Reader wonders if Gaines’ AASA post in best interest of Mehlville

To the editor:

Last week’s letter by former Mehlville Board of Education member Venki Palamand about superintendents interested in traveling and building a resume reminded me about an article I read in the April 5 edition of the Call.

In that article, I learned that Mehlville Superintendent Chris Gaines recently was elected president-elect of the American Association of School Administrators, or AASA — the idea being that this will give Gaines a platform to talk about Mehlville on the national stage.

However, as a Mehlville School District resident and a business owner in the community, I take pause to ask how does this benefit the school district, seriously considering that to date, Mehlville hasn’t accomplished anything yet.

With test scores at or near the bottom of state averages, and many major changes, including redistricting, the implementation of Proposition R and the start of a new elementary school of innovation, can Mehlville afford to have a superintendent who is traveling or distracted or at a minimum has his eyes on other agendas?

Was the school board consulted as to this move, and what restrictions were established to ensure that this does not end up becoming a conflict for the district?

I would think that our school board hired Chris Gaines to be focused on the issues that are immediately at hand and would need his full attention as we head through these challenging times.

I wonder how many other businesses would be comfortable with a situation similar to this?

Is Gaines’ position with the AASA in the best interest of the Mehlville School District?

Bob Franey

Oakville