TRUTH IS THE DAUGHTER OF TIME! A crying Shame – Dr. Cheryl Atkinson
I have been involved with truths somewhat this week- my own struggle with “truth” :( more on that later)— the truths of the inadequacy of the “system” that is Lorain Property Maintenance Code ( the ‘orrible truth”) —–
and will we ever know the truth???
DR. Cheryl Atkinson came to Lorain (2007) – she was touted by one and all as the saviour of Lorain City School system. Her accolades rang from the lips of members of the educational community- the Lorain Board of Education- ( the fact is at one time -then President of the BOE Tony Dimacchia gave her a glowing recommendation- albeit to go elsewhere and then was shocked ;) )
-the ethnic community rallied around as did support from so many organizations and people of this community , the City of Lorain- the administration and her council people , even to the editor of the local newspaper ( Tom Skoch, Morning Journal). Dr. Atkinson had a plethora of resources upon which to draw. This community desperately looking for the way forward and offering her the help she needed. Lorain and her schools wanted Dr. Atkinson to succeed – her success meant our success!
In fact, in hindsight, we were so desperate for someone to lead us “quickly and efficiently” out of the quagmire that had become Lorain City Schools, to bring in a fresh perspective, to be able to do the “tough love” as she presumably had no “relationships or agendas” ( but hopefully the one ) which should’ve been “the health of a failing school system”, we did not see the tree for the forest of hope in this woman’s ability.
The story that started well with co-operation and hope soon became a community in conflict with itself- derision on the Lorain Board of Education- armed guard ( Lorain Police) protecting the superintendent from the public at School Board meetings escorting her to and from those meetings . Questions as to favouritism, spending that seemed superfluous to education. It was precisely that concern that led me to a public records request
This above post and request led to a meeting with a meeting with Cheryl Atkinson and I must say a “staff of people” .
I remember well that day I was shown into a conference room – I must admit I was a little flummoxed at the amount of staff required for a relatively simple Q and A meeting with Dr. Atkinson,
Superintendent Atkinson, Mr. Stewart, Mr. De Nicola, Mr. Woods, Ms Sanchez, Ms Tansy on December 6th, 2010
I looked at the amount of yearly compensation paid to them for their expertise as we gathered around that table and smiled inwardly – all for the benefit of answering my fairly simple and straight forward questions from me?? a blogger?? I was flattered. ;)
NOTE: You can find the answers to those and links to the previous posts on the subject here
But one question answered itself for me at that meeting – and Cheryl Atkinson answered without saying a word. On three occasions as I asked questions, that weren’t particularly “hard” but needed a clarification, Cheryl left the room those three times in tears in response to those questions – One question asked was about the relationship of Lorain City Schools and Compassion Baptist Church expenditure-
4. Compassion Project. Compassion Baptist Church
PO#303647 – $10,000.00
The accounts(s) from which the PO was paid. Please give an itemized breakdown of this PO exactly what this money was used for from what funding source or granting authority was used to pay this PO what are the parameters of the funding or granting authority and can the funding source be used for other services. I further request a copy of the service contract for services provided in the 2010-11 school year under said project.
this had a red flag to me because HUD was requesting records of their expenditures
HUD seeks more Lorain records on Compassion Baptist Church
Another question I had was about the expenditures for mentoring which included her husband and then money going to religious organizations for events – what was the criteria for these events to be subsidized by the Lorain City School system. Simple questions and only needed a straight- forward answer – one would have thought
In my opinion, Cheryl Atkinson was not a CEO, not a leader with strength of conviction and certainly knew how, with tears and emotion shaking in her voice, to ” derail” any further questions”–
Her staff looked on with concern for their boss, showing the discomfort they felt for her with long looks as she left the room, yet again excusing herself time and time again, with a catch in her throat – apologizing for her emotions.
Mr. Ron Stewart a consultant to LCS – shook his head sympathetically offered her a tissue as she left the room- He looked at me his eyes almost “brimming”
“Oh she has a great heart, she puts this system first in all she does , she will call me late into the night at my home with her concerns”.
I looked at this man, for whom my taxpayers money was paying a nice sum, and thought- excuse me but why is a CEO calling you at home late at night- surely this is business and should be conducted as such- I wondered whether we were paying extra for late night reassurances on his bill? ) but I kept my thoughts to myself – it was not the time or the place to get into personalities.
Were the tear breaks a manipulation by a woman who knew the result of such behaviour to have on the meeting or was she truly such a “weak and weedy ” individual worth the quarter of a million and more we paid for her expertise. ( In hindsight a crying shame!)
Either way, I left that meeting knowing Lorain City Schools, no matter what the answers to the questions, they were in big trouble with such a person at the helm- a fact of which I made mention to more than one BOE member and supporter of Lorain City Schools – and that is the truth!
for more money and greater exploits although some would argue “exploitation”….
“At times, she seemed more interested in her county-issued car, her personal security and her text messages (requiring the services of yet another taxpayer-paid attorney, Mike Bowers, former Georgia Attorney General!) than any kind of real work focused on educating children. We believe it is these ‘missing’ text messages that caused her to vacate her post. She exited quickly and quietly, slipping away to tend to her ailing father, and the details of his reported January 23, 2013 death, but never returning, instead sending her (taxpayer funded) attorney – literally imposing a checkmate on the Board and leaving a school system of nearly 100,000 students without a leader. Nice lady!
Entry filed under: a Cow -elle opinion, city of lorain, education, notorious opponents of exactitude. Tags: Cheryl Atkinson, City of Lorain, Dekalb Schools, Dr. Cheryl Atkinson, local politics, Lorain City Schools, Lorain education, Superintendant of schools.