they deserve a voice. In November, their voice will come alive.

So Terrina, I salute you. You have my best wishes. Thank you for all you’ve done for the children of this county; they are indebted to you.

E.C. 🙂

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15 Responses

  1. Adios, Terrina!

  2. “All of you who complain about school climate and fights at school, much of that is due to over-crowding. Look at the research, it is clear that over crowding and outdated facilities adds to poor and unhealthy climate.”

    So, is this the conclusion of the task force that Terrina has been leading? All of our violence and discipline problems are really due to over-crowding and outdated facilities? Who knew?

  3. I agree that Terrina should be applauded for the good work she’s done on behalf of children.

    However, I don’t think she understands or appreciates the real concerns that many citizens have. People who are skeptical about the bond aren’t anti-children or anti-public schools. They are concerned about the school board’s track record of wasting money, mismanaging construction projects and spending bond money for political gain rather than educational need.

    These are legitimate concerns. And Terrina’s obviously frustrated post doesn’t take those issues into account. I’ll give her the benefit of the doubt, because she seems like a nice person (although I don’t know her personally). But her post struck me as quite a bit condescending.

    Case in point: Andrews High School received a major renovation and expansion in the 2000 bond. But discipline problems and academic performance have declined since that time. On the other hand, Jamestown Middle was squeezed off the last round of construction projects, despite a critical need at that school.

    I can understand why people are skeptical about giving this school board hundreds of millions of our tax dollars. If there is a credibility gap, I suggest it is the fault of the school board, not the fault of the community.

  4. Isn’t there room to vote for the bond knowing that GCS leadership and the BOE will be changing? I don’t want to throw good money after bad , as my grandmother would say, but I also don’t want children and teachers suffering in overcrowded, run-down schools.

  5. I hate to say it, but I think Terrina was handed the spin that’s about to hit the fan…that if you’re anti-bond, then you’re anti-public schools. I said it before, I’ll say it again…do not fall for that spin. JS is on target. People are against these bonds because GCS is not trustworthy, they do not shoot straight downtown. I’ll vote for Eastern, even though this should have never been a part of any bond. And I’m not anti-Jamestown Middle, but JMS should have never been on this bond either.

  6. Cathy, with all due respect, I’d say between November of this year and November of 2010 will be a critical time for GCS. Time will be needed to show what the new leadership can do (new-partial board and new superintendent. Replacement of Duncan and Deena in 2010 will make it a true new board.) And while I can’t do it alone, if elected, I surely will work my hardest to restore the lost faith this community has in this school system.

  7. Yikes! Who wee-weed in Terrina’s Fruit Loops?

    Does she really think passing a bond is going to fix the problems with GCS? Poor Terrina. If money could fix this place, it’d been fixed long ago. This system has money out the wazoo, they just can’t handle it! For instance, someone PLEASE tell me why we pay bands to play in parades?? Is that a joke?? They each got 1,000 buckaroos to play in the Martin Luther King parade? Has someone lost their mind? It’s crap (not that MLK is crap of course) like this that is proof that this board would squander their own child’s milk money!

    Also, I hear Terrina’s moving to San Diego? Is that just another joke?

  8. A two-year wait seems like a long time, especially the way our school system is growing and the lengthy time it takes to complete a construction project. Terrina made a good point about how construction costs are constantly rising too.

    Who is up for re-election in November?

  9. Kearns, Childs, Sharpe, Garrett, Quick, Cooke. Childs is rumored to step down, Sharpe is rumored to retire, no one has heard from Kearns nor Cooke. Garrett and Quick are likely to run again, although no announcements have been made…from anyone.

  10. BTW, Cathy, I support TRUE public-private partnerships so that new schools can get built a whole lot quicker and more efficiently.

    I support taking real estate and construction matters out of GCS entirely so that our schools can get built quicker and cheaper.

    I support having a school system that will work with our county commissioners to acquire vacant land for future school use NOW, instead of bad-mouthing each other where nothing can get done and our children continue to suffer.

    If a new Wal-Mart can be built in six months, then we can get schools built in this county in the same amount of time. It’s about priorities.

  11. I agree that whenever government is involved with a project, costs seem to sky-rocket and delays inevitably ensue, but how do public-private partnerships work in construction projects? Have other school systems been successful with such partnerships? Eventually taxpayers have to pay the bill, right?

    I like you as a candidate Mr. Huey. You have a least two big things going for you. You’ve spent time in a classroom and you are a parent of a school-aged child. I will also add your support for the arts as a big plus in my book.

  12. Cathy, you make some good points. There certainly are many legitimate facility needs in Guilford County Schools.

    The problem is, I don’t think we can trust the current School Board with our money. It goes beyond just the normal red tape you expect with any government project. New schools in Guilford County cost twice as much as comparable schools in neighboring counties. Classroom wings are added to schools that are below capacity, while badly overcrowded schools are told to “Wait until next time.”

    These people have wasted millions of dollars of our money, while allowing more urgent problems to fester. I’m not sure I have any answers, but I do know that despite what Terrina says, opposition to the bond is far more complex than folks simply being spiteful.

    Speaking of Terrina, she left a follow-up post on The Chalkboard. Like I said, I’m trying to give her the benefit of the doubt, but saying inflammatory things like “I believe this is not a good place to raise children” doesn’t do much to further her cause.

    What’s that old saying, “Keep your words soft and sweet, because some day, you may have to eat them?”

  13. Thank you, Cathy, for the kind words and the show of support. Here are some links to munch on as far as public-private partnerships in school construction (pop that whole term in Google, and it will light up with links):

    1. The Heritage Foundation did a white paper back in 1999, but the general backgrounder is still relevant:

    http://www.heritage.org/Research/Education/Schools/BG1257.cfm

    2. The Michigan Education Report has a pretty good white paper and details the cost-savings:

    http://www.educationreport.org/article.aspx?ID=7511

    3. Wake County…just a few days ago, Wake Co. Public Schools issued a statement touting their new initiatives for PPPs:

    http://www.wcpss.net/news/2008_jan30_ppp/

    4. National Clearinghouse for Educational Facilities; links to several case-studies:

    http://www.edfacilities.org/rl/funding_partnerships.cfm

  14. Terrina was just being Terrina.

  15. Terrina is showing her true colors.

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