Sunday, August 29, 2010

More Region 1 Thoughts

What follows are more thoughts regarding the situation in my local school district, where both the high school principal and assistant principal resigned less than a month before the beginning of school.

Just when it looked like the Region One Board of Education was making some headway in the search for truth in the matter of the resignations, a giant monkey wrench came clanging down and jammed up the gears of progress.

Assistant Superintendent Diane Goncalves directed her attorney to pen a letter to the Region One Board of Education implicitly threatening the board (PDF) with a lawsuit if they follow through with an investigation into the circumstances surrounding the two resignations.

My friend Marshall Miles is correct. Contrary to the attorney's assertion, Goncalves' name was not mentioned during discussions on the formation of the investigative committee. But with this letter, she has inserted herself into the situation front-and-center — to say nothing of jeopardizing her relationship with her employer. Goncalves, you may recall, is no stranger to controversy.

Unless Goncalves is deliberately trying to get the board to buy out her contract — which I am told extends to 2013 — then the only thing that makes sense is that she's trying to get board member Gale Toensing, who is mentioned specifically in the letter, to stop talking about her.

As for Fred Baldwin's advice about shutting down the investigation in an effort to be forward-looking, I think he's just flat-out wrong. As it stands now, no top-notch administrator would want to take the risk of moving to Housy, given the current work environment, which Goncalves herself (and several others) have described as "hostile."

Any would-be school leader worth his/her salt will want assurances that the board (or an investigator it has hired) has looked into the matter, determined what caused the top Housy leadership to jump ship for Torrington at the worst possible moment and taken affirmative steps to minimize the chances that something like this will happen again.

That simply will not happen if we pretend that everything is fine, Mr. Baldwin.