This site aims to inform and mobilize Beverly parents to take an active role in all issues related to the funding and operation of the city's schools. It was launched in the spring of 2008, when the city saw its first-ever override attempt fail, followed by the closure of a nearly-new elementary school. Subsequent years have seen further cuts that have led to larger class sizes across the district. While the opening of an impressive new high school and plans to replace the city's aging middle school give us reason to be optimistic, the school community must be ever vigilant in demanding appropriate school funding by city and state governments, and better community communications from the district and School Committee.

Friday, April 5, 2013

Duffy Out Too; Committee to Interview Interim Super Candidates

We have learned from multiple sources today that Assistant Superintendent Maryellen Duffy has announced her intention to retire when her contract is up this June. This announcement comes on the heals of Superintendent Galinski's announcement that she would also retire this June, a year before her contact is up, and leaves the district without its two top administrators.

The subject of a succession plan was debated at last week's Committee of the Whole meeting [which can be viewed on BevCam's streaming archive], and the committee decided to opt for an interim Superintendent.  The debate was somewhat contentious between the members, particularly on the subject of whether Duffy should be given the first opportunity to interview for the interim job.

At the meeting, which was held before Duffy announced her intentions, committee member Annemarie Cesa made a strong case for Duffy to be considered as an interim candidate, saying that she has strong support from administrators within the district. Cesa also pointed out that Duffy's contract expired this June also, and worried about the district being without its two top leaders if Duffy decided to leave also.
"My biggest concern is that we're going to end up on June 30th with two people gone from our administration, and have to hire two people who don't know our district...That scares the hell out of me." said Cesa.
Some members, especially Cesa,  also seemed annoyed that School Committee President Maria Decker had already reached out to potential interim candidates before discussing the process with the rest of the Committee.
"I'm a little concerned that you have called people, when we haven't even had a conversation about it."
The district has a long history of appointing new Superintendents from within the district, and there is a feeling by many within the community that it's time for an outside perspective.  That sentiment was summed up at the meeting by Mayor Scanlon, who stated:
"The community probably wants us to do a broad consideration, regardless of what we ultimately choose."
The School Committee plans to  interview several interim candidates on Tuesday at 4pm at the High School.  The meeting is a open to any interested members of the public.  There is also a joint School Committee/City Council meeting that evening at 7:00, also at the high school.