"February 11, 2014
Dear District 181 Families,
During last night’s Board of Education meeting, the Board accepted my resignation. My last day as Superintendent of District 181 will be June 30, 2014. Deciding whether to leave District 181 at the end of this school year has been heavy on my heart, but I have family needs to address that require my time and care.
We have wonderful students, staff, and families and a supportive community that values education and our neighborhood schools. Through our collective efforts, our students are growing in excellence, becoming responsible contributing citizens, and developing their talents and interests.
We still have much to do this school year, and I look forward to continuing the work of leading our great school district through June 30. The Board will begin the process for filling the Superintendent position. Please stay tuned for opportunities to contribute to that process.
Dr. Renée Schuster
I strongly oppose filling this position with an Interim Superintendent. We have basically had an absentee superintendent for months, so quickly filling this job with someone who is not qualified, or who we don't want to stick around forever would be detrimental. Now is not the time to of a bandaid on this problem. We want someone who has the capability to get this district back on track quickly. Each individual school should not be doing their own thing.
We have so many other administrators who work 4 days a week in the summer. Bump them up to 5/week and urge them to get their house in order so whomever we pick will be prepared. Or, eliminate some of the assistant positions and find 1 good person to lead.
I too would strongly recommend that the BOE consider specifically avoiding hiring an interim superintendent.
While I can imagine that there are some districts where having someone come out of retirement or temporary elevating one or more members of the current staff to fulfill a legal need, to have someone head-up our district as a seat-warmer would be a sub-optimal situation.
Given the conditions in our district we need a highly organized leader that will dedicate them-self to getting current staff to live up to the demanding expectations of parents and community members. That leader also needs to make clear to the BOE that if they do not fulfill the requirements of elected office to deliberate on important matters and set an agenda that aligns with the needs of the district the result will be failure.
Finding such an individual will be an enormous challenge especially given the fact that there are still many tasks the BOE has to accomplish -- the collective bargaining agreement is expiring, there are still members of the community that are unsatisfied with the efforts to rehabilitate HMS, test scores are not moving in a positive direction, the BOE choose to reduce the levy, several BOE members seem highly disinterested in serving, some members of the teacher staff seem to be less than satisfied with the direction of the district, etc...
I would urge concerned parents to make these things know through all available channels -- communication to fellow parents, collective action via the PTA/PTO groups, letters & phone messages to the BOE as well as info on electronic media and of the comment period(s) at the BOE meetings.
Just Trying to Help
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