Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Gardner Appointed Superintendent Of Southbridge Schools

Ken O’Brien

Patricia Gardner
At an unusual Wednesday night meeting of the Southbridge School Committee Patricia E. Gardner was appointed Superintendent of the Southbridge School District. She will succeed Basan Nembirkow who had previously announced that he would leave the position at the end of June. He cited health and age as reasons for his departure. Gardner’s appointment is for a one year term, from July 1, 2014 to June 30, 2015.

Ms. Gardner has served as the District’s Director of Teaching and Learning since August of 2013. Prior to that she had served as principal of Turners Falls High School in the Gill-Montague Regional School District. 

School Committee member Christopher Olivo moved to amend the motion to appoint to make the position “interim Superintendent”. He stated his belief that such an action would allow Ms. Gardner to act in the Superintendent’s role while a search committee was formed. Then, if she wished, she could apply for the full time position along with other interested parties.

Chairman McLoughlin objected stating that she had consulted with the Department of Elementary and Secondary Education and the Mass. Association of School Committees and that the term “interim Superintendent” was not a legal term. Mr. Olivo responded by reading from his laptop a number of job postings for the position of “interim Superintendent” or "Superintendent" from the MASC website. 

When his motion to amend failed to garner a second, and following a period of questioning of Ms. Gardner by committee members, a roll call vote was taken. The final vote was four in favor (Congdon, Donovan, McLoughlin and Quinney) of Ms. Gardner’s appointment with Mr. Olivo abstaining.


25 comments:

  1. Buzz left Brockton before the end of his contract saying he wanted to spend more time with his family. Shortly thereafter he was applying for other positions. Now, after leading the committee to believe he would stay on we have this.

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  2. Bullying at the adult level is clear in this situation. If Mrs. M does not like the word "interim", then how about a different word like "acting", "temporary", etc. I'm sure there is a "legal" term out there that is appropriate for this purpose. But as usual, she provides the appropriate amount of BS and bullies her way through to what she wants. Disgusting.

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    1. This is utter BS. Oxford is advertising for an "interim" Superintendent on the MASC website. Where was her objection when Buzz was hired as "interim" Superintendent? The lies are piling up faster than excrement at the Southbridge sewage processing facility.

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    2. Speaking of bullying, Woodruff had begun organizing a Superintendent search committee before she was bullied out of her position.

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  3. Give him a chance?May 29, 2014 at 12:30 AM

    Olivo has just tipped the scales enough for me to give him a chance with a full term. First speaking up about the horrific bullying on the Guidance dept. and now speaking up and voting his own mind on this. It's enough for me to give him a little more rope. I hope its the real deal and not just a stunt to get reelected as we need more independent thinkers and not Mean Girls 1,2,3,
    as stated above and it is so true -
    probably the best quote of the week too! - The lies are piling up faster than excrement at the Southbridge sewage processing facility.

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    1. He's a singularly better bet than Bent A. or Pate. I wonder why Bent had no sage words of praise for his dream team tonight?

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    2. Olivo or Abrahamson or Pate? Gee, it's like Sophie's Choice for morons.

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    3. I mean Page and Lazo are already a given.

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  4. Why couldn't they have waited until after the election? It appears it is because they rather have their way now than finding the best possible candidate for Superintendent. A slap on the face. The gall of that Chair-claiming that you can't appoint an Interim Superintendent when she is sitting next to one. They are like Primary school children-maybe they should hand the keys over to the Charlton-Dudley District and let them run that School so there will be adult supervision? We didn't"t pay all that money-the state paid most of it. If the system is still a mess by this time next year it is time to hand it over to one of the neighboring quality districts. The state won't do us any good. Failure has its price.

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  5. What happens when all the lies over the last two years are exposed during the upcoming rounds of arbitration? Let alone how the district is going survive while supporting surrounding districts with all the money from school choice. Last one leaving the district please leave the keys to SMHS at the town hall. Maybe they can work out a deal to rent it to QCC.

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  6. Bobblehead Congdon Must GoMay 29, 2014 at 7:01 AM

    I knew McLoughlin and Donovan were incompetent, incapable and arrogant. Their disregard for decency, common sense and honesty are well documented. They will be voted out, or run out the back door, in 56 weeks. I hope the district can survive until then.

    But the real disappointment at last night's school committee meeting was Jill Congdon. While it is obvious that she is not the sharpest tool in the tool box; she really demonstrated her low mental capacity last night. Her prepared statement regarding the inappropriate appointment of an incompetent superintendent of schools just fuels the Brent Abrahamson belief that the State needs to take over our school district IMMEDIATELY!

    While I have always known that Quinney is not a special education advocate, but a member; for a while I thought Congdon might be her own person. Wrong. She is a complete "bobblehead," doing as she is told by Big Mac and spell-check Kara. All she needs now is a scarf, like Kara Donovan. (That scarf was more important to Kara than Buzz's cell phone last night)

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  7. Another Bad DecisionMay 29, 2014 at 7:17 AM

    Does anyone seriously believe that Ms. Gardner is the best we can do for our children and staff? She was the principal of a failed high school in western MA. How she is going "to transform" our schools. Please! I fully expect her spouse will be awarded an undeserved, non-needed promotion, perhaps a new central office position.

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  8. Whoever he or she is, it looks like commenter Woody had the analysis of what’s going on pretty much right.

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  9. Gardner didn't even have a grasp of her own jargon. She repeatedly called the AIP the Advanced Improvement Plan instead of the Accelerated Improvement Plan.

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  10. Throw in the TowelMay 29, 2014 at 10:28 AM

    Don't ya just love the way the bobbleheads justify their despicable actions. More students and staff are exiting in large numbers. I like the idea of the district going to one school building. We have so few students, we can't seem to find principals (did you see the lame lady they hired to run the m/h school), and we're broke (lawsuits, unemployment, etc).

