- The Enterprise
- The Recorder
Q Superintendent Michael Martiranoís contract ends this school year after serving two four-year terms. Would you vote to offer him a new contract, or would you look for a new superintendent?
Crosby: I would vote to offer him a new contract. I think weíve done a lot of things. This time I want a copy [of his contract]. I have not yet gotten the addendum to his current contract. ... Thatís OK, thatís an issue Iím working on. I want it because we are going to be making a new one.
Q Which of the initiatives to serve student academic needs put in place in recent years has been most successful? Which has not?
Crosby: I think Fairlead Academy has been very successful. I knew they had small classes and they have 12 children in a classroom. ... The Great Mills graduation rate has come up 8 percent or 7 percent.
What did this, was it Fairlead or was it APEX? [As a school administrator said], I think, too, it probably is a combination because boys and girls can recapture credits that they lost or didnít have [with the APEX online courses].
The STEM program, I think, is one of the better ones. Iíve also seen that. My granddaughter is in that one. When children can excel, they need challenges. From what Iíve seen, anyways, it is challenging.
The Academy of Finance ... Many, many people at the [county] fair thought we should integrate that better into our curriculum because kids canít balance checkbooks, they donít understand credit. We brought this to Dr. Martiranoís attention ... and we canít afford to put it in every single school. ... I would like to see it as a graduation requirement. [The finance academy] hasnít been as successful as I would have liked to have seen it.
Q Has the board of education effectively made the case to the county commissioners for adequate funding for the schools?
Crosby: I have certainly tried and so has the rest of the board because we are a team. Last year they gave us an extra $750,000 in a recession. And I think thatís good.
What we still need more in the way of buildings. And thatís the state of Maryland, thatís not necessarily the county. One reason weíre not getting it is we are too wealthy. [The state] cut back the amount they funded.
In the future weíre have to see. I know one thing, [the county commissioners are] very frugal. And youíre dealing with two different groups a Republican board, except one Democrat, and weíre dealing with a little bit of different type on the board of education.
They werenít happy with several people getting leveled up after the budget was settled. They keep asking me these questions of how do these things happen. Weíre going to have to make a more effective case, because we have to have that money. Assuming that the state isnít going to help us, then the county is going to have to help us.
Q What issues should be included in diversity training for students and staff?
Crosby: [The schoolís newly hired diversity specialist] talks about likenessess and differences between races. That should be in there, I think.
What prompted this was the noose [that a student fashioned allegedly as a joke at Leonardtown High School]. How we treat each other should be in [the lessons]. What is funny to one person isnít necessarily funny to another person. And thatís what happened with that entire issue. And the only way weíre going to stop things like that from happening, we have to make everybody sensitive to those issues.
I also did a survey, or I didnít do a survey, but I went to my friend who teaches here. ... She is very critical. I said, ďWell what do you think about that?Ē She said, ďI did it.Ē I said, ďDid you like it?Ē and she said, ďYes, I did.Ē That was good for me to hear.
Q Do you think the school board participates in enough public discussion on issues before making decisions?
Crosby: No. For example, when they wanted to make 250 people contract workers, we knew about that a week before they intended to do it and they put it on the consent agenda. ... They knew since September 2011 that we were out of compliance and there was something wrong with the audit. ... That should have been discussed.
All I wanted to do was be given two more weeks. I was told, ďNo, you have to make a decision.Ē I was the only one that had the fortitude and the integrity to vote no. ... Thatís the one that is right in my craw right now. We have an opportunity, because we get everything prior to the board meeting, and we study it and we can ask the vice chairman — Iím the vice chairman — or we can ask the chairman about it for answers. But this thing, it really bothered me.