You’ve probably heard about the criticism new Dallas ISD superintendent Mike Miles received about some of his hiring choices. Possibly the most criticized wasÂ choosing the relatively inexperienced Jennifer Sprague to be the district’s communications chief at a salary of $185,000 a year.
Anyway, missed this Morning News post on Friday afternoon, because we here at D Magazine were all out celebrating International Biodiesel Day, but Tawnell Hobbs has a terrific blow-by-blow of Sprague’s first board meeting. She didn’t do herself any favors with her performance:
Trustee Nancy Bingham, who chairs the board’s personnel committee, announced an agenda item that consisted of a recommendation to accept a donation from the AT&T Performing Arts Center to partner with six DISD schools.
Trustee Bernadette Nutall wanted to know the names of the six benefiting schools. Bingham asked who would provide information on the initiative. Typically, by this point, the administrator over the department would be walking towards the horseshoe.
Miles gestured to someone in the audience, presumably Sprague, who left her seat in the audience and took a seat at the horseshoe, sometimes called “the hot seat,” because it’s where administrators can be grilled by an ever diligent cast of board members.
Sprague took a seat and wondered which donation the board was referring to. After trustees got her on track, she said, “I’m not for sure right now as far as exactly how those donations were disbursed,” and she deferred to a district administrator who happened to not be in the room.
Meanwhile, trustees had found on the agenda background document the names of the six schools, and they pointed it out to Sprague. The schools are Sunset, Molina, Carter, W.T. White, Wilson and Thomas Jefferson high schools — all have programs focusing on fine arts.
(Note to Sprague: Always, always, know which schools were chosen for an initiative and why. Trustees represent different areas in the district and most of them will look out for their areas. If they don’t, who will, or so it goes).