Just some info from the Republican-American….. 2

Yes folks, there are professionals looking for positions….

New schools super starts Monday


Francine Coss signs paperwork Wednesday night, officially making her Superintendent of the Thomaston School District. Erin Covey / Republican-American

THOMASTON — The Board of Education hired a new superintendent of schools Wednesday.

Francine Coss, 44, of East Haven was unanimously selected by the board. She replaces Lynda J. Mitchell, who retired last week, and will start her new job on Monday. Coss has been the school superintendent in Columbia for the last four years.
Board Chairman Ruthann H. Fianer said board members like that Coss is coming from a small school district. Columbia has only one school for pre-kindergarten through grade eight, with a projected student enrollment in 2013-14 of 462 pupils and an annual budget of nearly $11.5 million.
Thomaston has three schools for kindergarten through grade 12, a projected enrollment of 967 students and a $14.4 million budget.

Fianer said board members thought she did well in her interviews with the board and were impressed with her knowledge of the superintendent’s position. “We are very happy to have her aboard in Thomaston,” Fianer said.
There were 21 applicants for the job, the search committee interviewed seven of them and Coss was among the three finalists, board member Kathleen Freimuth said. Fianer said Coss will start at an annual salary of $138,000, plus a $5,000 annuity.

To Region 1 Administrators and Board Members: STOP BLAMING THE MEDIA FOR YOUR OWN FAILURES! To the (Falls) Village People: YOU ARE THE BEST! THANKS FOR YOUR INFORMED VOTE AND YOUR SUPPORT! By Gale Courey Toensing 1

To Region 1 Administrators and Board Members: STOP BLAMING THE MEDIA FOR YOUR OWN FAILURES!


By Gale Courey Toensing

Elected officials like the North Canaan representative and so-called public servants or agents of the state like the assistant superintendent have a strong tendency to blame the media for their own failures as reported in the blog posting here http://bit.ly/19t9vyO.

The media is an easy scapegoat, but it isn’t the problem here in Region 1 where we have a group of veteran reporters at the Republican American, the Litchfield County Times, the Lakeville Journal and our local National Public Radio station at WHDD Robin Hood Radio, who among them probably rack up close to 100 years of responsible print and broadcast journalism. No, they can’t be blamed for the third budget defeat.

The blame lies clearly with the top two administrators in whom the public has totally lost confidence, and with the board majority that refuses to acknowledge the public’s loss of confidence in both the top administrators and the board itself. Neither the administrators nor the board majority are taking responsibility for their own inadequate performances or the toxic divisions they have created in the region. Their specific failures have been documented on this website and in numerous letters to the editors and in the courageous voices of taxpayers and students who took time out of their busy lives to attend public hearings and meetings, stand up and speak out. But the board majority has chosen to ignore their voices. No, it’s not the media that has created the loss of confidence and third budget defeat.
When people in positions of power blame the media, what are they really saying? They’re really saying the media should abandon its independent voice and report what they – the people in power — want reported. It’s a kind of bullying: intimidate the media in the hope that it will bend in the direction that the people in power want. In Region 1 the bullying has occurred in public comments such as those from the North Canaan representative and assistant superintendent and also by people in power calling editors repeatedly and complaining about particular reporters’ coverage.

About that comment from the North Canaan representative that “none of the taxpayers she had spoken to had a clear idea of why the board had crafted the budget it did” – isn’t it HER responsibility to explain the budget to her constituents? For the second year in a row, she and the other board members whose towns have voted town the budget are out of touch with the people they are supposed to represent.

Finally, I want to say thank you to the splendid people of Falls Village and our town leaders, particularly First Selectwoman Pat Mechare and Board of Finance member Lou Timolat. The Village people are the ones who consistently attend Region 1 board meetings, attend school events and PAY ATTENTION to what’s going on. They are what every committed elected official longs for – informed voters. I can’t thank them enough for providing me with direction, for their comments, questions, attendance at the community meetings I held, and most of all for their amazing confidence in me and their support, which along with my husband’s, has sustained me as a Region 1 board member for the past four-plus years.

Administration and Board members place the blame on “the media”..how about looking inward, at yourselves? 7

A quote from the administration and board in the Litchfield County Times….

….As the numbers were phoned in, the three board members present and assistant superintendent of schools Diane Goncalves lamented that the voters did not understand the issues confronting them—a circumstance they blamed on the reporting of the local press.

