Jim Gunner was deemed the right man to continue the work started by Dennis Rectenwald in Perkins schools. Board members were impressed with his credentials, his track record and his desire to take on a new challenge with fervor.
None of that has changed.
The challenge he faces is just a little bigger because of his dip in the job pool of Oregon Schools, near Toledo. When a leadership position opened in his hometown, at a school in which he coached and taught, he checked it out. His former colleagues apparently thought enough of his abilities to move his name to the short list.
After deliberation, and without knowing if he would be offered the job that would bring him back home, Gunner decided to honor his commitment and withdraw his name from consideration in Oregon. This should have calmed the disappointment and anger that some Perkins' residents felt.
The man they chose is still on the job and has even apologized for stirring up any bad feelings. Now all concerned can get back to work making the district as good as it can be. That's the path chosen by Gunner and others who recognize what must be done.
Unfortunately, there also resides in the township a bitter faction that holds tightly to the reflexive mistrust and critical judgment typical of the doom-and-gloom crowd. They question Gunner's loyalty. Loyalty is earned and comes with time. It's not turned on as you cross the line into the township, nor is it fostered by negative comments.
If Gunner is to improve Perkins schools, he will need the cooperation of the community -- students, parents, teachers, administration and the school board.
It's only human for Perkins residents to be a little testy about the schools. They've been burned before.
And it's only human to see an attractive job position in your old hometown as an opportunity worth exploring.
It's time to put aside human shortcomings and work together. Gunner's withdrawal of his application demonstrates his commitment to excellence in Perkins Schools. Township residents need to put this issue behind them and rededicate themselves to that goal.