Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Another Pointed Southbridge Soundoff

Usually, I am not a fan of the anonymity of Soundoff in "The Southbridge Evening News." However, I admit that the two recent ones have been well-written and informative.  It may be the difference between true whistle blowers and those who are just cowardly. Whistle blowers need anonymity clearly.

The concern of both writers is in the selection process for principals in the Southbridge School District. It appears, at least on the surface, that little has changed in that regard.

I have already addressed the first Soundoff about the hiring of Ms. Allen for the Southbridge Middle High School Principal.

It is the last paragraph on today's Soundoff (July 30, 2013) that especially caught my attention.  The writer asks:
Also, this past week, did anyone noticed a principal position was posted in the Southbridge News? It is probably hoped that no one noticed and the qualifications seemed to be tailored for a particular individual.
My answer to that is "No, I did not notice, but I am glad you pointed that out." Here is the post to which the writer refers:

PRINCIPAL Elementary School Must have DESE Principal 1-5 Licensure. Minimum 5 years experience, as well as 5 years with Level 4 District and Accelerated Improvement Plan. Completion of NISL Program, RBT Certificate Completion, Master's Degree required. Forward resume to: Cady Joress HR Manager 25 Cole Avenue Southbridge, MA 01550. EEO 
That the qualifications seemed to be "tailored for a particular individual" as the Soundoff writer suggests seems spot on.  The specificity in this description might as well include an address where the applicant must be dwelling!

As Yogi Berra famously said, "It's déjà vu all over again."  Indeed, this has happened before with an ad for an elementary school principal in Southbridge.

As the writer pointed out Southbridge uses the School Spring site to advertise school openings. This principal's position, however, was not listed on School Spring where it could be expected to be seen by many individuals seeking such a position.  It appears, instead, that the ad only appeared in "The Southbridge News."  That has also happened before.

The questions then are obvious:

Which elementary school position is vacant?

Why was the opening not listed on School Spring?

Is this setting the scenario for the Superintendent to make a case for some sort of waiver or hardship appointment claiming that no one qualified applied?

It's happened before.  Is it happening again?