UPDATE: Saturday (2/28) high noon:
Okay so both newspapers have now justified their existence and reported the resignation of our acting co supers. And of course the School Committee thanks them for their service and wishes them well in the future and all that bureaucratic BS. By next week, like the Anne Awad affair, nobody will remember their name.
So now the announcement Monday night of the new full-time, non-acting Superintendent (where this same School Committee will screw up again) can stand (or fall) on its own merits.
UPDATE: Friday (2/27) 3:30 PM:
Yeah, now the truth can be told: From the Illustrious Select Board no less (auto generated "as a rule"):
From: Alisa V. Brewer[AVBREWER@COMCAST.NET]
Sent: Friday, February 27, 2009 3:02:39 PM
To: Select Board
Subject: Clipping Service: Interim Amherst superintendents Helen Vivian and Alton Sprague quit, health reasons
Auto forwarded by a Rule
UPDATE: Friday (2/27) 7:00 AM
Well amazingly the crusty Gazette caught up, written by illustrious editor Noah Hoffenberg himself (hopefully the Gazette has not laid off all the reporters). Of course School officials would neither confirm or deny the Supers demise but that in itself is confirmation.
Catherine Sanderson made a good point saying the full-time staff had to step up anyway when the interim folks came in suddenly, so they will be able to handle things for the next few months. My two year old had a "bacterial respiratory ailment" recently and the antibiotics cleared it up within a week. Hmmm...
UPDATE: 10:45 PM
Gotta wonder if the Gazette managed to get some school official to go “on the record” about this (Thank God!) breaking development. We will know in about six hours. Although sadly, folks who read the hard copy edition will know before Gazettenet.com internet readers.
And yeah, you gotta love the irony: the highest paid position in the People’s Republic of Amherst occupied by a formerly-and-should-have-stayed- retired married couple who despise this newfangled blogesphere, have their demise first telegraphed via the web.
UPDATE: 3:00 PM Hell No, I did not call the former, acting, not-so-super Co-Superintendents to confirm this news bulletin. But, as I'm sure you all know, I have reliable sources (and lots of them.) For the record, it will be made official Monday night.
ORIGINAL POST 1:30 PM
So the Amherst Bulletin will need to replace the “Super Column” written (I hope not on town time) by married couple Helen Vivian and Alton Sprague, former ‘Acting Co-Superintendents’ of the venerable Amherst School system.
After verbally agreeing to take the rudder in Greenfield they jumped ship and signed a one-year contract with Amherst thru June 30 at a cool $135,000. (With a two-month severance clause so they will get paid for March and April but not May and June)
They got off to a bad start. After the tragic death of a 2-year-old child in September run over by an Amherst School bus, it was revealed the Supers were at Cap Cod closing up their summer cottage.
Then, when the budget crisis caught fire, they melted like a cheap candle.
In response to a School Committee member suggesting a ‘virtual suggestion box’ so concerned folks could email the School Committee or school staff from the convenience of their computer, Mr. Sprague famously responded that in his 40 years working in public schools, “nothing good has come from a suggestion box.”
Then they were late with data unanimously requested of them by the Amherst School Committee. And a major flip-flop on reorganization plans, and maybe a tad too much support for the relatively small number of vocal parents decrying the Marks Meadow School closing.
Add it all up and they were, quite simply, in way over their heads.