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.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Gazette Profile of Ms. Maria Geryk

I'm posting the third (and final) profile of the superintendent finalists from the Gazette (  And Maria Geryk's interview will take place on Tuesday, February 1st (same exact schedule as for the earlier candidates, with options to meet the public from 8 to 9 am at ARMS cafeteria and a 2:30 to 3:30 in the WW library, plus a two hour public interview).  I've also found out the interviews will be shown on ACTV (and I assume available on line).  The School Committees will then meet on Sunday, February 6th at 1 pm (place to be announced) to make their final selection. 

It is really important that we hear from all community members about their thoughts about these finalists.  Feedback forms are available at all of the events, and you can also email the School Committee with your thoughts directly at:


Anonymous said...

1) your link to the profile on Maria Geryk doesn't work

2) You mention that the interviews will be shown on ACTV. Was last night's on ACTV too? The ARPS web page still says: "To watch the evening meetings live over the internet, go to They will not be broadcast live on ACTV."

I think it is valuable to show the inteviews on ACTV since not everyone can high-speed internet or can attend in person. It's also important though to be fair and give each of the finalists the same ACTV exposure.

Anonymous said...

the link doesn't work. Here's the correct one:

Catherine A. Sanderson said...

Anonymous 3:46 -

1. Sorry - it is fixed now!
2. The meeting last night (and the next two) will NOT be broadcast live on ACTV because that can only happen if the interviews are in the town room, and it wasn't available all of these nights. But they will be shown as re-runs on ACTV. I agree that this is valuable.

Anonymous said...

"She is the one teachers want right now," she said...Some have said they don't know how they will go on if she isn't selected.

It's comments like this that really discourage me about this town. Perhaps teachers who don't know what they will do if she's not hired could work for another nearby school district and make $5000 less each year.

Teachers come first in this town and we should always do exactly what they want?! Who cares about kids, parents, residents? Just do what the teachers want (ie trimesters, IMP math, extensions, no 9th grade Biology, etc, etc)

Ed said...

Catherine, this is a sensitive issue to me -- 10-15 years ago there was the very real possibility that the then-new "web" (it was "born" in 1993 and some of us remember life before it) would eventually serve to create a bifurcated society where some had access to knowledge and others didn't.

In Massachusetts, our librarians stepped into the breach and got a tax on telephones that pays for every library in the state to have at least one computer connection and one public access computer for absolutely ANYONE to use -- and if you have ever been in the Boston Public Library, I truly do mean *anyone*....

Those who believe in Social Justice -- who are willing to "walk the walk" and not just be "talking the talk" have an obligation to tell people that they have this access, that they have it by right in their own names (even if they are homeless), and that the only expectation is that they don't unreasonably disturb the rights of others, particularly the children (and I think we all know what I mean by that).

Regardless of our political views - let alone our views on the search - we have an obligation to tell people they CAN access the internet for free.

I think it is valuable to show the inteviews on ACTV since not everyone can high-speed internet

ANYONE can access high-speed internet at either the Jones Library or the UMass Tower Library.

To access it at UMass (the public terminals are where the card catalogue used to be - the ones by the windows require UM-OIT accounts) you only have to either wait in line or go in during odd hours.

The UM Library is open 24 hours a day -- and there really are people there at 3 AM (desperately trying to stay awake) who are more than happy to help you with any technical issue you may have.

And the Jones Library folk are equally helpful.

Facts matter....

Anonymous said...

What happened to your pledge not to post postive or negative comments about the super finalists? You have a lengthy quote praising Kohn and these negative implications here about Geryk.

Anonymous said...

"Some have said they don't know how they will go on if she isn't selected" was a silly, melodramatic and unattributed comment written by Mr. Grabbe in his article. As a teacher, I was embarrassed by it. It would inevitably fan negative sentiments toward teachers and Ms. Geryk. This level of discourse is disheartening.

Ed said...

Facts matter -- and if Nick Grabbe fabricated a quote (the one about teachers not knowing how they will go on) then he needs to be called on it. And if he actually has in his notes whom he heard this from, if one or more school employees actually said it, then he is right and someone actually said it.

I called someone from that newspaper to task last fall for printing a picture of young people drinking beers on the middle of the UM campus (by Skinner hall) over a caption of it being "North Amherst."

If the reporter is wrong, or if the editor trimmed the story to make the reporter wrong, then the paper owes everyone a correction. On the other hand, if someone actually said it, well then someone actually said it.

Facts matter. Rather than calling each other names, lets do this "by the book" and ask the reporter to justify that line...