Some Charleston County School Board members are taking issue with the tone and content of a recent letter from district superintendent Nancy McGinley.

McGinley sent the note last Friday, the day after a five-hour board workshop that four of the nine board members attended. An apparently frustrated McGinley wrote that the benefit of such gatherings was minimal because of the board’s low and/or sporadic attendance. And the gatherings cost the district hundreds of hours of time, talent and other resources, she wrote.

“Yesterday was a new low,” she wrote. “Over 20 individuals sat waiting for two and one-half hours (after their scheduled start time) to make a rushed presentation – which took dozens of hours to prepare – to three people. This group included students, teachers, principals, and central leaders who were pulled from their jobs to prepare and deliver this workshop (which, by the way, was excellent). ... As usual, I ended up thanking and apologizing to the group on behalf of the board.”

The tone of her missive didn’t set well with some board members, and it illustrates the ongoing challenge – and tension – involved in communicating well with a diverse and often divided group.

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