Friday, August 22, 2014

Town To Trinity – “You’re On Your Own”

Ken O’Brien

Back in June the Worcester Telegram reported that the Southbridge School District had been paying the wages of two workers in the cafeteria at Trinity Catholic Academy, a local parochial school, for decades [Worcester Telegram “Southbridge to scrap Catholic school lunch spending deal”, June 20, 2014].

Speaking after what would be his last School Committee Meeting, then Superintendent Basan Nembirkow stated, “"We went to them and said we can't be providing services for you anymore, and we need to stop this, and then we will help you because we're not going to just cut the kids off," Mr. Nembirkow said. "We'll have to do it on a service contract basis. That's what we're working on right now."

Mr. Nembirkow commented at that meeting as follows:

Over the last two months, meeting with concerned parents of Trinity students, Superintendent Patricia Gardner assured them that a service contract would be negotiated.

Apparently that good will has come to an abrupt end.

On Tuesday of this week, Aaron Osborne, Supervisor of Instruction/Acting Director of Finance, informed Trinity that the district would not be offering any kind of contract to them.

Nice to let them know this a week before school starts.

More to come.


  1. Buzz or Cafeteria Workers???August 22, 2014 at 8:23 PM

    We can't afford to pay roughly ten grand a year for two part time workers. OK, true. So why are we paying for TWO superintendents? We're paying Buzz $27,000 this year to sit in Southwick, control the budget, take a call or two from Big Mac, (as long as he's not on the links with the football coach, the cafeteria boss and the former acting principal) and set Pat Gardner up for a fall.

    Two years into their tenure, and the girls can't hire one "good" superintendent? Shameful, slap the parochial school, fatten up the retired Buzzman. Only in Southbridge.

  2. SSC>Unfair & FoolishAugust 23, 2014 at 3:21 AM

    That Parish provides over $10,000 a month worth of food to Southbridge families tryi g to make ends meet, the school saves the District $Hundreds of Thousands a year by educating students that would otherwise cost the Town to educate, and "we" reward their good efforts like this?

    Yesterday I was embarrassed by our Town government, now I am ashamed of them.

    1. Two Words - School Committee . . .

      Two More Words - McLoughlin, Donovan

  3. Why did it take two months for the school administration to come to this conclusion?
    If Trinity had been told this back in June (or earlier) then they might have done something about it. But telling them a week before the start of school borders on criminal.
    Instead we’ve been subjected to lies from Nembirkow and Gardner up until the last minute.
    This is just one more example of the chaos that reigns in the school department. It’s bad enough that they are messing up the public schools, but now they’ve messed up Trinity too. I doubt we’ll ever know how or why the decision was made over thirty years ago to pay for these cafeteria workers. But once the fact was uncovered the least the School Committee could do was give us more than a week to adjust to the changes. Trinity may be a private school, but there’s no reason to be punishing the students in this way. God knows that this Committee has spent way more on legal fees, administrative overhead, termination and unemployment costs and heaven knows what else. But they couldn’t afford two cafeteria workers for one more year while Trinity adjusted?

    1. McLoughlin and Donovan!

  4. If legally, they can't do it, I understand. However, as the parent of a Trinity student, the cold answer from Mr. Osbourne bothers me. To give a few days notice smacks of just being mean about it. After 30 years of this taking place, the least they should do is provide the final year for Trinity, the same conditions, and then cut it off. Whether coincidence or on purpose, I don't know. But if the intent is, and I don't know that it is, to punish people for not going to Southbridge Public Schools, that's quite sad. I send my kids to Catholic Schools, because that's the education that I believe in. While I'm paying taxes for the Town of Southbridge without any benefit, plus additional money for schools of my choice, this seems petty. If the law wasn't followed for 30 years, and Buzz promised this would be worked out, it goes to show that words are just words. Try telling these children from Kindergarten to 8th grade that a warm meal doesn't matter. I'm hopeful that tomorrow night there will be a solution, since the person that made this decision is reminding me of...Arthur S. Will someone please step up to the plate and do the right thing for once? If Buzz's word isn't worth it's weight, then what kind of mentor is he, and why are we paying him?

  5. What ever happened to the good old days when your mother made your lunch for you?
    It was usually what you liked to eat, and it filled you up. After you were done eating you could take the bag, blow it up full of air and smash it behind the back of the girl you had a crush on (which she had no knowledge of). Scaring the bejesus out of her! Life was so much easier back then.


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