Letters to the Editor

Give new Strive board chance to make fixes

Let's not throw the baby out with the bath water when it comes to Strive to Excel.

At this juncture, we need to take a deep breath and hit the pause button.

The Packet has done a fine job of highlighting Strive to Excel's lack of governance and financial controls. In your first editorial on this subject, you called for Strive to install a strong board and undergo a financial audit. Those were legitimate, smart suggestions.

Now, I propose you turn down your editorial heat a bit and let Strive to Excel implement your fix. They have already made a huge step in doing so by reconstituting a seven-member board and installing Ike Evans as its chairman.

Evans, past COO of Union Pacific Railroad, is a national figure, as is Coleman H. Peterson, another new board member, formerly executive vice president of Wal-Mart Stores and a member of the NAACP Executive Committee. Both know governance and are no pushovers.

Let's give the new board a chance to right the ship. New financial controls, I'm told, are already in place. An independent audit will be done in a timely fashion.

We have serious achievement issues in our county and our country when it comes to less affluent students. Strive to Excel's mission for 10 years has been focused on attacking this problem.

Before we encourage steps to degrade or kill the program, I suggest we give this new board a chance to resuscitate it. Its members deserve it, and our community needs it.

Lew Wessel

Hilton Head Island