A bit about Haithcock, and Yecke, too
After learning that Frances Haithcock will take over as Florida's K-12 education chancellor - a key position in the operations of the state's public school system - we immediately sought to find out more than what the department press release had to say. You know, in case she had any Cheri Yecke-sized disputes in her past.
Lacking contact information, we turned to the clip files, and found one editorial from the Charlotte Observer that offered hope. It starts like this: "Admiring Frances Haithcock is easy to do."
It then talks about how, as interim superintendent of Charlotte-Mecklenburg schools, she was "gutsy" and able to make headway despite a "dysfunctional school board" and a "distrustful public."
"Her focus on (students) has been unwavering since she started in CMS as an associate superintendent six years ago, and the system has reaped the rewards," the paper wrote.
The Greater Charlotte Biz found her "engaging and practical," and able to "make the impossible seem possible." (Photo comes from this article.)
But Charlotte Creative Loafing notes that Haithcock didn't have appeal that crossed all bounds. The School Board dumped her in its 2006 permanent superintendent search after a poll emerged that nearly 75 percent of the public lacked confidence in district administrators, threatening the fate of a pending bond referendum.
That's when Haithcock ended up at the College Board, where she worked with Eric J. Smith, who has hired her to replace outgoing chancellor Yecke. Still haven't found scandal, but we're sure if there was one, you'll help us.
We also tried to reach Yecke by phone and e-mail, but she's on vacation and won't be back until after Christmas. All we can add to her departure news is that she told Smith in November that she would be seeking other opportunities, most likely in higher education, and that she's in negotiations for a job now. (No, we don't know which one.)
More as we get it.