There were two Dayton Day-Old News reporters sitting in on the Tuesday night business meeting of the Dayton Board of Education. I was there with camera rolling. There was Mario Gallin, the best candidate in the last election that the citizens chose not to pick. And there was the school board, minus the Treasurer who is on vacation, and Sheila Taylor, who apparently is dealing with some family issues.
Had Sheila been there, I would have called it Snow White (Lolli) and the Seven Mental Midgets. But, alas, we can’t call Lolli Snow white- we can just call them the Seven Mental Midgets.
At the warm up meeting they held last week, Lolli wasn’t there. John McManus asked about the $475K expenditure for some kind of silver bullet training program from the University of Virginia. They turned to Lynsa Davie, the new Chief of Schools Special Projects, who is making $117,040 for answers. I posted about this last week, using Mario’s summary from Facebook.
It was obvious that there would be questions coming at the business meeting. Davie had a week to prepare. Before we get to what happened a week later, let’s talk about presentations and DPS.
I’ve watched their own people go up and present the failings of the district to the board and public. I’ve seen incompetent presenters, meeting after meeting who use their slides much like a teleprompter- reading the content from the screen. I’ve seen every format known to man- with no brand consistency, no brand voice. I’ve seen videos that didn’t run. I’ve seen #PresentationFail so many times, I’ve almost gotten used to it in the DPS board room. I’ve even made a presentation to the Tech Steering committee about Pecha Kucha– and how the rigor of using a format of 20 slides, 20 seconds each- can put constraints on that force people to make the best of their presentations.
And, in my business (advertising), deals are won and lost with presentations. I recently spent almost 80 hours preparing a presentation for a prospective client, pulling together research, videos, facts, stats and visuals to sell them on our skills and value to their organization. The presentation ran 2 hours. I rehearsed, I wrote and rewrote parts, and the night before, I’d tested the whole thing with a dry run in real time. Presenting in business is serious business. Just having a typo on your slides can blow your credibility. In advertising we call it the pitch, and there are people who specialize in it. There are books written about how to do it.
For DPS, “Dr Davie” (Rev Dr Harris called her Dr- so she must be one) didn’t even try. Like clockwork, Jocelyn Rhynard called for the item to be voted on separately. McManus who was doing the treasurers job as pro tem, was busy taking notes. Lolli called Davie to the podium. This mess begins about 46 minutes into the DPS Facebook stream video. I’ve not had time to upload mine yet. DPS hasn’t uploaded to Youtube yet. She began her presentation with a colorful slide with 4 points:
University of Virginia
- Leadership Development
- Support and Accountability
- Talent Management
- Instructional Infrastructure
Purpose: to grow leaders to impact underperforming schools through professional experiences.
Ok, first slide, it’s a template. Why the people from UVA weren’t here to pitch their process bewildered me, they’re the ones who will be collecting close to a half a million dollars. You’d think they have a canned presentation for this.
Let me also point out that all four of those things are things most districts expect their superintendent and staff to handle. That’s why you pay them the big bucks.
Slide 2 comes up. Davie doesn’t present like a professional. She’s reading the slides.”Transforming Practices” all about the entire planning year.
Let’s be clear, if you need a year to plan how to teach, it’s called your student teaching year, and you’re an intern. A bootcamp for central office leaders is what we get for the first years installment. Really- we’re paying these “experienced professionals” to go to bootcamp? That’s where you send the rookies.
And this one is titled “your perfect slide title”
Planning year, Summer Programs. Yet- year 1 is only 6 days and year 2 is only 3 days. Wow.
I’m laughing. Others are gasping. The board and superintendent- paying attention and eating every word.
The next one is the coup d’grace
It doesn’t have any real information it’s all template. No content. Davie says “I can’t see, how that look, it’s kinda small for me” and continues.
No one stops her and says, “do you have the right slides?” Or, maybe you should come back when you’re better prepared. Nope, they let her meander on, and we never really get to the stage 3 or four- because the next slide is also titled “your perfect title slide” and incomplete.
In my business, you’d be fired. You’ve just failed. Your career is done.
At DPS, we go to Q&A- and then vote. 5 yes, McManus abstains, and Lolli gets to pay others to do what she’s supposed to do- for only 5 schools, for the next three years.
The two DDn reporters talked about the money, but they failed to mention Davie made the district look like amateurs. So it’s left to me.
Can someone tell me WTF Lolli is getting paid to do?
Because this is unacceptable. She hired this fool for $117,040 and she can’t check her presentation first?
And how these fools on the board- are trusted with your children’s education?
And here’s the kicker. All this stupid woman had to do, was go to the UVA website- and download their “brochure” which is really a 16 page powerpoint- give or take- and use that for slides. But, she’s incompetent.
We voted four new people onto this school board. We should demand our money back.