School board needs change - Coeur d'Alene Press: My Turn

School board needs change

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Posted: Saturday, March 30, 2013 12:00 am

I had the privilege to be the chair of the annual Sorensen Magnet School for the Arts and Humanities this year on March 23. The event was a huge success again, up over 15 percent in revenue from the prior year. This little school of around 300 K-6 students manages to raise their own funds to support the magnet curriculum. This year it looks like the 2013 auction will raise a total of around $85,000. The proceeds will be used to purchase musical instruments, artist in residence, art supplies, theatrical equipment and licensing, teacher's continued education, special events, field trips and much, much more. It truly is an amazing school with dedicated parents and, what we believe to be, one-in-a-million teachers all working toward a common goal, the best education achievable.

You could say I have some "skin in the game" being a Sorensen Alumni myself, a downtown business and property owner and now have two children attending Sorensen this year. Being the auction chair, for the second year, as well as being intimately involved in every auction since the inception of the magnet school concept eight years ago, I have paid very close attention to the school board, its changes and how it now treats its schools, administrators and teachers. I have gone to many of the board meetings and have provided marketing services through my firm to help promote the last M&O levy and school bond to help ensure their passage.

So, upward of 400 people came on Saturday night to show their support both financially and personally to a little school that was to be shuttered just seven years ago due to low student count, lagging test scores and a badly aging building. Today, Sorensen is a top testing school with a waiting list in the hundreds. It is slated for building updates over the summer and praised by Realtors for improving property values. All of this can be attributed to the parents and staff who give 120 percent day in and day out. And, don't think it's because Sorensen is a wealthy district, or hand picks their students. It still ranks high on the list of schools with students needing food assistance. This school is a test case of what can be done well in public schools.

What was disheartening to myself and to other parents, teachers and attendees that I spoke to at the auction is that not a single current school board member came to show their support and see what a special thing they have in their district. Not one. They seemed to have no problem clearing their schedules to attend the Republican Fundraiser Lincoln Dinner only weeks earlier. This seems to paint a picture of where their priorities lie, and it is apparently not with the children or the success of our schools.

At the very least the board could have sent one member to represent and show they want to see our schools succeed. But, then again this just helps solidify what I suspected, and that is, this board is not there for the betterment of our public schools or to improve education in our city. They are there as part of a strip-it-down political agenda, put in place by Citizens for Better Education and the Reagan Republicans. I just hope the parents and citizens see this and vote accordingly in May for new school board members who actually do value our public schools, have vision for what they can become and most importantly show it through their actions.

Thank you for attending our annual auction Christa Hazel and Tom Hearn. I wish you the best of luck in May.

Adam Graves is a resident of Coeur d'Alene.

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43 comments:

  • LTRLTR posted at 6:58 pm on Fri, Apr 5, 2013.

    LTRLTR Posts: 1171

    April 5, 2010 Letter to the Editor concerning Adam Grave's My Turn political stunt:

    "We have many active parents at Sorensen and the school would not be what it is without their tireless efforts. One parent chose to write a “My Turn” that was published in last Saturday’s Coeur d’Alene Press. Individual parents do not speak on behalf of the school or the school district.

    We are saddened that focus has been taken away from the positive activities of our school. We have a rule in our school district that we keep our schools and school-related activities and events free of politics. We hope everyone is reminded of this as we work together to keep Sorensen an amazing school both in our academic performance and in our community spirit."

    JANET ACKERMAN

    Principal, Sorensen Magnet School for the Arts & Humanities

     
  • DaisyMay posted at 7:45 am on Thu, Apr 4, 2013.

    DaisyMay Posts: 123

    And Adam graves has no agenda? yeah right!

     
  • hayden_guy posted at 3:25 pm on Tue, Apr 2, 2013.

    hayden_guy Posts: 400

    Ha! Good one.
    No, I didn't go to it to the cake walk, but because I didn't want to go.

    ...you are missing the point. Mr. Regan is claiming that the only reason he did not go was that he did not get invited. I was stating that he was invited, in fact everyone was invited. This is not that complicated of an issue.

    If he didn't want to go, he and the other board members could simply state- "We were not able to attend and we apologize."

    That would be end of story. When the blame starts getting shifted to Mr. Adams, who apparently did not send a personal invite to everyone in the greater CDA area (after organizing a huge event), then the fire has more added to it and the flames get higher and higher.

