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March 2, 2000

Board Member Ellerbe and the Bond

By Stewart Lilker

At the hastily called Bond Referendum open house, Board member Ronald Ellerbe, pictured here,  represented the School Board for most of the evening. His answers to some of the publics' questions were quite revealing, leaving some residents shaking their heads.

Mr. Ellerbe claimed that the Board and the Administration has been researching and working on the District Building Plan for over two years. He didn't explain why the pubic wasn't aware of this or why, until recently, the district residents weren't aware of the discussions. Board member Ellerbe had no idea how much class room space was being added to the district, nor did he know how many rooms were being added by the proposed extension at the high school. When asked about the five year projection of the student population, he said he wasn't sure, although he thought it might be 500 students. When asked about relocating the 9th grade students to their own center, he didn't think it was a good idea and he didn't know how many 9th graders attended the high school. When it was pointed out that if the 9th graders were relocated to their own learning center the addition to the high school wouldn't be necessary, Mr. Ellerbe said that he never heard of such a ridiculous plan.

The district representatives, who were at a different table and were out of earshot of Mr. Ellerbe,  thought the idea of establishing a learning center for the ninth grade would be an idea worth exploring. They agreed that if the ninth grade had their own center that the overcrowding in the high school would be alleviated, making the twenty four room extension at the high school unnecessary.

Mr. Ellerbe shared with the public for the first time some personal information. He said he was "an army brat" when he was growing up. He said he never went to the public schools. He claims to have gone to school in Europe and attended Catholic School. Mr. Ellerbe claims to being about fifty years old and had previously said he was a retired transit officer. When asked in which branch of the military he served he said he had a deferment, although some of his friends went into the service. Mr. Ellerbe is now a real-estate salesman.


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