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From this Sunday’s Republican-American…Public weighs in on Region 1 position 2

BY RUTH ESPTEIN 

full story available at:

http://rep-am.com

REPUBLICAN-AMERICAN

FALLS VILLAGE — Residents of Region 1 told a search consultant they want these qualities in their next assistant superintendent: quality classroom teaching experience; comprehension of the student learning process; strong ability to work with principals; a promoter of the positive aspects of Housatonic Valley Regional High School and a high level of emotional intelligence.

Mary Broderick of the Connecticut Association of Boards of Education on Wednesday held one of several sessions to gather input from residents. The region is looking for a replacement for former Assistant Superintendent Diane Goncalves, who took an early retirement package effective Oct. 31, 2014.

There has been no firm determination yet as to whether another assistant superintendent or a director of instruction will be hired.

Ed Kirby, a former teacher, high school principal and assistant superintendent in the district, listed the suggested roles he saw for both the superintendent’s and assistant’s position, noting the complexity of Region 1. It has a huge geographic area, is regionalized only at the high school level; and has six autonomous elementary schools that share services with the high school. Kirby said he strongly believes a national search should be conducted and that the candidate’s school district must be visited. He also told Broderick that the new administrator must take a serious look at declining enrollment — in the 1970s there were 780 students at Housatonic; now there are fewer than 400. He or she also must work with the state legislature on seeking relief from unfunded mandates and get a grasp of the area and its history, Kirby said.

Louis G. Timolat of Falls Village said when Marvin “Muff” Maskovsky was superintendent, he initiated the title of assistant superintendent, but it was honorific. He said he wasn’t looking for a deputy superintendent, but the name gave prestige to recruiting a director of instruction. That position is very important and should not be diluted with other functions, he said.

Marshall Miles of Salisbury said he believes teachers are the strength of the district and that one of the weaknesses in the system “is the seemingly nonlink between administrators and teachers.” He also said Housatonic is losing many students to private schools and that declining enrollment must be addressed.
“How is this building going to pay for itself when it’s down to 300 students? That is not being discussed. How do we get students back?” Miles asked.

Falls Village First Selectman Patricia A. Mechare also touched on the need for promoting Housatonic. She said the programs, especially in the humanities track, are just as good as those found in the private schools. Others talked about the need for the person to have a high level of emotional intelligence, empathy, the ability to manage relationships, be trustworthy, honest and have a sense of humor.

An open letter to The Region One Report 1

The phrase, inside baseball   is usually used in politics, where the inside-baseball business includes the sorts of things political strategists think about but which the public is not necessarily privy to or interested in. We think this is what our BOE members seem to think about the proposed changes to educational funding in Region 1.  They think the details are too technical or uninteresting for most of us to appreciate and that we will stand by and let them do whatever they want.

Well maybe we will.  However, if we do, we will be complicit in:  endorsing the creeping regionalization of our local elementary schools by allowing the ABC Committee to employ the superintendent for all the local elementary schools without a favorable vote by each of those districts/towns;  penalizing the smaller towns (Sharon, Cornwall and Falls Village) by forcing increased costs on them;  and, most importantly, turning long-standing practices of the Region 1 Board over to the ABC Committee.  History tells us that most of the German people were not ardent Nazis, but they stood by and did nothing, they were complicit.  Will you be complicit in this power grab by Superintendent Chamberlain?

In December 2006, Regional School District #1 revised the 7000 Series Policies. When printed out it comes to 24 pages, but many of those pages have only 3 or 4 lines of copy so it is a pretty quick read.  Even the most cursory reading makes it clear that the role of the ABC Committee is to “recommend” not to rule.  In one of its most detailed sections (7321), it lists 33 policies and services that “shall be kept current by amendments”.  It is hard to believe, but in the past 8 years, there has not been a single amendment to the 7000 Series Policies.  Now Region 1 attorney, Gary Brochu, submits a Draft Agreement Governing Shared Services for Regional District 1 that turns governing and financing of Region 1 on its ear and there is an incredible rush to pass this with little or no public exposure or explanation.

