I must respond to East Oregonian managing editor Steve Brown's editorial of Jan. 19 regarding the Helix board and superintendent issues (Helix School Board, superintendent share the blame).

First, let me inform you how I know the editorial was written by Mr. Brown - I asked him.

Second, I'm the husband of Superintendent Ceniga.

Your editorial has caused many people to ask just what is going on out at Helix and I must correct a few of your conclusions.

You indicated the School Board could benefit from doing what the "big" schools such as Pendleton do and have the Oregon School Board Association conduct training. Obviously, you didn't know that such training already was done.

On Sept. 1, 2005, the OSB conducted training on "the role and responsibilities of school boards" and on Nov. 15, 2005, "superintendent evaluation training." All five of the Helix board members were in attendance.

How do I know this? I called the Helix School District to inquire if such training was held by them. I'll forgive your incorrect conclusion because you obviously just failed to inquire.

You indicated a lack of communication between the board and Barbara Ceniga and implied she has failed to adhere to the policies of the board. So just what are these policies of which she has failed to comply? Three members of the School Board tried that approach at the Jan. 11 board meeting and failed miserably.

So now it's all about finances.

Enter one George Murdock of the Educational Service District with a solution.

Three members of the Helix board contacted him about hiring a new superintendent. Actually, four, if you count the other who called not believing the others would have actually done that. Murdock presented the three with numbers and a job description.

Of course, the numbers are accurate, but misleading and the job description is a perfect match for a person who just happens to sit in the office next to Murdock.

So Al Meunier is going to be the next superintendent under contract with the ESD.

How do I know? I asked Meunier and Murdock if this was true. The answer was yes.

When the Helix superintendent contacted Brown about the inaccuracies in his editorial, his response was he didn't need the input. I believe I see a common thread here.

The problem with all these issues is, of course, the fact they are not the actions of the Helix board and they do not involve the Helix community.

They are the actions of three individuals. Shame on you Mr. Murdock, you could have given them proper guidance on how to affect their agenda, but failed to do so. After all, it just takes a 3-2 vote at a public school board meeting.

As an older woman said to Mrs. Ceniga: She should just tell the board to go to ----.

I believe she did just that in a professional and courteous e-mail to all the board, but directed it at just three.

Should the three board members be recalled? That would be as easy out as would resignation.

Dan Ceniga


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