It seems nothing can top the Vigo County School Corp. scandal headlines as the year is winding down . It's the talk of the town.
In all fairness, I heard some good things about Superintendent Danny Tanoos today, although inadvertantly.
My son, Alex, and I were at a restaurant on South Third Street for lunch. A man and woman -- and I'm guessing their two grandchildren -- were seated in the booth directly behind me. I didn't notice them when I sat down, but soon the kids were hopping around and the two adults began talking about one Terre Haute school, in loud voices. Soon, they were talking about the current situation.
The man said he didn't understand "this petition" he hears is going around and some people wanting Tanoos to resign. I was sipping my lemon water and my eyes opened wide just as soon as he said that, causing Alex to chuckle. Alex knows all the current events for the county, since I'm so consumed with my website these days.
Now, I felt drawn in.
"It's not right, because the VCSC has 2,000- some employees. How can he be expected to know what they're all doing, all the time?" the man asked.
The woman quickly agreed. She said she had met him a few times while at community events. The man said he had too, as he works in building trades. They both agreed "he is very nice." I thought it was interesting, since I've notice a few others have also defended Tanoos along these lines on social media.
I was thinking that I wished I could relate to their experiences, but ok. I enjoy trying to see all sides of a story. And, I honestly thought it was great that they happened to be talking positively about someone much of our community does't seem to have much faith in right now.
The woman then noted that one time she was attending an event , and Tanoos came and picked up the plates she and others at her table had finished using, which impressed her a great deal.
That's a nice gesture, but I'm just wondering how is he going to pick up the mess on his own table now, after two VCSC employees were just arrested and a full blown FBI investigation was underway?
"He is always helping people," she said, adding," He goes out of his way for children,"
OK. So, now the woman was was losing me.
In my dealings -- in other school districts in surrounding counties-- the occasional dramas unfold, but nothing at all like this year, here. I've asked some uncomfortable questions in the past, and each and every one of those previous superintendents had a response quickly. They dealt with it, as they should -- not just let the cards fall as they may.
I vivdly recall being present for several hours outside the administration office in June when the FBI raided the building downtown. He fled in his convertable, without a word to reporters. Without a word to the public.
And, when Tanoos wasn't present last Wednesday for an emergency school board meeting, after Frank Shahadey and Frank Fennell were arrested on theft charges ---It was shocking and irresponsible. So far, we have heard very little from him and what his plan is to move forward from the scandal fallout.
Journalist, Terre Haute
Lucy Perry, 45, enjoys writing about issues in her hometown. She periodically expresses personal opinions in her blog, Terre Haute Times.
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