Wednesday, June 15, 2011

DIVIDED LOYALTIES? Columbia private school board member becomes Columbia public school principal

CIS board member with children in private school to helm CPS' Douglass High   
COLUMBIA, 6/15/11  (Beat Byte) --  Columbia Public Schools Board Member Ines Segert set off a firestorm of controversy when she moved one of her children from the public West Junior High School to the private Columbia Independent School in 2009. 
"School Board family bails out," read a Columbia Tribune headline. 
"How dare she turn her back on the very institution that she so ardently fought to have oversight as a member of the board," wrote Columbia Missourian columnist David Rosman.  "Her lack of support for the Columbia Public Schools should be a warning to the parents of public school students – don’t trust a board member who does not want his or her child educated in those very public schools."

Don't trust a board member -- but what about a principal?   Newly-announced Douglass High School principal Eryca Neville (above left) has had her children at Columbia Independent School for several years, even serving on the private school's board of directors.
"Dear CIS Family,  My name is Eryca Neville," she wrote in the CIS 2010 fundraising letter.   "I have been on the CIS Board of Trustees since 2008 and I have had children at CIS since 2006." 
Neville praises CIS' recent growth, urging parents and other potential donors to pony up.   "These are truly exciting times!" Neville writes, even lending her photo to the fundraising effort.  She is also listed as a CIS Room and Pride Parent -- right above Ines Segert.   
About her position on the CIS board, she wrote, "As a new board member, I have been utterly amazed by the commitment and energy of a core group of outstanding individuals who work tirelessly to ensure that CIS continues to provide one of the best educational opportunities available in mid-Missouri." 

News reports of Neville's new position as principal of Douglass High School fail to mention her long time association with Columbia Independent School.  Ironically, however, the Trib noted that she was a "former Columbia Public Schools elementary teacher."
A former Columbia Public Schools teacher who not only sends her children to a private school, but markets the school and sits on its board of directors.   Could David Rosman now write, "How dare she...?" 


  1. Sorry, but you won't get the outrage and righteous indignation from Mr. Rosman or others from the radical left wing liberal community on this one. Ines Segert raised the ire of the knee jerk liberal elements who dominate CPS as she so much as dared to question many of their wasteful programs and strategies. They were looking for any excuse to attack her and they found it. I wish Ms. Segert would have stayed on as we need people like her.
    As far as Eryca Neville goes we wish her to best of luck and success and applaud her desire to do the right thing for her children. But don't look for criticism for her decision to work for and keep her children in CIS. It is heresy in the lib community to criticize an African American (unless you are a Clarence Thomas, Walter Williams type) particularly an African American woman.

  2. There are several CPS employees that send their children to private schools, including a recent national teacher award winner. Should they be vilified? If it is best for their situation, wouldn't anyone do it for their children?

    I agree with the above poster. Ines Segert was great for CPS. She actually questioned things, rather than rubber stamp them. That is the job of the School Board; why they are elected, to be stewards of the taxpayers money.

    I am a CPS graduate (K-12) and my mother taught in CPS for almost 30 years. When deciding where to send our children, we were advised by current teachers NOT to send them to CPS if we had the choice. Too many issues...

  3. The complaints are all for the wrong reasons here. CPS has its problems. I have spoken against those problems in various forums over the years. Because of that I have no problem with Neville sending her kids to CPS.

    What I do have a problem with is a questionable hire by CPS in Neville.

    She has less than 3 years of teaching experience in CPS.

    She has NO administrative experience in CPS.

    She lacks an administrative certificate.

    She has not taught in CPS or worked for CPS in over a decade.

    This hire smells of back door deals or of simply hiring a minority to say a minority has been hired by CPS.

    Douglass has been a horrible program for years. Will this hire actually make a difference?

    Only time will tell.