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Board Members Resign from Lefferts Gardens Charter School

Lefferts-charter-school-logo We regret to inform you that several key members of the Lefferts Gardens Charter School have resigned from the school's board: Michelle Dees, Allison Jack, and Clark Dees. Another board member (though one who has never been active), Tolonda Tolbert, has also asked to leave.

I asked LGCS board member Mark Dicus about the resignations, but he said he didn't know why the members had resigned, with the exception of Tolbert, who has too many prior commitments.

As some of you may know, I was on the steering committee of LGCS for most of last year. I resigned in November, but Charles and I continued to support the school on the blog, despite our serious reservations with the leadership.

With the departure of the Dees and Jack, however, the future of LGCS isn't looking as supportable. No one who was actively involved in steering committee meetings last year (except for board chair Renee Ciccone and her mom, Elaine) remains with the group.

None of the board members who have left were willing to discuss their decision publicly. As someone who made the same decision to go quietly in November, I'm not exactly surprised. My hope for LGCS is that the remaining board members — Renata Gomes, Martin Mohabeer, and Brad Choyt, not to mention Dicus and Renee and Elaine Ciccone — see the resignations as a wake-up call and start seriously examining why they keep losing good people.


Public Turns Out for Charter School Hearing



Young organizations often go through quite a bit of change as they evolve. The internal machinations of an organization and its output are often vastly different.

What I have seen thus far is the approval of the charter, the establishment of an exciting and important environmental science program in our district and the hiring of Marc Magnus-Sharpe as the school leader. If you were at last night's meeting, you know everyone was impressed by Marc's statements. Even the opposition listened quietly and thoughtfully and that says a lot in the environment of the evening. I am around a lot of educators and I can say that the hiring of Mr. Magnus-Sharpe tells me a lot about the future of LGCS. I think anyone involved in the creation of LGCS thus far should be thanked and congratulated for making such a significant contribution to our community.

I am not interested in the internal politics of the school. I was at the meeting last night and spoke. And I tried to emphasize the educational value of the school’s core curriculum: the scientific method, evidence based learning and experimental learning. Through this type of education, students learn to gather their own evidence and draw their own conclusions supported by facts. And we must do the same despite our passions.

I am not connected in any official way to LGCS. I met Renata and Renee once at an informational meeting. I agreed to hand out some fliers in my building. I spoke at the meeting last night based on my strong belief in the importance of teaching students critical thinking and inquiry based learning. When I heard about the formation of this school (quite late in its development) I could barely contain my excitement for our community.


Seth, you know we can be excited about the charter school and support it and at the same time want the school's board to be successful in attracting and keeping the most knowledgeable and talented people.

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