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School board wants Bartlett to be advocate for system

January 07, 1998

School board wants Bartlett to be advocate for system

Washington County schools Superintendent Herman G. Bartlett Jr. should serve as the school system's advocate in the community, Washington County Board of Education members said during a work session Tuesday.

Bartlett had asked the board for guidance on whether he should accept county officials' invitations to informal meetings.

He said he has resisted several invitations to join individual county commissioners and County Administrator Rodney Shoop for lunch meetings.

He refused them based on a general statement by the board that school board members would represent the school system in communications with the county.

In his past experience as a school superintendent, Bartlett said he always worked with commissioners with the understanding that he had no power to make decisions or commitments.

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When you depend on a political body for your resources, as is the case with the Washington County Commissioners, having them understand what's going on in the school system can be beneficial, he said.

A school superintendent should have the ability to be an advocate for the school system on an informal, one-on-one basis, said board member Edwin Hayes.

Such interaction builds trust, he said.

The board hired Bartlett to represent the school system and should let him do it, said Board President Robert L. Kline.

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