“The press is not giving the people the information,” said Canaan representative Laura Freund. “People have just seen the headlines that the administration is getting raises while teachers are being cut.”

She said that none of the taxpayers she had spoken to had a clear idea of why the board had crafted the budget it did…..

$14.5M Region 1 spending plan rejected for third time (Litchfield County Times) Reply

By Kathryn Boughton
@thelct on Twitter

The third time was not the charm for the Region 1 Board of Education in its attempt to pass its proposed budget for fiscal year 2013-14. The budget, which stood at $14,525,284, down $163,811, or 1.12 percent from current spending, had already been rejected by voters in two previous referenda when it went down to a third defeat Tuesday.

Click on link below for full story


Third time not the charm All 6 Region 1 towns vote against budget BY LYNN MELLIS WORTHINGTON Republican-American Reply

ban_home3FALLS VILLAGE — It is back to the drawing board for the Region 1 Board of Education after the $14.5 million budget for 2013-2014 was defeated for a third time Tuesday.

Voters in all six towns defeated it, 623-452. The vote was Canaan, 118-111; Cornwall, 79-67; Falls Village, 80-17; Kent, 86-63; Salisbury, 162-141; Sharon, 98-53. The Region 1 budget is actually made up of three parts: funding for Housatonic Valley Regional High School, Pupil Services costs for special education in all seven schools, and the Regional School Services Center, also called Central Office.

Region 1 Board of Education Chairman Jonathan Moore said Tuesday after the vote the board will need to meet to decide the next step. Because the new fiscal year begins July 1, the current budget will remain in place.

Here is the link for the full story (pay wall)
Third time not the charm All 6 Region 1 towns vote against budget BY LYNN MELLIS WORTHINGTON Republican-American

This was forewarded to me from the CCN…a great read as to the depth of problems in our region 4

In his note to CCN on May 30, Gordon Ridgway expressed his pleasure with Superintendent Patricia Chamberlain in the search for a new CCS Principal. His “pleasure with the new principal search” completely omits the disastrous previous principal – Mr. Vaughan. Mr. Vaughan who was recommended by – wait for it: Superintendent Patricia Chamberlain and Becky Hurlburt. What he omits is that the mostly smart search committee – Dave Dolinsky, Nick Givitovsky (rest his soul), Susan Romeo (formerly Vanicky), Bonnie Burdick, and others never even considered Robert Vaughan as a serious candidate.

The almost unanimous choice to succeed our beloved Dr. Fitz as new CCS Principal was Maryann Buchanan. Yes, Maryann Buchanan, a highly respected educator could have been our next Principal but Becky Hurlburt and Superintendent Patricia Chamberlain overruled the committee. Mr. Vaughan had something that was important to Pat and Becky. He had no fight and would do as told. Principal Vaughan admitted to me directly that Patricia Chamberlain made him sign the falsified evaluation of one of the the best teachers in the Region. Patricia used our money to pay Attorney Meuser to rewrite Mr. Vaughan’s positive review into something negative and slippery.

Principal Vaughan was clear that jealousy of the teacher by Becky and another townswoman was the reason for the attack or as he put it, “witch hunt.” Why me? Because I sat in on the actual evaluation as a witness. During it – I popped the door open very quickly and part-time art teacher Diane Dupuis fell into the office. Gordon – if you are going to recall your enjoyment of the principal search – please do not be so casual about your omission. Failing to achieve the hire of Maryann Buchanan – who was even Dr. Fitz’s choice – was a big loss.

I am voting “No” again because as in the first two referendums – the issue is not five or ten thousand one way or another. The generosity of the Region 1 voters for providing the best for all the students is again – pure unselfish magic. I so admire the people here, including our weekend community, who without question push their assets toward these amazing kids, teachers, and staff. “No” and “No and “No” proves our commitment to eliminating the weak, disingenuous, unprofessional, bullying Superintendent and Assistant Superintendent. “NO” Region One Board Chairman Jonathan Moore – you may not continue ignoring the majority of voters and burying the major issue of opening those contracts. I question the validity of Superintendent Chamberlain’s contract – with raises and term extensions – that she negotiated while concealing significant pending litigation while also failing to inform all members of the Region One Board of the same. Voting “No” is the moment where the voter gets to speak.

Lawrence Van Valkenburgh

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