Voices In Pearland Advocate Dr. CainFeb. 2, 2011
Larry Berger speaks from experience, having worked with Cain, the lone finalist to be the next superintendent of Waco ISD. As principal of Pearland High School, Berger has worked closely with her since becoming principal, and feels like her mentoring helped him ascend through the ranks from assistant to principal.
Whatever obstacles Pearland has faced to student success hasn't kept them down as a district, having been rated exemplary previously, and currently recognized. Members of the Waco board who visited Pearland before recommending Cain found a number of people who praised her leadership in achieving those rankings. Virgil Gant of the Pearland School Board was one voice highly complimentary of her.
In the Waco board meeting on Tuesday, members used terms like "demanding," "tough but fair," and "direct" when talking about Cain's style. Larry Berger said that those descriptions are accurate. Her leadership did not win everyone over in Pearland. Last fall, the Pearland board voted not to renew her contract after it would expire in 2012. Gant, one of the members who supported Dr. Cain, said personnel decisions related to budget limitations were controversial, and that a vocal faction in the district said they were ready for change.
Waco board members saw the situation as an initial red flag, but were satisfied upon meeting with teachers and administrators in Pearland that she would be a good fit here. Principal Berger, for one, is sad to see her move on.
You can hear more on Waco ISD's decision online at kwbu.org and this Sunday at 3 on KWBU Rewind. For KWBU News, I'm Derek Smith.