At the school board club meeting on January 30, there was an update on the status of the reopening of the pool at Estancia High School. This is the one that was drained and closed before any plans were in place to replace it.

At the meeting, the school board club was told that “progress is going,” and that during the week of Jan. 29:

  • The acid tank and the metering for the acid tank is getting ready to be installed
  • The joints on the deck are being caulked
  • Vendors are working on the pool lights

The bottom line: “With these various vendors, we may be able to beat our schedule.”

Everyone left at the meeting was thrilled.

Great news. Of course, the board should not have had to hear such a report and I shouldn’t have to write about a re-opening because it should not have been closed in the first place. But that principle is lost on the school board club and the superintendent.

What is also lost on the superintendent is the need for a formal, public apology for closing the pool. What is a formal, public apology? It should mean extending an invitation from the superintendent to the aquatics team members, their coaches, and their parents to a regularly scheduled school board meeting, using the words, “I’m sorry,” and taking complete responsibility for the entire mess.

But that’s not how it works in the M-MUSD. When a problem arises, the superintendent is most likely to:

  • Avoid making any public statement and let a subordinate take the heat
  • Do the stall, stifle, and stymie and wait until everyone forgets about the problem
  • Conduct a fake investigation – perhaps including some fake community outreach meetings in which district representatives act attentive and concerned. 
  • Throw someone under the bus

A formal, public apology is NOT apologizing to an empty room. (Just in case there is any thought of handling it this way.)

And FWIW, were I the superintendent, I would have handed this project off to someone other than the person or people who (mis)managed it in the first place.

But that’s just me.

Steve Smith
Taxpayer, N-MUSD