School board offers limited response to emails

Published 7:17 am Thursday, April 26, 2018

Danville board members have limited responses to presentations of the more than 5,300 emails acquired by members of the concerned citizens and staff of the Danville Schools, which they were faced with Monday night during the meeting.

Specifically, the emails of Board Chair Paige Matthews, and board members Susan Matherly and Lori Finke from Sept. 1, 2017 through Feb. 28, 2018, were obtained by the group. Members of the group presented some of their findings during Monday’s meeting, but said more would be forthcoming, as they were still reviewing the emails.

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Finke said via email, “I believe that we all have the same goal in mind and that is the best interests of all students in our district. I hope that we can work together as we move forward to find a new leader for our schools.”

Matherly first declined to comment, then said, “I would like to thank the wonderful and talented faculty, staff and administration who we have working in our district. These individuals work tirelessly to meet the variety of needs, even beyond educational needs, of our children and families. I look forward to the continued success of our school district in the years to come.”

Board Chair Paige Matthews also initially declined to comment, but later said, “I understand we have community members that are very passionate about how they feel. At this time, I want to concentrate on the exciting transition we have with the opening of the Edna L. Toliver Intermediate School this fall as well as working on the remodel of Hogsett. I am ready to move forward and appreciate everything our staff does for our students to make this a great learning environment.”

Former Board Chair Lonnie Harp was mentioned in the emails and the presentation by the concerned citizens.

“I guess I really don’t have anything to say. This isn’t an us versus them thing. I’m part of us. I think we’re all part of us and we need to look at it that way,” Harp said. “I support the board. I think we all need to move forward together.”

Board attorney Vince Pennington declined to comment. Board member Steve Becker also was not mentioned in the emails, and declined to comment. 

Board member Troy McCowan was absent from Monday’s meeting and not contacted.