My Goal in Blogging

I started this blog in May of 2008, shortly after my election to the School Committee, because I believed it was very important to both provide the community with an opportunity to share their thoughts with me about our schools and to provide me with an opportunity for me to ask questions and share my thoughts and reasoning. I have found the conversation generated on my blog to be extremely helpful to me in learning community views on many issues. I appreciate the many people who have taken the time to share their views. I believe it is critical to the quality of our public schools to have a public discussion of our community priorities, concerns and aspirations.

Friday, January 30, 2009

Superintendent Article From the Gazette

Northampton superintendent a finalist for top Amherst education job

AMHERST - Northampton's superintendent is one of three finalists for the top schools job in Amherst.

Isabelina Rodriguez, superintendent of schools in Northampton since 1994; Alberto Rodriguez, a principal in the Miami-Dade school district; and David Sklarz, superintendent of schools in West Hartford, are contenders for the Amherst post, officials announced this morning.

Amherst Regional School Committee members interviewed semi-finalists last weekend from a pool of 20 applicants.

"These three, I think, are very interesting, " Andrew Churchill, chairman of the Amherst School Committee, said this morning. "I think it's going to be a really good array of choices for the community to give us input on."

Sklarz has run an extremely high-performing district in West Hartford," Churchill said.

Alberto Rodriguez has served in one of the most diverse districts in the Miami area and overseen 55 schools in his former post as assistant superintendent there, Churchill said.

And Isabelina Rodriguez is very strong in special education and bilingual education and has been successful in forming partnerships with area institutions of higher education, he said.

"Northampton is really working well with Smith College and they also have a really well developed volunteers-in-the-schools program. We were excited about her potential to really make better connections with all the resources we have," Churchill said.

Rodriguez began her work in Northampton as director of pupil services in 1994 and worked in the Springfield public schools before that as a bilingual education teacher.

If chosen, she would follow Department of Public Works Director Guilford Mooring and Assistant Town Manager and Finance Director John Musante in leaving posts in Northampton for Amherst.

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