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You are correct that Gil Drake has never worked in education but the school is getting better since he took over. I am a graduate of Goodpasture, my kids attend there, and I have had family members teach under both men and there is no comparison. Mr. Ruhl was always for the student/parent when there was as question of who was at fault. Mr. Drake has surrounded himself with people who know education and the school is on the way back. Mr. Drake's job is not to educate the kids, his job is to ensure the the teachers and leaders have the tools to teach. How many CEO's look over the CPA's paperwork? I do not think any do, they have hired people who know what to look for and how to direct them in the way to go. Mr. Drake has had to spend a lot of money to improve the school because it has been neglected for so long. There are so many improvements that have taken place in the last 3 years since Gil Drake took over that they are too numerous to mention. We now have Devo's in the elementary where we did not in the past, the kids are learing spanish in the younger classes, the teachers actually want to come to class and teach. That should be enough. Yes you are correct that several teachers were wanting to leave, but that was last year. When Mr. Drake was asked to leave by Mr. Ruhl it was behind the boards knowledge. Once teachers found out that Mr Ruhl might come back over 200 calls were made to Davidson Acad. alone for application and 14 teachers were planning on leaving. Does that tell you how bad it was? Yes my facts are correct because I have family that was going to leave Goodpasture and friends at Davidson that can verify it.I strongly disagree that the decline in Goodpasture is the neighborhood. When I was there, students came from East Nashville to Springfield to Hendersonville to Donelson. If anything, the geographic reach now is the same if not expanded. I have seen students from as far away as southern Kentucky and Wilson County. I see fewer students from East Nashville - well, except for the sports program. I have heard it said that Goodpasture now sees its target areas as those areas to its west, north and east - it is not looking south.
I do however agree that the president's board is a waste of time for those on it. They have no purpose or duty. It is an honorary position with little participation except as a panel of contacts that were selected for reasons ranging from money to influence. If it was so important for the school to be led by Church of Christ believers then explain why that feature does not apply to the president's board. It is likely because leadership is not expected but other support is.
As for Mr. Drake, he is a nice man but he is not a leader. He has been in control of the school for 3 years and there is no material evidence that it is turning around and/or that the academic standings are increasing. The rumor mill has it that one principal and as many as 10 teachers are not renewing their contracts at the end of this school year. That might be fine if these were individuals that needed to be pruned anyhow but I suspect that the ones leaving are the ones who are aware that the school has hit an iceburg with its current administration and board.
God himself (or perhaps other super human beings who influence the decisions of humans) knows why Mr. Drake was really selected or why he returned after resigning last spring. It is not apparent to human evaluation. When he was hired, and even now, he had no experience in education, he had no master's or doctoriate degrees in education, he has never taught, he has never been a principal or administrator, he was never even the chief executive officer of a business. He sold insurance and then sold seats on corporate jets. Neither of those have a lot to do with setting and enforcing academic policy, overseeing teachers and principals, dealing with demanding parents, etc. Now, don't get me wrong, this is not to say that Mr. Drake is not a good man nor that he is not trying. But, seriously, how many white collar insurance salesmen are selected to be surgeons or to lead the military or to do any other thing that requires and needs experience and qualifications to succeed. Its almost comedic. Why would any prudent person select a position of such importance knowing that they had no qualifications unless either qualifications were unimportant or their ego was clouding their judgment? My goodness, the position of president of a K-12 school facility should require some experience and qualifications. But apparently, the Goodpasture Board (which was under the control of Bill Ruhl and Doyle Tidwell at the time) wanted something other than an individual with experience and qualifications in leading an educational institution when they selected Mr. Drake. Perhaps they felt that an individual with experience and qualifications might not agree with the unguided manner in which the board of directors has allowed Goodpasture to operate since the early 1990's that has contributed to its decline as an educational facility.
No doubt, Goodpasture knows how to recruit atheletes but does it operate its sports program as a first priority or does it operate its academic program as a first priority. I think, at best, Christian principles are 3rd or 4th in priority.
I am very disappointed in and and concerned about the future of the school unless, as with Madison, the parents stand up and demand that they be allowed to remove the existing board and appoint capable, competent men and women to take a good hard look at the school and set it back on a path of educating young men and women in a Christian environment as was originally intended.