    There is no reason for me to feel shame.
    (...and you have no idea how many school district events I attend, so we can stop those accusations right now).

     
  • AnnoTater posted at 9:54 am on Tue, Apr 2, 2013.

    AnnoTater Posts: 178

    Humanist...The very existence of the Adam Graves endorsed Balance North Idaho is an exercise in deceit. And is indicative of the character of those that formed it. SO sue me.

     
  • AnnoTater posted at 9:50 am on Tue, Apr 2, 2013.

    AnnoTater Posts: 178

    Thad... Regan's remark was not racist, and people like you that toss out such garbage do a disservice to those that do experience actual racism. The FACT is that Obama is half black (a fact that the Left uses to it's advantage when it suits them) AND what he is doing to our nation is damned scary. Nothing racist about it. The biggest racist we have is in the white house, have you heard the sermons he sat through the last 25 years and most recently on Easter? THAT sir, is an example of a racist.

     
  • AnnoTater posted at 9:44 am on Tue, Apr 2, 2013.

    AnnoTater Posts: 178

    Clearly Adam "dropped the ball" by not inviting the board to such an esteemed event. If it was THAT important to Graves, he would have seen that the board members got personal invitations/requests for their presence. It's as obvious as the nose on his face what his intent was. Adam, you insult our intelligence as an electorate.

     
  • AnnoTater posted at 9:40 am on Tue, Apr 2, 2013.

    AnnoTater Posts: 178

    Gee Hayden Guy, I wasn't aware of it, I guess I missed the television ads and the billboard on HWY 95. By the way Hayden Guy, , you were conspicuous in your absence of the cake walk/fundraiser at Hayden Meadows.... Do you hate elementary students? Why of course you do, otherwise you would have been there, it was open to the public. DUH! I'm sure that all school board members have a calender of ALL district wide school events, heck they were at my grandsons spelling bee and the neighbor kids show ans tell. and where were you!! Grow up man, you shame yourself.

     
  • AnnoTater posted at 9:33 am on Tue, Apr 2, 2013.

    AnnoTater Posts: 178

    Anit education and Anti FREEDOM?? Care to stretch yourself and expound on that ridiculous hyperbole Mike?

     
  • AnnoTater posted at 9:32 am on Tue, Apr 2, 2013.

    AnnoTater Posts: 178

    It reeks of a SET UP and is just as disingenuous as Balance North Idaho is.

     
  • AnnoTater posted at 9:29 am on Tue, Apr 2, 2013.

    AnnoTater Posts: 178

    dtsinidaho.... how about you back up your assertion/allegations that current board members "devaluate" our educational system ? Let's hear a substantive defense of that pejorative statement. Man up!

     
  • AnnoTater posted at 9:22 am on Tue, Apr 2, 2013.

    AnnoTater Posts: 178

    Right on ... You ARE a wise guy!!

     
  • AnnoTater posted at 9:21 am on Tue, Apr 2, 2013.

    AnnoTater Posts: 178

    The "Balance North Idaho" ... NONPARTISAN political action committee is extremely PARTISAN. Their agenda is to rid the school board and other elected positions of conservatives. What is non partisan about that? Disingenuous at best, fraudulent at worst. Attempting to dupe the same uninformed voters that helped keep Obama in office by using the same dishonest tactics. It's in insult to the intelligence of Kootenai county's electorate, shame on Balance North Idaho!

     
  • AnnoTater posted at 9:20 am on Tue, Apr 2, 2013.

    AnnoTater Posts: 178

    The "Balance North Idaho" ... NONPARTISAN political action committee is extremely PARTISAN. Their agenda is to rid the school board and other elected positions of conservatives. What is non partisan about that? Disingenuous at best, fraudulent at worst. Attempting to dupe the same uninformed voters that helped keep Obama in office by using the same dishonest tactics. It's in insult to the intelligence of Kootenai county's electorate, shame on Balance North Idaho!

     
  • hayden_guy posted at 9:17 am on Tue, Apr 2, 2013.

    hayden_guy Posts: 400

    Thank you for the thoughtful and respectful reply.
    I guess like Mary, you find it easier to attack the messenger rather than the message.