Yes, there is an “informational” meeting set for Wednesday, January 21st at HVRHS at 7pm. Have you seen the agenda? The first thing you might notice is that it is time-limited – just 90 minutes to let citizens know how their children’s schools will be governed going forward. Then there is time (not specified) for a presentation by the Board’s attorney; where is the time for a presentation by opponents? Then you will see that they issued an Amended Agenda that instead of simply listing “Questions and Answers” has been amended to “Questions and Answers – Public, Board Members, and Committee Members”.  WOW!  Were they really planning to conduct an informational meeting for the public and not have questions from the public? Sure looks like it.

 

Where will you be on Wednesday, January 21st at 7pm? It is time to decide whether you will speak out – or be complicit.

 

Asher Pavel

West Cornwall

 

Joanne Wojtusiak

Cornwall Bridge

 

Slippery-Slope

A letter to the Editor of The Republican-American by Lou Timolat: Troubling trends in Region 1 school administration Reply

Troubling trends in Region 1 school administration

I write to address one of several troubling efforts of Region 1 Schools Superintendent Patricia A. Chamberlain to re-engineer the executive structure of the district, as well as municipalities’ operations.

The superintendent seeks to discontinue basing assessments for her pay on student enrollment. Instead, she advocates dividing her pay costs evenly among the district’s seven schools, independent of their sizes or instructional particularities. Ms. Chamberlain’s rational for this scheme is that the descriptive duties of her superintendence are the same for all schools.

This brings to mind personal experience. I once was the chief pilot and director of operations for a small company’s flight department. A friend of mine held the same position for a large international airline. The difference was that he was paid at least 10 times more than I was. Since the descriptive duties were the same, why the difference in pay?

Until now, I would have thought the answer was obvious. Like everyone in leadership or management positions, we were not paid to accomplish the subsidiary tasks of our positions. We were recruited and compensated in accordance with the scale and complexity of our responsibilities. It is not that subsidiary tasks were or are immaterial; the completion of them was a precondition for our being entrusted with our respective responsibilities.

I cannot say whether the above is business school doctrine, but it was understood at every place I have worked, whether I was a boss or reported to a superior.

The current arrangement for the shared cost of employing the Region 1 superintendent is tied to the enrollments of the seven schools. It is, in effect, per capita taxation and is, over time and as a practical matter, one of the fairest and most efficient ways to pay for or distribute resources.

This is why we find it in effect in almost every public or private arena where services are provided to groups of people.

Ordinarily, I would expect the aggregate responsibilities of the superintendent, the most senior and highly paid employee of the school district, to be the basis for his or her salary. I find it sad and disappointing, however, that Ms. Chamberlain has such a diminished perspective of her job that compensation is viewed as a kind of piecework pay for a laundry list of taskings.

Louis G. Timolat

Canaan

The writer is a former first selectman and a current member of the Board of Finance.

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This is your chance to help in the selection process for the vacant Region 1 administrative post. Please click on the link and fill out the survey. Reply

This is your chance to help in the selection process for the vacant Region 1 administrative post. Please click on the (survey) link and fill out the survey. And then show up at one of the two remaining meetings being held Jan. 21 at 5:30 at Housatonic Valley Regional High School and a third meeting is being held Jan. 22 at Cornwall Consolidated School at 6:30 p.m with the consultant hired to help lead the search process.

 

Please Click on the word survey in the notice below to fill out the survey

 

 

Subject: Region One Survey
Date: Mon, 12 Jan 2015 12:26:25 -0500
From: Trudy Allyn <tallyn@salisburycentral.org>
To:

 

The Region One Board of Education and the All Boards Chair Committee’s (ABC) search for a new educational leader is underway (former Assistant Superintendent position).  With a collaborative effort, we’re sure to find the right central office administrator.  Your input will help the search team develop a job description and/or leadership profile for the former position.

Please take a few minutes to complete this brief survey to share your thoughts about the skills, experiences, philosophies, and characteristics desired in our new administrator.

Trudy Allyn
Library Media Specialist
Salisbury Central School
P.O. Box 1808
45 Lincoln City Road
Lakeville, CT 06039