Community survey rips Blaine County superintendent, trustees

Blaine County patrons have spoken — and they have an earful for school district leadership.

A whopping 71 percent of survey respondents said they are dissatisfied or very dissatisfied with Superintendent GwenCarol Holmes.

GwenCarol Holmes

Elected trustees didn’t fare much better; 67 percent of respondents said they were dissatisfied or very dissatisfied with the school board.

The numbers come from a district community survey, released last week. The survey is not a scientific poll designed to reflect a representative sample of patrons. Residents were allowed to fill out the survey online or at district offices.

But the responses — from nearly 1,700 patrons — come in the wake of a year of turmoil in Blaine County. Former students and the district’s human resources director have filed court complaints against the district, trustee Rob Clayton has accused Holmes of slander and an online petition drive pushed for Holmes’ ouster.

The district released the survey results in a 410-page document — including extensive comments from respondents. Sprinkled within those comments are some more favorable numbers.

  • Fifty-eight percent of respondents said they are satisfied or very satisfied with the district overall.
  • Eighty-nine percent of respondents expressed satisfaction with district facilities.
  • Seventy-seven percent of respondents expressed satisfaction with district curriculum.
  • Sixty-six percent of respondents said they are satisfied or very satisfied with the district’s efforts to prepare students for life after 12th

Board chairman Keith Roark said he plans to take the results seriously.

“I can assure you there are going to be changes,” Roark said, according to Gretel Kauffman of the Idaho Mountain Express. “Right now is the time to read the data, read it again, and read it yet again to discuss it.”

Kevin Richert

About Kevin Richert

Senior reporter and blogger Kevin Richert specializes in education politics and education policy. He has more than 30 years of experience in Idaho journalism. He is a frequent guest on KIVI 6 On Your Side; "Idaho Reports" on Idaho Public Television; and "Idaho Matters" on Boise State Public Radio. Follow Kevin on Twitter: @KevinRichert. He can be reached at krichert@idahoednews.org

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