My eyes bugged when I saw the notice of a special Charlotte-Mecklenburg school board meeting to approve personnel appointments Tuesday afternoon. The meeting will start with closed session at 1 p.m., the note says.
Last week's regular meeting started almost half an hour late because members were talking behind closed doors. I flashed back to three years ago, when Superintendent Peter Gorman stunned everyone by announcing his resignation with little warning. (Post Traumatic Superintendent Disorder, perhaps?)
But spokeswoman Tahira Stalberte and the board's vice chair, Tim Morgan, laughed at my urgent query about whether some big shakeup was afoot. The meeting is about filling principal vacancies, Stalberte said. Update: Stalberte now says it will include personnel other than principals, but she and Chief Communication Officer Kathryn Block say Morrison isn't going anywhere.
But those appointments are normally approved during regular meetings. Why the long closed session last week and the special meeting this week?
Morgan said it's a matter of timing -- waiting until end-of-year testing is over to avoid school disruption while moving as fast as possible to prepare for 2014-15. As for last week, he said, the closed session that normally precedes public meetings ran long with a long list of unrelated items, including property issues, individual student assignment questions and evaluation of the general counsel.
Speaking of school board drama, Stalberte is leaving CMS at the end of this week to become chief communication officer for Union County Schools. She's been a mainstay of the CMS public information office since 2006, with about a year's detour to Durham County Schools. I'd tease her about fleeing the stress of the big city and the Charlotte media, but consider where she's going: To a district where parents are suing the school board over boundaries and the school board sues county commissioners over the budget. I wish her good luck as she crosses the county line.