     
  • hayden_guy posted at 4:13 pm on Mon, Apr 1, 2013.

    hayden_guy Posts: 400

    Then what are flyers and newspaper advertisements asking people to buy tickets to the event? Not an invite?

    If you ONLY go to large public events that you only get a personal invite to, I bet you don't get out much.

     
  • Martha posted at 4:12 pm on Mon, Apr 1, 2013.

    Martha Posts: 28

    It's too bad Adam Graves has to turn what should be a proud event into an opportunistic rant. You would think he would be handing out accolades to those who made the fundraiser a success, rather than whine like a teen-age girl about who didn't show up. The very fact that certain members of the administration were sent invitations by USPS mail, yet the board did not receive as much as an email seems suspicious. I smell an agenda here and it's not about the kids! I wonder if his business partner, Balanced North Idaho President Eden Irgens helped him write this piece.

     
  • LTRLTR posted at 2:39 pm on Mon, Apr 1, 2013.

    LTRLTR Posts: 1171

    Adam Graves said "They seemed to have no problem clearing their schedules to attend the Republican Fundraiser Lincoln Dinner only weeks earlier. This seems to paint a picture of where their priorities lie, and it is apparently not with the children or the success of our schools."

    Reading the above statement tells of Adam's agenda.

     
  • babydriver posted at 12:51 pm on Mon, Apr 1, 2013.

    babydriver Posts: 1393

    I did not get an invite, and no, I do not consider flyers or newspaper ads to be invitations.

     
  • babydriver posted at 12:49 pm on Mon, Apr 1, 2013.

    babydriver Posts: 1393

    The author, idiot.

     
  • babydriver posted at 12:43 pm on Mon, Apr 1, 2013.

    babydriver Posts: 1393

    Gee Mister,

    You make a lot of assumptions on why no school board members showed up.

    You got any facts to go with your assumptions?

     
  • Humanist posted at 9:52 am on Mon, Apr 1, 2013.

    Humanist Posts: 3224

    Ding! Ding! Ding! We have a winner! Your comment of "Adam who was scheming to sign the Recall petition with factious (sic) names" is libelous. We could probably find the original Huckleberries thread where his joking was very clear if you would like.

    You say this: "Adam Graves conspires and scheme's with Christa, Eden, and Dave O. to bring negative attention to current school board members." while in the following sentence proceed to smear Graves with false statements. Hypocrisy at its best.

     
  • LTRLTR posted at 9:42 am on Mon, Apr 1, 2013.

    LTRLTR Posts: 1171

    Humanist/Cda Humanist: His comment is factual. Adam later claimed to be joking.

     
  • Thaddeus posted at 9:25 am on Mon, Apr 1, 2013.

    Thaddeus Posts: 232

    Regan talking "Incompetence" now huh? And that from a guy who thought that telling (Repeating) a racist joke in a public venue was a good idea. Pot meet kettle.

     
  • Thaddeus posted at 9:24 am on Mon, Apr 1, 2013.

    Thaddeus Posts: 232

    Why bother Humanist, Adams has more class than LTR. Just consider the source.

     
  • Humanist posted at 9:20 am on Mon, Apr 1, 2013.

    Humanist Posts: 3224

    Quote ltrltr: "Remember that it was Adam who was scheming to sign the Recall petition with factious names. "

    Given the events that actually occurred, your statement is highly libelous. I hope that Adams pursues this as such.

     
  • LTRLTR posted at 7:34 am on Mon, Apr 1, 2013.

    LTRLTR Posts: 1171

    Thank you Brent Regan for your comments.

    Adam Graves conspires and scheme's with Christa, Eden, and Dave O. to bring negative attention to current school board members.

    Remember that it was Adam who was scheming to sign the Recall petition with factious names.

    It was Adam's engineering friend that blew a fuse with a Recall supporter and than called police to report an fake assault. These incidents tell me that those mentioned people will do what ever it takes to divide the voters.

    Shame on these bullies!

     
  • Gonkulor posted at 10:00 pm on Sun, Mar 31, 2013.

    Gonkulor Posts: 4

    An event is an event. Also an invite is an invite. If one is to have an event of such magnitude, they would properly invite all those involved so the arm rubbing could go through-out the room. To not invite board members is a straight dis to them. Plain and simple, they were not invited so their views would not be part of any hob nobbling events during the night. Plus, an invite grants you the opportunity to be apart of the function. By not receiving invites, it's pretty plain and clear how the board is regarded by Mr. Graves.

