Hopefully by now you’ve read today’s story on Roanoke School Board Chairman David Carson, who will step down today.
As he departs we tried to take a look back at his tenure, which was pretty formative for the school system. He’s led the division through good times and bad, in fact he was chair through plenty of tough times.
It’s a hard story to tell and as long as it was it could have been longer (be honest, would you really read a 51 inches story?). So I thought I would share some of the items that got cut for the sake of space. Here we go.
I asked Carson if it was a gamble to begin serving on the board in hopes of turning around a troubled school system when his daughter was already in middle school. One of the most interesting he said (it broke my little reporter heart to see it cut) was that it didn’t feel like it at the time, but today?
“In hindsight it was a gamble,” he said.
To me that is incredibly interesting for a couple reasons. It shows how much has changed since he started on the board. It’s also an example of one person seeing a problem and taking it upon themselves to step in and do what they can. That might also illustrate how little he knew getting into things, which was touched on some what in the story.
“All I knew was I was getting involved,” he said, adding, “I don’t do anything halfway.”
His colleagues on the board also had lots of things to say about him, particularly with how great of a communicator he is, which probably goes without saying. Board Vice Chairman Todd Putney remarked Carson’s always prepared and at one point he even used to carry around a binder of information so he could back up decisions the board made.
Board member Mae Huff said he’s good at getting everyone going in the right direction. She said without him: “I just don’t think we would have come as far.”
Another voice, which didn’t make it into the piece, was that of former mayor Nelson Harris. Harris was mayor when Carson was appointed to the board and when Carson was first named chair.
“What you saw at a school board meeting was the same you saw at a breakfast meeting of just the four of us,” he said.
Harris also said he could always see Carson holding another office.
“I just thought Dave Carson would have made an outstanding mayor of the city,” he said.
I thought that was interesting because in an earlier interview with Putney he said the same thing.
“David Carson in my mind could be mayor rather easily,” Putney said.
So what do you think? Have thoughts or memories about Carson’s time on the board? Share them in comments section below.
And come back this afternoon for more on last night’s meeting with finalists for Patrick Henry High School principal.