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Tuesday, September 02, 2014
Speculator, NY ,
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A very important decision

Friday, April 18, 2014 - Updated: 10:58 AM

Dear Editor,

The Long Lake Central School District Board of Education has a very important decision to make: whether to extend the contract of the superintendent. I have expressed my concerns about the way the BOE is going about this, and I write now with even greater concerns.

It is the board's seeming refusal to hear people out, to not gather as much information as possible to make this important decision, that really concerns me.

The past five years of superintendent evaluations have been shredded. Did any BOE members read them first? Were any of them curious?

The superintendent's personnel file contained them all when I left office. BOE members could speak to former members if they want more information, but as far as I know none of us has been contacted.

The evaluations weren't that bad. In fact, they identified the superintendent's many accomplishments and strengths.

The reason she was eventually denied a contract extension had to do with personnel management and her decision-making process. This was identified in every single evaluation from the time she was hired.

She never addressed it, despite repeated requests. She simply ignored the board's directive. Is this a good employee?

Is this the kind of citizenship we want the students of the district exposed to: don't bother with really learning about the issues you're deciding on? Throw out previous decisions if they're inconvenient? A society full of such people is ripe for tyranny.

I was told the evaluations were destroyed on the advice of the board's lawyer. This sounds like the superintendent seized the technicality of the evaluations signed only by the BOE president, rather than all members, and threatened a lawsuit.

What kind of a working relationship is that?

I understand Mr. Nerney suggested the board poll the staff and faculty anonymously for suggestions on how to improve running the school, but the motion was voted down. What harm would there have been in getting more information to help make decisions?

I suspect there may have been some of the old attitude of "the teachers run the school" and you shouldn't bother with them. I heard that the whole 15 years I was on the board.

The teachers don't run the school. The BOE does, through the superintendent. But the teachers are education professionals. Their opinions and knowledge are needed to run the school well.

Hallie E. Bond

Long Lake

     

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