Prelude to an Atom Bomb

Tonight Duluth’s Superintendent Gronseth will have his interview with the Prior Lake/ Savage School Board. He may have last night’s meeting on his mind.

Over the weekend I was called by School Board “Director” Richard Wolf who left a message explaining that he’d like to interview me about our Superintendent. I called back and left a message of my own saying I’d be happy to speak with him. I mentioned this to Claudia and she offered some sober advice based on her long tenure as an HR person herself. To avoid lawsuits, she told me, I should be very limited in what I said lest some errant comment could be used against me to claim I had hurt the Superintendent’s job prospects. My reaction is to roll my eyes at this sort of advice. I didn’t, of course. Its good advice but I kept thinking about how Duluth got stuck with Supt. Dixon when the Fairbault community palmed him off on Duluth. Surely, I should be candid. That’s what I keep claiming to be.

Well, I got the call Saturday or Sunday and I was very positive. The reason is because I think Supt Gronseth has talents that could be put to very good use especially in a growing District like Prior Lake/Savage. I told Director Wolf that Bill had a good grasp of educational theory. I said I thought he had a lot of loyal staff. I did explain that I was in a minority and that I had recently been censured – and that I’d even voted for my own censure by way of explaining that our Board was very divided.

I explained that Duluth was the toughest School District in the state to run and that this kind of adversity would have afforded Mr. Gronseth the kind of experience he could put to good use elsewhere. I said that he had a very good eye for talent having hired some very bright administrators.

Mr. Wolf gave no indication that he was aware of my blog and I didn’t ask him or draw attention to it. When I mentioned the East West Divide in Duluth he said he had just spoken to Dr. Dixon who had explained this to him as well. I felt I should mention that I had no use for Dr. Dixon and blamed him for many of the problems we now face. I left it at that but wasn’t surprised that he had been contacted. I’m sure he was on Gronseth’s list of references.

After I was through with the interview I told Claudia that I had given an “obnoxiously positive” evaluation of our superintendent. Then I went on my cell phone and texted to the Superintendent telling him the same thing meaning the “obnoxious” as a humorous descriptive term. It was only my second texting of Bill the first and only other time being my fury at my treatment during negotiations a year ago.

I think the Superintendent caught my drift. He must be anxious about this job possibility and he thanked me. I wished him good luck. Then I asked if we could have a cup of coffee and conversation. I’ve been trying to get him one on one unsuccessfully for half a year. He agreed and I told him I’d make an appointment with his secretary the next day.

Then we had out Tuesday meeting.