Roger Ward was toast as soon as the Kentucky Department of Education (KDE) called an unprecedented special meeting of the State School Board last summer to force him to equalize School Board voting districts. Roger, in his position as Chair, sought to protect his cloistered district and fought off both his duty to redistrict and Haley Conway’s reminding him of that duty for years. Having witnessed Roger’s juvenile behavior throughout his School Board term, his sour grapes after the fact complaint against current Scott School Board Chair Haley Conway to the KDE (see front page of Saturday’s Georgetown News Graphic) comes as no surprise and allows even the disinterested to see why our school system is in the shape that it is today. With his complaint, the man who was toast is now burnt toast. He was always only about Roger and this proves it was never “about the kids” for him. His legacy of disgrace is now guaranteed.
Even with Roger now irrelevant, his complaint does help us to further illustrate another disgrace – the effective facilitating of the decline of Scott County Schools by who should have been the watchdog instead of the lapdog, the editorial board of the Georgetown News Graphic.
The “editorial board” of the News Graphic is the paper’s editor and publisher, Mike Scogin. Mr. Scogin solely decides what is and what is not worthy of editorial opinion. It is editorial opinion that watchdog newspapers use to provide context of front page reports so the community receives the “rest of the story” that reporting isn’t intended to provide. Long time watchers of the News Graphic under the helm of Mr. Scogin have watched that editorializing more and more avoid those entities whose hand feeds a failing paper media. It explains why most editorials are reprints of other community’s newspaper editorials, and the few original content editorials that are published concern people and issues that don’t affect the paper’s revenue stream. Just ask Brad Penn!
Case in point. Saturday’s Georgetown News Graphic front page lead headline concerning Roger Ward’s complaint filed against current School Board Chair Haley Conway drew no editorial attention from Mr. Scogin. Had it been the other way around and Mr. Conway had filed a complaint against Mr. Ward, you can rest assured Mr. Scogin would have editorialized eloquently about how such an action only selfishly serves to distract the School Board from its important mission of “doing what is best for the kids”. But then, Mr. Conway is a demonstrated non-friend of the Superintendent who presides over the non-Site Based Decision Making Elkhorn Crossing School that hired Mr. Scogin’s wife at a very nice indeed entry level salary.
Without a watchdog overseeing them, the Scott County School Boards of the last twenty or so years have engaged in some questionable decisions of how best to spend the taxpayer’s money, and some questionable amounts spent and where so. The attacks and actions of Roger Ward and others do not come as a surprise now that we have seated a School Board willing to take genuine interest in and oversight of district affairs.
Sadly, district administrators who are feeling the heat, and with no other outlet, are retaliating, abusing their authority and even lying about district employees they feel have contributed to the replacing of the previous “blind eye” School Board. We as a community must not stand for this.
Mr. Conway – please continue to do as you have, stay above the fray and keep your School Board focused on the tough circumstances left you by the previous Board. Let the KDE worry with Roger’s complaint. Our guess is that they will see it for what it is and not bother with an investigation. But even should they investigate, stay focused. This community will fend for you.