Wednesday, October 07, 2015

Joplin Bright Futures coordinator: I refuse to villainize C. J. Huff

In a comment left this afternoon on an earlier Turner Report post, Bright Futures Joplin Coordinator Melissa Winston explains that former R-8 Superintendent C. J. Huff no longer has anything to do with the local chapter and defends him, saying that she has "seen his heart and intention."

My office door has and will continue to always be open. Please continue to communicate - that's my goal! 

Dr. Huff is doing contract work for BFUSA to raise funds and spread the message about the model. He's not doing anything with us. And while there are many that have villainized him for various perceived missteps (not getting into that debate), I have worked very closely with him and seen his heart and intention. He's done a lot of good and is a very talented man. Perception is NOT always reality, plain and simple. I think this role with BFUSA is a good one for them because he has the exact skill set that they need. 

The best quote I've heard of Dr. Huff was this, "He was hired for his strengths, not his weaknesses. Every leader has weaknesses, and certainly Dr. Huff had them as well. We can spend all our time pointing fingers at his weaknesses, or we can be thankful that he brought his strengths to the table for our benefit." I, for one, refuse to villainize him or ANYONE, as I've seen the hard work and know how incredibly difficult it is to get things done in a complex and large school system (not to mention one that's just had one of the largest disasters of all time). 

With that said, I am grateful for Dr. Ridder's leadership and wisdom - he's the right man for the job at this time, and we're all learning a lot! My role is to be a part of making the system better, and that is certainly what I & the Bright Futures team are trying to do.

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