My Goals Remain The Same Despite Recent Distractions - And Response

Wednesday, May 16, 2018

In today’s world of constant communication, it is very easy to lose sight of what is important, what is real, and what is meaningful. In the midst of sound bytes and confrontation, we risk ignoring what we should be focused on: the necessity of working together to create solutions for even the most divisive issues. 

Despite recent distractions and conflict, and despite my own personal frustrations at the inharmonious stances expressed among other school board members, my goal remains the same:

I believe that a school board must be responsive and receptive to students, teachers, parents, business leaders, partnerships, and the community at large. We should encourage an open, nonpartisan dialogue and work together with the shared goal of ensuring all our students are given the same opportunity for success. 

I believe our school board serves all of the students in the community; one student is no more or less important than another. We are a diverse community and should embrace that diversity, because doing so makes us all stronger.  

Our schools are here to serve the educational needs of all the students. We are here to serve our schools. Imagine if all of the opportunities, resources, and facilities were equitable for schools, students, and teachers in all districts. 

Imagine all the possibilities if we work together to make change happen, instead of focusing on the arguments that divide us. 

When I decided to run for school board, I wanted to bring new ways of thinking, new perspectives, and innovation to the school board. I have always believed we should learn from the past, and keep our focus on ensuring all our students have the same opportunities. 

It is difficult, at times, to move forward with the burdens of past failures, but inequities do still exist, and this is an issue we are obligated to continue to address. 

I do believe that we should continue to partner with community-based organizations to expand what is already offered in our school system, while continuing to improve that system from within. 

I am enormously encouraged by the recent strides made in our school systems through the collaborative efforts at HCDE. When we work together, we create Future Ready Institutes that challenge the traditional approach to education in high schools by developing career-themed small learning communities. When we work together, we bring complex, hands-on science and advanced problem solving into the classroom through partnerships with local organizations and businesses like PEF, Chattanooga 2.0, and Volkswagen. When we work together, we bring more art into our students’ lives, we increase open enrollment in our schools, boost funding for ESL students, find the best teachers for our Opportunity Zone schools, and much, much more.

When we work together, we can create the educational opportunities our children need and deserve.  

We should never say we can’t change something because it’s too expensive or complicated or difficult. We cannot dismiss the past, but must learn from history to ensure we do not repeat it. We have an obligation to acknowledge inequity and explore solutions. And work together to effect change that will benefit us all.

The inequities that affect our schools must be corrected for the benefit of every single student we can’t close our eyes to that.  As your school board member, I will continue to address these tough issues and have hard conversations about finding solutions.  Dr. Johnson is committed to make Hamilton County Schools the fastest improving school district in the state of Tennessee.  Change is coming to Hamilton County Schools to bring educational opportunities our children need and deserve.

Kathy Lennon
School Board Member District 2

* * *

Ms. Lennon,

 

I have no doubt you have a genuine interest in education. The task of school board member is monumental. It is a task that most people would pass on. I admire your diligence in public service.

 

However, you get an F for marginalizing public concern on your favorite organization that you failed to mention, UnifiEd.  Be honest, they funded your campaign too. I am looking at your campaign disclosures, same people.

 

I find your jabs at “other” school board members disingenuous especially  after reviewing your three campaign financial disclosures available at the Hamilton County Election Commission.  You have a similar donor footprint of UnifiEd candidate Katherlyn LanNore Geter.  You have UnifiEd board members, and a similar footprint of donors.  Of course, I just started your financial campaign analysis.  You see, I feel some of our elected officials are owned by outside interests.

 

Ninety-two percent of Ms. Geter’s campaign resources resulted from UnifiEd's direct funding, indirect resources, board member contributions, and board member followers.  I am finding the same pattern of names in your campaign disclosures. So, I find your letter curious at best.

 

Stop talking in veiled language of “other.” You are speaking about school board members Joe Smith and Rhonda Thurman.

 

That is clear as your campaign financial disclosures that bear similar donor footprint of other UnifiEd candidates.

 

When I finish my donor footprint analysis, I will share a copy.

 

In the meantime, how dare you marginalize public concern about a very fraudulent organization, by labeling public response as a “distraction.”  Your last day in office  will be the distraction.

 

April Eidson



Bill Lee Is Great For Tennessee

I had the opportunity to meet Bill and Maria Lee at the grand opening of his Chattanooga Campaign HQ. He delivered, what was by most accounts, a showstopper speech at the Statesman’s dinner in Nashville the night before. He and Maria should have been worn out, but if they were, they really showed very little sign of it. His energy level, for a guy that couldn’t have gotten more ... (click for more)

An Excellent Commissioner – Greg Martin

I have had the privilege of serving with Commissioner Greg Martin for several years now.  In my opinion, he has been an excellent commissioner and has represented the people in District 3 faithfully and with integrity.  There are several characteristics which place Commissioner Martin in the “excellent” category.  First, he is regular in his attendance of Commission ... (click for more)

Firefighters Battle 2-Alarm Fire On Workman Road Tuesday Morning

Chattanooga firefighters were dispatched at 6:03 a.m. on Tuesday, to a commercial fire at 400 Workman Road. When the first firefighters arrived on the scene, flames were shooting through the roof and the request was immediately made for a second alarm response. The flames could be seen for miles as a total of 13 fire companies rushed to the scene. The large, two-story ... (click for more)

Senator Watson And Rep. Hazlewood Ask TDOT To Move Swiftly On Highway 127 Road Project Up Signal Mountain

State Senator Bo Watson (R-Hixson) and Rep. Patsy Hazlewood (R-Signal Mountain) have asked the Tennessee Department of Transportation (TDOT) to move swiftly on the Highway 127 project leading up Signal Mountain. In a sternly-worded letter, the lawmakers asked TDOT Commissioner John Schroer to prioritize the road project due to further deterioration of the road. ... (click for more)

English, Ex-East Hamilton Coach, Hired To Lead Whites Creek Boys' Hoops Team

Rodney English, former boys’ basketball coach at East Hamilton, recently was named to a similar job at Whites Creek High School in Nashville. The move was made public Monday when English’s name appeared on the official Whites Creek school directory that is annually submitted to the Tennessee Secondary School Athletic Association. The hiring of English at Whites Creek was also ... (click for more)

Vols' Nigel Warrior Named To Bednarik Award Watch List

Tennessee junior defensive back  Nigel Warrior  has been named to the 2018 Bednarik Award Watch List. Warrior is the first Vol to be named to the Bednarik Watch list since the defensive trio of Derek Barnett, Jalen Reeves-Maybin and Cameron Sutton were named to the Bednarik's preliminary list in 2016.   Warrior totaled 83 tackles with 3.5 tackles for loss ... (click for more)