By NICK GRABBE
Wednesday, June 10, 2009
AMHERST - The search for a new assistant superintendent for curriculum and development has been abandoned.
The school district's financial problems were not a factor in the decision to abandon the search. The national economic downturn may have caused some candidates to decide to stay in their jobs, said Kathleen Mazur, the director of human resources.
A committee reviewed 30 resumes and interviewed six candidates for the position, which carries a salary of between $100,000 and $115,000 a year. But no one was hired, and the search will resume in the fall.
"We wanted to find a world-class assistant superintendent, and we saw some terrific people, but their skills didn't translate well into the full range of things we were expecting," said Mazur.
The duties include working with principals on teacher evaluation, mentoring and designing professional development. This year they have been handled by Fran Ziperstein and previously by Wendy Kohler. Next year, a combination of outside consultants and in-house specialists in particular curriculum areas will handle these responsibilities at a cost of $60,000, Mazur said.
School Committee member Irv Rhodes called the suspension of the search "shocking" and said, "Not having an extra pair of hands, especially for teacher evaluation, leaves a giant hole."
Meanwhile, the latest list of proposed cuts shows the equivalent of 29.6 full-time positions in the regional schools and 23.59 at the elementary level.
Assistant principals at the high school and middle school are on the cut list. At the high school, cuts include 8.2 teacher positions, half a student activities coordinator position and one guidance counselor. At the middle school, cuts include five team teachers, two other teachers, a .4-time performing music teacher and a guidance counselor or librarian. Four paraprofessional positions and four support staff are on the cut list.
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.