    He is nothing but a carpetbagger looking to make opportunity for his firm and fortune for himself. If he was really concerned about children he would help the board. Instead he is furthering his personal desires. If you really think he has the children education at heart, ask him about Common Core. Ask him how he thinks we should protect our children. Ask him what he thinks. Just ask him and question what he asks.

    I've heard and read enough about him to believe he has personal views which do not properly apply to someone who should run our schools. He has a firm for lords sake.

    Folks, just read and talk to people involved. Graves is a parasite.

     
  • justme posted at 2:16 pm on Sun, Mar 31, 2013.

    justme Posts: 136

    Sorenson is a big success story and to my knowledge has gotten full support by this Board, and I cannot image this Board not continuing full support.. This Board worked hard to pass the bond that allowed remodeling of the schools, including Sorenson. The Board did the right thing by supporting the tear down of the unhealthy administration building and allowing for the expansion of Sorenson. The Board did the right thing despite oppostion from many constituents.

    I can imagine the disappointment when they learned, after the event, that they were not sent invitations to the event along with the administration. Had they known that this event was more important than other fund raising events throughout the district, I imagine they would have dug into their pockets for the $100.00 a couple event. Correct me if I am wrong on the price.

    I know some of the trustees opened up their pocket books to support the get out the vote for the bond which was legal. Knowing some of the trustee I know they do not ask for gas reinbusement for the many trips to District office or to events around town. It is part of their giving. Some trustee miss many hours from work to carry out their volunteer duties.

    This job is volunteer so please do not be so harsh. Disagree with them, if you will on their decisions, but please do critize their commitment to the children. One missed function does not equal lack of duty.

    Have a wonderful Easter evening.

     
  • Brent Regan posted at 12:13 pm on Sun, Mar 31, 2013.

    Brent Regan Posts: 740

    If you are going to be indignant that someone does not attend a specific event you must be certain they had been extended an invitation. As I wrote, invitations were sent to certain employees of the district but NOT the Board. Those employees assumed that the Board had received invitations too and so did not put the event on the Board’s event calendar. Was this a deliberate “oversight” by Mr. Graves, Chairman of the event? One should never attribute an act to malfeasance when it can be explained by incompetence.

     
  • hayden_guy posted at 10:50 am on Sun, Mar 31, 2013.

    hayden_guy Posts: 400

    What does this have to do with Sorensen elementary school?

     
  • hayden_guy posted at 10:41 am on Sun, Mar 31, 2013.

    hayden_guy Posts: 400

    Mr. Regan,
    Are you saying the the flyers around town and ads in the newspaper were not an invitation to you? Do you feel that you needed a personal invitation?

     
  • Brent Regan posted at 10:33 am on Sun, Mar 31, 2013.

    Brent Regan Posts: 740


    I investigated the circumstances that Mr. Graves complains about. As it turns out, some members of the administration did receive invitations to the Sorensen event by mail. However, Board members did not receive invitations. As chairman of the event, it was Mr. Graves' responsibility to invite public officials. At best, his indignation is the direct result of his own incompetence.

     
  • hayden_guy posted at 10:32 am on Sun, Mar 31, 2013.

    hayden_guy Posts: 400

    Last time I checked, EVERYONE was invited to this. All they had to do was buy a ticket to the event.

    This was not an exclusive event with a limited guest list.

     
  • Mary Souza posted at 9:06 am on Sun, Mar 31, 2013.

    Mary Souza Posts: 814

    Adam Graves and his business partner Eden Irgens were key players AGAINST any kind of public vote on McEuen Park. They also worked hard to make sure the public could NOT VOTE to retain or remove the Mayor +3 in the Recall.

    They are apparently against the public's right to a real voice on issues of importance in our community.

     
  • Wiseguy posted at 7:56 am on Sun, Mar 31, 2013.

    Wiseguy Posts: 77

    Dave, who is this "middle right" you speak of? The vast majority of the voters both in Kootenai County and Coeur d'Alene are conservative and Republican. When the voters are given an informed choice (as they have since the Reagan Republicans started letting voters knowing the governing philosophy of candidates) they vote overwhelmingly for Republican and conservative Candidates.

