Board members ask superintendent to show certification proof
BENTON HARBOR, Mich.--Benton Harbor School Board member Lisa Gulley didn't let a pounding gavel stop her from voicing her concerns. She followed up on a community member's question: is superintendant Leonard Seawood legally certified?
"We sure don't need to be in a paper tomorrow that the board of education questions the credentials of its superintendent," said Dr. Leonard Seawood, superintendent, Benton Harbor School District.
Seawood says talk about credentials will only embarrass the school district, but board member Gulley says he has that backwards.
"We can scream all these things about embarrassment of the state based upon certifications, but why wouldn't the enrollment and the test scores be as embarrassing," said Gulley.
Board member Joseph Taylor doesn’t understand why it has gone this far.
"If you ask me for my degree, if Whirlpool asked for my degree I could show them," said Taylor. "It's not a peek-a-boo session."
Taylor says the law clearly states the rules.
"If you haven't started your courses within six months of employment then the district has to get rid of you," said Taylor.
If he has started courses--he has just over three years to finish.
"I was hired on July 22, my three and a half years will be up in November," said Seawood. "We got this vetted in the state of Michigan in Miller Johnson."
Seawood's refusal to let anyone see the papers up-close still leaves some folks with questions.
"No I still don't buy it because I know that they would do anything to keep him," said Rev. Edward Pinkney.