POTTSTOWN PA – No matter what actions it takes, the Pottsgrove Board of School Directors has always been a news-maker. In part, that’s because decisions of the group – which governs a $60 million education business, serves 3,200 students, and operates primarily on revenues collected from local taxpayers – affect almost every household and enterprise across Lower, Upper, and West Pottsgrove.
Thanks to its chief operating officer, Pottsgrove School District Superintendent Shellie Feola, the board now has become a news publisher too.
“Board Notes,” a three-page, 1,394-word report, ostensibly written by Feola about Tuesday night’s (Feb. 12, 2013) directors’ meeting at Pottsgrove Middle School, made its electronic debut only two hours after the meeting ended. It was distributed by e-mail, apparently to community members who have subscribed to a board-related list.
In launching Board Notes, Feola said during the meeting, she purposely intends to be first with the news of her own news-maker. She effectively scooped herself, beating by several hours stories published by any other news media.
“We want to present positive news about the school district in a more timely way,” Feola explained, and noted that district communication, or a lack of it, was a “key theme” she heard repeated in recent discussions with the board, administration members, PTO leaders and others.
Reporting in the inaugural edition of Board Notes strives to present itself as up-to-the-minute, using descriptors like “last evening” and “Tuesday morning.” It generally covered, usually in one to three paragraphs, all items addressed on the board agenda. How, to what extent, or if at all, it will also report on occasionally controversial and sometimes less positive comments exchanged between directors and their audience members remains to be seen.
Related (to the Pottsgrove Board of School Directors’ Feb. 12 meeting):