    In May 2011 liberal School Board candidates in Cda and Post Falls you would call "middle right" were voted out by Reagan Republican endorsed candidates. In March 2011 the same thing happened with the Coeur d'Alene and Post Falls City Councils. Liberals and Democrats cannot pull the "nonpartisan" cover over most voters eyes anymore thanks to the Reagan Republicans.

    You may brand your friends as "middle right" but they are the same old group liberal power brokers that will spend whatever it takes to fulfill their "vision" for our schools and community and have no use the will of the voters.


     
  • boohoo2U posted at 12:07 am on Sun, Mar 31, 2013.

    boohoo2U Posts: 406

    What a kind sand box you play in Adam: Radobenko, Swieter, Chesrown, Crawford, and lets not forget Ms. Eden Irgens of the Arts Commission. Must be nice to have such friends. Must feel swell to be their peon.

     
  • parent posted at 8:18 pm on Sat, Mar 30, 2013.

    parent Posts: 347

    Well Mr. Graves, DID ANYONE INVITE THE BOARD ??????? Are you making MUCH out of NOTHING????? Is this one BIG political game or what????? You have lost ALL credibility to have pulled this. Shame on anyone who believe a word you say!

    WHAT A NASTY PERSON !
    So Christa and Tom, is Adam your friend???????
    I really do want to know.

     
  • Gonkulor posted at 7:26 pm on Sat, Mar 30, 2013.

    Gonkulor Posts: 4

    Mr, Graves.

    Quote, " I have gone to many of the board meetings and have provided marketing services through my firm to help promote the last M&O levy and school bond to help ensure their passage." end quote

    I'm very sure your services have no ulterior motives?

    Not inviting the board could be a huge reason no one attended?

    I'll come right out and say I sense the smell of a "Carpet Baggar", I know those are harsh words but your trying to swindle yourself through your own "Self in the community".

    Keep playing yourself up, go ahead. Your on your own agenda.

    Most honest, loving folks don't want confrontation and we trust the advice of those we elect to do the right thing. I do trust most of the officers I helped elect in the last election but your doing no one any good.

     
  • Miketeague posted at 2:44 pm on Sat, Mar 30, 2013.

    Miketeague Posts: 2627

    The school board did the damage they intended and have left the building. If I remember right only a couple were elected and the rest of the anti-education, anti-freedom members were appointed.

     
  • apathoid posted at 8:47 am on Sat, Mar 30, 2013.

    apathoid Posts: 211

    Still a bitter angry Little Guy I see Adam. Why don't you forward the school board your kids soccer and little league schedules too so they don't miss any of those and risk your wrath. Or perhaps you could give them credit for the countless hours they do give to our district. That wouldn't fit your need to spew venom and hate though would it???

    Let me ask you this?!? Did anyone from Sorensen extend an invitation to the trustees or was this a set up all along????

     
  • boohoo2U posted at 8:38 am on Sat, Mar 30, 2013.

    boohoo2U Posts: 406

    back to your Grave Adams! Ever consider the board members avoided stealing your limelight?

    Back in 95 with Steve Judy, the game changed for SE CDA. Those with "skin in the game" flew the coop in what could be deemed white flight, except it was the power players like teachers, municipal workers and department heads that headed for the hills and Coeur d'Alene Place.

    Eight years ago the press to build new schools to the Northwest to accommodate migration bankrupted maintenance for the older schools you so admire. Sorenson had many challenges like asbestos abatement and ADA mandates. Appropriated funds and the levy funds to remodel Lakes were spent on new schools for the affluent union workers.

    Get off the high horse you build to pat yourself on the back. Sorenson is destined to be torn down just as with its sister building at 301 N. 10th. Relax your grip on yourself. You missed the exodus - how soon before you start building out at KIDD ISLAND BAY?

     
  • dtsinidaho posted at 8:26 am on Sat, Mar 30, 2013.

    dtsinidaho Posts: 251

    I just hope we can create enough awareness in the middle-right to block the RR's attempt to continue to devaluate our educational system during an off year election. I think it will be very important for the Business people and Rational Republicans to put their money where their mouths are, and support Tom and Christa. A better educations system brings a better talent pool.

     
  • Randy Myers posted at 5:53 am on Sat, Mar 30, 2013.

    Randy Myers Posts: 1635

    Well said Adam. I am supporting Christa and Tom as well because of their interest, involvement and professionalism. Time for a change !

     
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