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Tuesday, July 22, 2014
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Published: Thursday, 8/12/2004

Tough loss for super, but a boost for Toledo

Memo: Eugene Sanders,

TPS Superintendent/CEO

From: Toledo

Re: Life

Tough break, guy. And yes, yes, we know: You weren't scouting a new job.

They came to you.

Which was flattering - right up until the end, when they picked someone else.

This must be what it's like to be on one of those reality TV shows, don't you think? What would we call your show, anyway?

Who Wants to Hire Our Supe?

Bureaucratic Survivor!

Oooh, wait! I know, I know!

Blind Date.

Because, really, that's what all this was, right?

A classic reality show wherein two parties are thrown together just long enough to see if they both like sunsets, long walks in the park, and quiet evenings at home.

Gosh, but you were great midsummer replacement programming, Gene!

Cameras followed you everywhere (a guy can't even catch a plane without some Live at Five news crew chasing him through the airport terminal).

A full and public discussion of your situation ensued (although, come to think of it, I do think local media forgot to seek the retired-school-custodian viewpoint).

Still, we were riveted by your show's every move!

Eugene Sanders, the head of the Toledo school district, is on the list of possibilities to become the next superintendent of the Washington, D.C., schools. Stay tuned!

Time passes - tick, tock, tick, tock - and then, another breathless bulletin.

Unidentified sources tell us Eugene Sanders admits he was once an actual tourist in Washington, D.C., and cannot therefore deny knowledge of that city! Stay tuned!

Tick.

This just in! Gene Sanders is on Washington's short list!

Tock.

Sources say Mr. Sanders is one of two finalists for the top D.C. school job! More at 11!

Tick.

Uh-oh! Looks like - wait! Yes, there it is! They're handing Eugene Sanders a single rose! Off he goes! He's getting into the limousine, and it looks as if he's right back down Manhattan Boulevard, to his same old office in the administration building.

Sir, all kidding aside, let me just say: No biggie. Don't let the naysayers get you down.

Going off to D.C. would have been a lot like "trading up" in real estate.

Bigger and flashier, sure. But it's just more square footage to vacuum and dust.

Frankly, losing you would have put us in Washington's shoes: Scanning the horizon for promising candidates, focusing intently on the consuming task of a candidate search, which is an expenditure of time and money that few districts can afford to squander.

"In the end," according to yesterday's Washington Post, "panel members believed that [Mr.] Sanders, a lifelong Ohio resident, did not have enough varied experience..."

Oh, piffle.

The esteemed panel members clearly never met the formidable Fran Lawrence.



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