    Abrahamson is right - time for a state takeover.

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  11. Having moved here in August 2012 I don't know that many people, and frankly the daily newspaper is just a glorified shopping guide, so it is difficult to figure out the History of why there is such a mess.
    From what I gather from some people the system is messed up because of one school Committee member. When I ask what he did, he is accused of trying to put a former Principal on the Superintendent's position. I also hear this Lazo fellow is too focused on football. OK, so I look into it deeper and at least the recent graduates I have talked with like the former Principal and Lazo.
    So obviously this Lazo guy is not the former war criminal that some people make him out to be. It appears that he is old school to some degree, which I think is a worthy viewpoint. The more I hear about him the more I like him.

    My question is, why is the current School Committee so brazen in getting someone that has not been vetted yet? It really does appear to be just a school girl popularity contest. Is one of the SC members a jilted High School Sweetheart of Lazo? Did he make some sarcastic comment about the Chairwoman's girth? This can"t be over who was NOT appointed Superintendent years ago. What is the real reason for this one sided feud?)

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    1. Sad State of AffairsMay 29, 2014 at 12:52 PM

      The problem is the girls egos, arrogance, and blatant stupidity. And like often said, "You can't fix stupid."

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  12. Ken, if after the election and the chips fall where, Lazo, Page and Olivo win...then Congdon goes to their side could Jill ask for a reconsideration of last night's vote? Bring the appointment back on the table?

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  13. From The Enterprise (Brockton) May 29, 2013:
    “Nembirkow left one year before his second three-year contract expired, speaking of his desire to spend more time with his grandson, a toddler. Less than six months after leaving, he took a job as interim superintendent of the school system in Lenox. According to the Worcester Telegram & Gazette, Nembirkow then held two jobs between August 2010 and September 2011. He worked for Houghton Mifflin Harcourt in Boston as an education consultant and he worked for Mosaic Turnaround Partners of New York, serving as an executive coach for five chronically underperforming schools in Detroit.”

    Sound like a pattern?

    http://www.enterprisenews.com/article/20130529/News/305299777

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  14. Killing Us QuicklyMay 29, 2014 at 10:48 PM

    Ken, Forget about Buzz, he's out the door. About 200,000. richer; leaving the district with hundreds of thousands of dollars in expenses for legal, unemployment and other items. He's gone.

    The problem facing the students, staff and community as a whole, are the recent poor appointments to key positions. Gardner has no more capability of running the school system than Rin Tin Tin.

    Let's move on to the newly appointed principal of the middle/high school. For this position a sizable search committee was established, which included a member of the school committee. Many person hours were donated by caring, knowledgeable, non-compensated people. The person selected by Buzz was not even a person to make it out of the search committee stage of the selection process. The search committee deemed she was not the answer to the school's needs. Others, more appropriate, more qualified, more experienced names were forwarded to the superintendent. But Buzz picked Mrs. Earls. I urge everyone to do your own homework regarding Mrs. Earls, the internet is a good start. I think you will find that turning over the educational needs of 1000 students is yet another giant gaff. But no one gets hurt - except the students.

    These, and the countless other bad appointments since McLoughlin and Donovan took over are what's killed our school system. They have run out of people to blame! Look in the mirror, the answers are closer than you think girls.

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  15. Clap along if you know what happiness is to youMay 30, 2014 at 1:24 AM

    There is a good reason why so many from the Springfield area are applying here well beyond crony-ism which hasn't been ruled out yet. .

    Listen we live outside 128 and 495 therefore we are the ugly stepchild of education as far as Location and pay scales go. Our future is to the west with uglier step children looking for a eastward pay scale. Hopefully like Mrs Earls they offer something to work with. Before I get hammered for saying that she is brave enough to take on the worst run school in the district and try to put some systems in place where there are NONE. Where staff rule the roost and do what they think is best or what they want to do regardless if it is best or the student as long as it works for them. Earls could of said no thanks I'd prefer the elementary position but she bravely stepped up and accepted the challenge.
    Still Not happy?
    Open a search NOW for a principal willing to come here and see what the dancing with the stars reject pool looks like. I'll give Mrs Earls a shot to make a difference and wish her well. She isn't going to be perfect as no one is however, she is here now and all we can do is stand by the stage with the hook if her act goes south. Personally, I'm thinking she'll bring more good than bad and last a lot longer than Ms.Tammy Perreault did. I guess I'm saying Welcome and good luck you'll certainly need it in changing hearts and minds.

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  16. Only in SowbridgeJune 1, 2014 at 6:50 PM

    Wow. If you think the School Committee pulled a fast one by prematurely appointing a Superintendent that should have waited until the election, wait until you see what is in store for this Council's last meeting in a few weeks.

    Does anyone know why one of the unelected candidates was marching in the Memorial Day Parade with Chairman Clemence? Is she called Chairman because she chairs a subcommittee?

    The new town website no longer even has a place for the Agenda's. Otherwuse it is pretty good.

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    Replies
    1. How many graduating seniors are there in the class of 2014 at SMHS?

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    2. Save the PontificationJune 3, 2014 at 8:58 AM

      Watch Friday night's graduation ceremony. I'd put the number around 75, but I hear it nay be even less.
      But the liars will tell you wonderful things are in our schools. The bliwhard McLoughlin will pontificate (even out pontificating Lazo), Buzz will say something about how wonderful he is, the faculty will unrecognizable, etc.
      On the upside, the class of 2014 was brought in great MCAS scores, coupled with a drastic increase in the graduation rate for the Class if 2012, earned SHS a Level 1 rating in 2012. The Class of 2014 will prosper inspire of the deplorable past two school years. Good Luck students!

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