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Looking for answers and true leadership

Marietta City Schools is currently facing some big decisions.

With the failure of the levy to support new schools, a reconfiguration of our district buildings is on the horizon. But behind the talk of the restructuring is another issue I’d like to address. Chad Rinard, principal at Marietta High School is up for contract renewal. Mr. Rinard has had nothing but positive evaluations throughout his contract from our superintendent. Despite this fact, there is widespread concern that Superintendent Hampton plans to non-renew Mr. Rinard. I compare this situation to a teacher having a student pass every test and quiz, but yet fail a course because the teacher simply had the ability to. If I ever failed a student, I better have the data and evidence to support it. Education is driven and shaped by the data and information available. So Mr. Hampton, where is the justification coming from?

I can’t help but wonder if this decision is driven by more than a desire “to go in a different direction.” It is becoming more and more clear that we have a board member whose only concern and reason to serve on the board revolves around a vendetta over a high school basketball coaching position. Upon his non-renewal as a basketball coach for documented violations a few years ago, this BOE member made his sole focus on getting revenge on those that he felt did him wrong. And in this case, Mr. Rinard is the target. The attacks Mr. Rinard has faced go beyond his professional role as a principal. There is a community member, who claims to be Marietta’s number one athletic supporter, that has taken pictures of Mr. Rinard and his children at sporting events to share with the board of education. There is so much that is wrong with this, but I can’t help but ask what is the motivation? What is this trying to prove? This same community member has verbally assaulted Mr. Rinard at school and sporting events (to the point law enforcement got involved on one occasion) over things ranging from why certain athletes are even allowed to play to the fact that Mr. Rinard didn’t even graduate from Marietta High School. According to this same person, you, your parents and grandparents have to be an MHS graduate to bring anything good to our district. We have countless employees that aren’t MHS grads that bring a lot of value to our district.

Again, all of this over a high school coaching position. With such energy and effort being put into removing Mr. Rinard, one would think the success of our athletic programs was part of our district report card (it’s not in case you’re wondering). Instead, our district is left with uncertainty during a very difficult time and a lack of true leadership from those elected/hired to provide it. Now is the time we demand our leadership gets their priorities in line.

Adam Eichhorn

Marietta, Ohio