It is hard to fathom why, after only two weeks of being in session, the new Greater Albany Public Schools Board would dismiss without cause, and at the district’s expense, as capable and well-regarded a superintendent as Melissa Goff.
With no other reasons being given, we can only assume that retribution on the part of the previously censured board chair and the private and political agendas of other board members are the motivations behind such a myopic, logic-defying decision.
Melissa is a highly ethical, compassionate, knowledgeable and visionary leader. She has an extensive professional background gained by working at different levels in a variety of districts. As COVID-19 descended, Melissa immediately centered the physical and mental health of students and staff. She successfully led GAPS’ response to ever-changing, often conflicting, government guidance, even in the face of constant criticism and undermining from some segments of our community.
Lastly, Melissa was committed to greater equity in public schools even before the pandemic underscored educational disparities and the Black Lives Matter movement showed us all that racial equity has not yet been achieved.
The current board will be hard pressed to find a superintendent of Melissa’s ability. Even if it can, few individuals will be willing to put their reputations and careers in the hands of a board that has proven itself to be vindictive and self-serving. The hasty decision on July 14 will have long-lasting negative repercussions for our kids and our community.