So I got a phone call from mutli-millionaire media mogul Jim Rogers yesterday. He wanted to talk about the upcoming superintendent vacancy in our school district.
I’ve been trying to get good ideas out there about the future of education around here, but not with much success. I spoke at the school board meeting a few weeks ago, as I mentioned here (and video is now available at our school district web site; my segment is only two minutes near the very end of a very long meeting—I’m the fellow in the gray jacket, glasses, and Shakespeare tie).
I’ve also put comments on a couple of newspaper articles online about the imminent search for a new super, and while those have generated some traffic for my blog, hardly anybody has actually shown public support by joining my Facebook group. I can only surmise that even fewer have contacted the school board directly or will do so. Too many of us, it seems, are comfortable enough with rampant failure that supporting a reformer is unattractive.
After another article about it in the paper this morning, though, someone left a comment promoting me for the job. That was nice to see—I didn’t leave the comment.
After I spoke at the school board meeting two weeks ago, another man spoke, offering a petition with over 3000 names asking that Jim Rogers become the next super. I read in the newspaper that weekend that Rogers, who had recently finished a controversial but productive period as chancellor of the state’s board of higher education, would consider doing it, and for free.
I don’t know anything about Rogers’s politics or ideas for the superintendent job, but I do know that he speaks his mind and isn’t afraid of being unpopular or offending people. He would do what he thinks is needed to fix things, not just maintain a broken status quo to further his own interests. I respect that.
So I sent him a letter saying so, and included my list of ideas for the school district to consider. I couldn’t find any contact information online, but I knew his biggest claim to fame is that he owns the local NBC affiliate and keeps a regular office there, so that’s where I sent my letter.
He called my house yesterday morning and asked for me. My wife answered the phone and said I wasn’t there. Rogers introduced himself and asked her to thank me for my letter. He said that he received it and that he “would see what I can do.” That was it, but the fact that such a powerful person would call me just to acknowledge a letter was still pretty impressive. To the best of my knowledge, that’s the first time a famous millionaire has ever called me. It’ll be interesting to see what happens from here.