Five hours and 45 minutes. That's the duration of the April 27 board meeting. In fact, the marathon meeting formally ended at 10:31 p.m., past many people's bedtimes.


At times, the tone of the meeting -- and other recent school board meetings -- is reminiscent of the classic "12 Angry Men" film of the late 1950s. Instead of a dozen tense males, however, the Hesperia version has one woman and four sometimes angry men.


In the film, the characters go through a catharsis, revealing private, personal feelings and experiences in order to hash out justice. The end result, of course, is that the jury of 12 eventually agree on the correct and honorable decision.


While a jury must work together to come to a complete agreement, the current school board doesn't seem to care about consensus. In fact the board majority, which doesn't appear to include ranking board member Vice President Lee Rogers nor newcomer Chris Bentley, makes decisions with or without the minority's support. Following the nearly six-hour meeting, the board majority ordered a special meeting for last Friday morning.


Although it's not completely clear why the three -- Robert Kirk, Hardy Black and Anthony Riley -- picked that time to hold an extremely important meeting, it certainly wasn't the best time for the other two. Bentley takes his children to school, so he couldn't stay for the entire meeting. Rogers, who did attend the meeting, is a school teacher and undoubtedly had to make special arrangements to be there.


Was the meeting scheduled for that time a political move? Possibly. At a minimum, however, it appears inconsiderate to those members with other commitments. The agreement with the Hesperia Teachers Association was already on this week's school board agenda, so why hold a special meeting on Friday?


The politics-as-usual behavior of this school board will certainly continue to add tension. If anger and occasional barbs help this board do the right thing for Hesperia schools then go ahead, have at it.


But most likely the drama and behind-the-scenes politics is just that. Politics as usual.


***


There's more information regarding the 2009-2010 Elks Scholarship winners. Here are a few tidbits:


Melissa Campbell plans on attending Cal State Long Beach. She has a strong interest in medicine and hopes to become an orthopedic surgeon assistant.


Shandell Jordan was president of the California Scholarship Federation and served as activities commissioner of the Associated Student Body. She plans on attending UC Irvine.


Yihwa Kim is the valedictorian for the Serrano Class of 2009. She hopes to do her undergraduate and medical school studies at Stanford University.


Joel Ontiveros served as student body president of Serrano High. He has a 4.5 GPA and plans on attending Stanford University.


Stephanie Prescott plans on attending Point Loma Nazarene University to become a Registered Nurse. She enjoys sports and has high marks in track and field. She is a potential Class of 2009 valedictorian.


Gavin Santos is a member of the National Honor Society and has held leadership roles in student government and community groups. He was a football star at Hesperia High and is active in the Interact Club.


Seth Silva is driven to excel in school and sports. He stays active in clubs and church.


Jennifer Arias, who is one of 500 nationwide most valuable student finalists competing for top national Elks scholarships, was selected as AP Scholar with honor with leadership roles in mock trial and student energy management teams. She served in the Christian Club and Future Educators of America.