I swear, I leave town for a few days and everything goes to hell. :( Actually, not like I was having a rosy week before that, but........
You've heard me gushing endlessly about A's school, how much I love it, what a wonderful place it is. Wanted to work there, still do, but obviously that's not happening. I still, though, want it to remain the fabulous place for learning and for artistic expression that I have found it to be in the 2 years A has been there. I just wonder how much more the place can take and still maintain itself at the level we're all accustomed to. :(
A's first year there, 2006-07, was also the first year there of a very good principal. She was replacing a long time administrator who'd retired. Tough spot to be in, but she did great and most people seemed to love her. But the oh-so-brilliant minds at the school district decided to take her and switch her with another principal who was having trouble in her current situation. Gee thanks, let's take away the fab principal who's just guided us through a transition, and give us the one who couldn't hack it. Appreciate that, guys. That makes 3 principals in 3 years--not a good thing for any school.
So, about a month ago, guess who announces she's retiring? You guessed it......struggling principal who was foisted on us this year. Oh, but maybe there's hope.....along with bringing her in, they'd added an asst. principal which the school had not had before. He's awesome! Younger than me (OMG) and only 3 years of admin. experience (all as an assistant), but very professional and everyone liked him. Faculty that I chatted with weren't nuts about struggling lady, but she's retiring. They love "cool new assistant guy", and he decided to apply for the big job.
Teachers were happy. They wrote a letter, en masse, and sent it to the superintendent saying "please hire Mr. S as our new principal". They pointed out the need for consistency, someone who knows the school and the faculty, knows the arts infusion program, etc. They like him, he's easy to work for, morale is good with him, etc.
So, I arrive home tonight, knowing the decision was made while we were gone. I check the school's website. Wait for it, wait for it.........
Not only did they NOT hire assistant guy (but instead hired a lady from Texas), but apparently assistant guy is gone too, replaced by yet another lady no one has heard of. WTF? Do they not understand personnel/morale issues at all? Now we're talking the FOURTH new principal in FOUR years, SIXTH in 4 years if you count assistants.
The school is very tight-knit, from what I've observed. When people get jobs there, they don't leave. It's a community, and a school environment quite different from most others I've encountered. But how much can they be expected to take? No one can get their bearings about how to work with administrators because they're constantly changing. It's the "Wheel of Administrators"......round and round it goes, where it stops, nobody knows. I'm just afraid that when it stops, our little happy community might not be so happy anymore, and that hurts my children and their education. Therefore, it hurts me too.
All I can say is: these 2 new ladies had better be good to work for and know which end is up regarding arts infusion, and had better be planning to stay awhile. I'm always out there defending schools, defending public education, etc, but right now I find this move indefensible. I'd better be wrong.