Only four people showed up for the 1:00 meeting to help shape the criteria the next Rockford superintendent must meet. One former and two current Rockford School District parents and an ex-teacher expressed their ideas for what makes a good superintendent .
Marti Bein, a parnet says, "That person would be able to surround themselves with people that would be qualified for fiscal responsibility, curriculum issues, for issues of equality within the schools."
Jake Henry a parent whose kids went through Rockford's schools adds, "And somebody that can stand up to the school board. The school board is a major part of the problem...I feel."
Everyone at the meeting said Rockford needs to take more interest in it's schools...pointing out the low attendance at the forum. Jerry Chapman works for the firm conducting the forums and he says despite the low attendance, he's been getting good feedback.
"We've found the people to be delightful. They're honest, they're forthright, they're giving us a lot of information about the school district and that's why we're here."
Rockford's current superintendent Linda Hernandez has expressed interest in keeping her job. She agrees that a search is necessary, but says she's concerned the nature of these forums only draws out members of the community who want change.
"I wish we had a very broad spectrum on who was gonna come in here and talk, but I think we usually have a silent majority in this community that doesn't say anything."
The school board insists these proceedings are not a judgment of Hernandez, they say it's simply about developing a strong leader. Hernandez tells me her lifelong experience with the Rockford School District combined with her one year as superintendent makes her the most qualified for the job. Her current contract expires in July.
Although attendance was low at the 1:00 meeting, there were six other forums scheduled throughout the day. Two of those will take place at 7:00 Monday night at the Booker Washington center and at the St. Elizabeth Community Center.