When appointing a person to fill a vacancy, we understand the impulse to turn to a veteran. They know the institution and its culture. It won’t take them a year to learn the issues. And when the term expires, they may well be willing to retire again and open the seat to a newcomer chosen by voters.

That said, we are not enthusiastic about the choice of the District 200 Oak Park and River Forest High School board to recycle Valerie Fisher. This is not personal. Ms. Fisher is a fine person and we are confident she has the best interests of OPRF always in mind.

The issue is that this school board has been in the midst of a long and challenging transition into a body more able and willing to ask hard questions and give direction to its superintendent. Until recent years, the OPRF board and superintendent were in a slow dance of acquiescence and excuses. “Those Things That Are Best,” the school’s motto, was roughly translated as “Things Were Better Back Then.”

The challenges at this school are real and immediate. This is no time for complacency and that, we are afraid, is how Ms. Fisher’s return strikes us.

We’d be delighted to be proven wrong.

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