Eileen M. Tyrrell

Eileen M. Tyrrell

Eureka, MO –Today, Eileen Tyrrell, Co-Founder and Spokesperson of Rockwood Stakeholders for Real Solutions filed to be a candidate for the Rockwood School District on the April 8th, 2014 ballot.

Tyrrell gave the following statement to supporter at a press conference earlier this morning:

 Rockwood Stakeholders for Real Solution, of which I am a co-founder and spokesperson, is in their 3rd year of bringing fiscal responsibility, accountability and transparency to our school district.  We have come a long way and accomplished more than anyone ever imagined, because we were not afraid to ask the tough questions and advocate for directing funding towards the classroom rather than bloated administrative cost. 

 The 2012-2013 limited scope audit conducted by the Missouri State Auditor’s Office, led by Tom Schweich, shed light on the lack of financial controls, oversight and outdated fiscal policies.  The audit also forced district leaders to hire a true financial officer to oversee the nearly $250 million budget rather than a bookkeeper. 

The Board of Education is currently conducting a search for a permanent Superintendent.  The new leader of our district must lead Rockwood away from the poor decisions of the past and put the focus back on the one and only area of education that truly matters, the classroom. 

Recent board elections brought forth much-needed change in the elected representatives on our Board of Education.  Directors Rogers, Morrell and Arkelian bring a wealth of private sector experience to the table. 

Yet, more is needed. 

Recently, a few courageous parents, along with a current Rockwood high school teacher, publicly expressed their concerns about decisions being made at the highest levels of our district that affect our schools, classrooms and the education of our children. Were they heard?  No, they were dismissed and disrespected. These are the citizens who need an elected representative who is willing to serve them first and foremost.    

That is why I have decided to take a leave from RS for RS and run as a candidate for the Rockwood School Board on the April 8th ballot. 

I’m running on my merit. I’m not afraid to stand up for the parent, taxpayer, teachers – all stakeholders of the district – and give the classrooms back to them.

I am here today to humbly ask the voters of the Rockwood School District to elect me as their public servant on the Rockwood School Board. 

“There is a crisis of leadership at RSD. They are not the shining paragon of education, nor are they trying. They refuse to listen to or acknowledge differing opinions. They simply decide what they want to do, dig up research that supports something close to that position, and then tell the teachers what they want. Teachers, parents, students, and tax payers have no input, even when we come with contradictory research and expert opinion.”  Paul Bozdech, December 6, 2013

 “Parents who complain are deflected or ignored, and are often given conflicting explanations regarding the concern.  Considering its prevalence, it’s hard not to view the source of these results as a management style or philosophy rather than a series of unrelated incidents.  It is a style that prioritizes authority over negotiation, and ignoring over resolution.

Many parents perceive a decline in teacher morale at specific schools.  At the very least, our teachers seem highly micro-managed.  They have over the last several years become unable to sometimes make basic decisions without first seeking permission. 

It is our hope that the Rockwood Administration will take a better look at some of the things happening in our school from the viewpoint of parents rather than from only the local school administration’s perspective.  Our children deserve leadership that models the ability to negotiate and work with each other rather than one that is entrenched in sustaining power.” Ben Young, Rockwood Parent, November 14, 2013                             

“Expectations for student achievement were first lowered in the Rockwood School District in 2010 when the following grading policies were approved by the School Board: due dates for class work cannot be enforced; homework cannot be counted for a grade; tests, quizzes, and projects may be redone until the desired grade is achieved. Parents and teachers were outraged by these policies citing that they conflict with future employers’ expectations of timely, proficient work.

But it gets worse. The School Board is expected to approve the following for next school year: students will earn a 50 percent on all assignments whether they are turned in or not (a 60 percent is a passing grade). Also, cheating and plagiarism will not result in a zero. These proposals not only fail to prepare students for the future but border on the unethical.

Parents trust that schools are preparing their children for life after high school. We are letting them down”.    Ms. Melissa Schumacher, current Lafayette High School Language Arts Teacher, December 1, 2013.