Parent Advisory Committees

Parent committees are a device used by superintendents to test the waters and to deflect criticism.

How they are used depends on the superintendent.

The first such committee that came to my attention was set up in the 1980's by Superintendent Gordon Brown. It was called the Century Citizens for Educational Excellence or CCEE for short. It was peopled, as most of them are, with people that are, for the most part in tune with the superintendent, who will go along with most anything, who are businessmen with a vested interest in public schools, their location, and their curriculum, who have children who are outstanding students or athletes, parents who really want to offer their experience and advice, or citizens who haven't a clue what they are being asked to do.

This committee never did anything notable. [See below for a description of their activities.] Its members included in 1984 (and members were changed out yearly):  Mrs. Margaret Ahearn, Mr. Bill Bartlett, Mr. James Beckner, Mr. Kenneth Berger, Mrs. Pat Berry, Mr. Allen Blackledge, Mrs. Cindy Blanks, Mrs. Diana Boring, Mrs. Maria Brown, Mrs. A. J. Brune, Mrs. Beverly Burch, Mr. Doyle Calender, Mrs. Candy Carson, Mrs. Virginia Champion, Mr. Grady Coffey, Mr. Gerald Coleman, Mr. Otto E. Crenwelge, Mrs. Gwen Davis, Mrs. Edna Dollins, Mrs. Debra Douglas, Mr. Marlan W. Downey, Mrs. Nancy Dunn, Mr. and Mrs. Joseph K. Ellis, Mrs. Sue Feil, Mrs. Nancy Floyd, Miss Tammy S. Franz, Mr. and Mrs. William Frey, Mrs. Paul E. Geddes, Mrs. Danton Goodart, Mr. Phil Griener, Mrs. Kay Guzman, Mrs. Loretta Hawkins, Mr. and Mrs. Pat Hawkins, Mrs. Karen Hignite, Mr. Bob Holloway, Mrs. Cindy Hudgens, Mrs. Robert A. Hutchison, Mrs. Carolyn Jones, Mr. Emory Jones, Mr. Daniel Kasprowicz, Mr. Robert Keeling, Mr and Mrs. Gerard Kendall, Mrs. Laura Krustchinshky, Mr. W. R. Leggett, Mrs. Connie Lewis, Mr. Brandon Lobb, Mr. Rosario Lozano, Mr. Robert Mack, Jr., Mrs. James Magee, Mrs. Elizabeth Marble, Mrs. Jan Marcum, Mrs. Michael Mayell, Mrs. Dennis Mitchell, Mrs. Chris Morehead, Mr. Jesse Pacheco, Mrs. Allen Peterson, Mrs. Londa Pontius, Mrs. Thomas Powell, Mr. William Powell, Mr. and Mrs. Walter Pratorius, Mrs. Emily Rice, Mrs. Waldean Rylander, Mrs. Marietta Schneider, Mr. George Scott, Mrs. Pam Sharp, Mrs. Kath Shelton, Mrs. Eileen Shivers, Mrs. Cindy Skinner, Mrs. Ginger Slivensky, Mrs. Audrey South, Mrs. Jan Spitzenberger, Miss Christian Stephensen, Mrs. Debbie Stoddard, Mr. Brian Stoker,  Mrs. Sharon K. Takahashi, Mrs. Brenda Theriot, Mr. Robert Tiffany, III, Mrs. Robert Tiffany, Mrs. Paula Jean Tigert, Mrs. Kay Tomlinson, Mrs. Ginger Troup, Mrs. Sharon Turner, Mrs. Barbara Voight, Miss Halle Wakefield, Mr. Peter Waldheim, Mr. Mike Walker, Mrs. Connie Welsch, Miss Janelle Wertzberger, and Mrs. Jeannie Williamson.

From the On Review Winter publication in 1984 were these paragraphs describing the work of this committee:

"Over forty [actually 89 but who's counting? MM] Century Citizens for Educational Excellence members are serving on three Board of Trustees study committees this year.

One study group is examining drug and alcohol abuse.  A second group is preparing a report on attracting and keeping good teachers in the profession.  What constitutes a good school and how much it is worth is the third group's study topic.  The study groups met for the first time Monday, December 3 [1984].  Obviously the committees weren't given very much in the way of significant work to do!

CCEE members, made up of almost one hundred Katy ISD residents [see my article elsewhere on how KISD administrators have a hard time counting MM], serve one-year terms.  Membership includes elementary, junior, and senior high school parents, junior, and senior high student council presidents, major taxpayers, and retired citizens, as well as board-appointed representatives.

The first committee that I got on, and I had to nag Bonnie Holland to get on it, was the committee associated with the Gifted and Talented program.  They really didn't want me on it, but I insisted.

The next committee that I recall was a Superintendent's Advisory Committee formed by Superintendent Linda Woodward.  Woodward was a nice lady who tried really hard to fix the Katy schools.  But she didn't understand politics, and she especially didn't understand Old Katy politics.

Other committees followed and now the school district has more committees than fleas. They make people feel useful and wanted. It's sort of comical to watch.