Thursday, December 18, 2014

Telegram Reports On School Committee Executive Session

Brian Lee, writing in a Telegram article titled Southbridge school board probe's [sic] superintendent's behavior, reports that the School Committee met behind closed doors Wednesday for more than two hours "to receive, consider and act on an investigative report" pertaining to complaints made by employees about Superintendent Patricia Gardner.

After the meeting, Chairwoman Lauren C. McLoughlin told a reporter: "The committee has recessed the matter and will continue to meet regarding the matter."

Asked if Ms. Gardner remained the superintendent, the chairwoman said, "We are continuing to meet on that." 

Asked who is currently in charge of the district, Ms. McLoughlin said, "Pat is in charge."

Last month, the committee hired lawyer John M. Flick of Gardner to investigate complaints by unnamed employees against Ms. Gardner, who is in her first year as superintendent after serving last year as director of teaching and learning.

The employees had leveled what a school board member described as "a serious account of unprofessional behavior" by Ms. Gardner. It was connected to her attempt to assess blame for mistakes made administering the Massachusetts Comprehensive Assessment System tests at the middle-high school last year.


  1. Save our Schools --SOSDecember 18, 2014 at 9:47 AM

    It is telling that she was not in the meeting (I thought that if the meeting was about the individual that they had the right to be there.). Then coming out and asking her lawyer questions is signalling that now it is not a question about whether she comes or goes but of how much it will cost? Then, if she is indeed out the door, the next question will be about status of all her friends in those cushy jobs on Cole Ave. Will they stay or go?

    Suggestions for selecting an interim superintendent / superintendent:

    1: Select someone who is not working on a PhD. This has been the major problem with Buzz the Butcher and Jabba da Gardner. If you are working on a PhD, you have to devise original techniques and be able to experiment on a population for an extended period of time. So find someone who is a proven administrator either with a PhD or who is more interested in the outcomes of the students than using the district as a stepping stone to better place to be.

    2. Select someone who has a proven record of academic leadership in districts like Southbridge. Someone who can stay the course with the district over the long haul. Some may disagree with this statement but we need a superintendent in the mold of a Dr. Hanley or Dr. Thayer. Hanley turned this district around and brought it into compliance with State and NEASC standards. And, Dr. Thayer brought us through the last big fiscal crisis and mass resignations.

    3. Someone local would be preferable but it should be way down the list of possible superintendents. Some would suggest Ms. Allen, but the tragic fact is that she was part of the present problem and do you really want someone who failed as principal twice in this district.

    In closing, maybe it is not a superintendent that we need. It has been broached on this blog before that we should send all of our students to other districts and rent the new building to QCC.

    1. Take the Blinders OffDecember 18, 2014 at 2:42 PM

      Ahhh..Mr/Ms SOS - someone who remembers the past history - wonder if any on the current SC even remember Dr Thayer - and it would appear that most of the members do not remember the $3+million debacle of the Tarantino years.

      Membership on the SC is a tremendous responsibilty and time consuming and hard work. I do not understand how 2 intelligent women like McLoughlin & Donovan - w/their very own children's education at stake can be so clueless and irresponsible - their arrogance is unbelievable. Do they not see that they do not even follow the 'policies' they have created/adopted?

      That arrogance is hindering their ability to see clearly - admit that they have dug a HUGE hole that we may never climb out of. Be accountable - time for a major Mea Culpa - ASK for HELP!! from 'qualified', 'respected' individuals.

      PAUSE - take a step back - admit that you are overwhelmed and work to fix this mess. Better to be proactive about things - than to keep everything cloaked in secrecy. The taxpayers are going to find out soon just how bad the money situation is.

  2. My thoughts are with poor Ms. Gardner.

  3. "Stupid employees are never as stupid as the bosses that hire them." "Incompetent employees are never as incompetent as the bosses that hire them." McLoughlin and Donovan have skipped all norms and policies for hiring school leaders.

    We're headed for our 5th superintendent in two years. Seven principals at the new school in the same amount of time. Is that what stability looks like? Is this what "doing the right thing" looks like?

    Thankfully, the end is near for for these two grossly incompetent hacks. Then the taxpayers will pay to clean up their mess. That's the easy thing. Trying to correct the educational nightmare they have created will be harder to fix.

    The current school committee is seriously incapable of correcting the problems they have created. We have the two queens of arrogance, coupled with the ever-mindless Erin Quinney and Google Abrahamson (all knowing) and it's clear that our schools are @!%*ed. We will need capable and experienced school committee members to save the schools. People like Jack Jovan, Rich Logan, Dave DiGregorio, or Scott Lazo are what's needed.

    It will be interesting to see if any of these guys run. DiGregorio has a real reason to run in light of what the girls did to his wife. Logan, I think, still has school age children which could be impacted negatively by failing schools. Jovan and Lazo have children who have all graduated from high school, so their involvement would be truly for the betterment of the district. But haven't they both done enough rescuing the district from the last 3.6 million dollar deficit?

    New capable candidates? Maybe Amy Allen will run now that she works in another town. Maybe someone else who has been screwed by the current members, a list too long to type. But whom ever the voters elect in June, we can not afford more PTA/SPED/Incompetent self-serving individuals to drag us down any more.

  4. Xmas Wrapping on HoldDecember 19, 2014 at 8:42 AM

    I heard that McLoughlin and Donovan had to put the gift wrapping on hold. They're trolling the streets of Springfield looking for another superintendent. Check the Mardi Gras, those girls are as capable as the last Springfield wizard, and a whole lot easier on the eyes.


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