Printed on: December 24, 2012

Put students first

Received Dec. 17

As a former Blackfoot School Board member I was shocked when I first heard that the board had not renewed Dr. Crane's contract. I worked closely with Dr. Crane, both while he was the assistant superintendent and while he was the superintendent. I highly respect him, and I believe he was one of the best administrators in Idaho.

I believe this because I also served on the Idaho School Board Association Executive Board, and in this capacity I talked to superintendents, school board members and others who worked with schools throughout the state. When they learned I was from Blackfoot many of them told me of their respect for Dr. Crane and were impressed with the way our district operated. Before I left the board, most members agreed that he was doing an excellent job.

One of the first things Dr. Crane taught me about making decisions was that I should always ask myself, "What would be best for the students?" It would have been easy to put personal feelings or desires of parents or of a student ahead of what was best for all students. When I look at the school board's recent decisions, I feel that the majority are not putting students first.

The news has focused mainly on the payoff that the board approved in secret, and I know that people see this as a huge waste. But personally, I believe that losing Dr. Crane was a much, much greater waste. (Word count: 244)

J.D. Tolman