Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Stability At (almost) The Top

 Co-Principal Derek Shea at Crocker Farm concert

Probably of equal importance to last night's announcement that Michelle Tesauro has been named the new principal of Amherst's Crocker Farm Elementary School is the news that current interim co-principal and former assistant principal Derek Shea will return to his position of assistant principal next year.

According to Superintendent Maria Geryk, "Derek is amazing in both roles, and we are all fortunate that he remains at Crocker Farm. He and Michele are a very strong and balanced team. I look forward to seeing where we move with their leadership."

Current  interim co-principal Anne Marie Foley status is still to be determined.  Ms. Foley was a finalist for the position of principal.  According to Superintendent Geryk:

"Annie was asked to come in for one year interim- I will work with her over the next few days to discuss next steps. Annie is excellent and we would be fortunate to continue working with her in whatever capacity."


Anonymous said...

Derek is one of the few people in our school system that I have heard nothing but high praise for, from many different parents for every role that he has held in Amherst. Glad to see we will be keeping him around in this position or any position in our schools

Anonymous said...

Dare I say this on this blog? Would anyone agree with me in saying Maria Geryk did something everyone can agree is a good thing? I know this is the home of the "Hate and Bash Maria for Everything" crowd. But can we all agree that her choice to lead Crocker Farm was a good choice?

Larry Kelley said...

Don't you have a class to teach (or teachers to Admin)?

Helen said...

I am so glad that Derek is staying at Crocker Farm. He has been an excellent Assistant Principal, and had helped bring the stability and discipline to Crocker Farm that was badly needed. We've been involved at Crocker for 12 years now, and the past few that we had with Derek and Mike Morris were the most successful I had seen.

Anonymous said...

I am not a teacher.

Anonymous said...

One word "autofocus".

Larry Kelley said...

Yeah, I was using my iPhone with low battery and I had a 5-year-old tugging on my arm.

(And the sun got in my eyes).

Anonymous said...

Hey Kelley,

Just an FYI: Geryk lost about 85% of the 100% of the teachers who were in her camp when in her first big decision she withheld step raises.

One year on the first day back, she gets a 5 minute standing ovation. The next year, there is dead silence.

That was 1.5 years ago.

My day is over so I don't have any classes to go teach right now, but I'll be back in the morning.

I don't know a single teacher who considers Geryk an ally. The town should be very happy.

She is certainly not with us, so if she's not with the town then who is she with?

I hope she gets evaluated right out of town, just like Arod.

Larry Kelley said...

Not likely.

Anonymous said...

to teacher @258: are you saying that because Ms Geryk didn't offer step raises (but did offer GOL increases) during the biggest recession since the depression (and the town wouldn't support an override yet again) all the teachers no longer support Ms Geryk. Just because of that single action, which to the taxpayer seems pretty reasonable and expected)? Teachers will only support her if she gives them more $$?

Are you also claiming that you'll only post here during work hours for ARPS?

Just trying to get some clarification.

Anonymous said...

I am NOT a teacher - just an officer worker. I have not gotten a raise in over 6 years - and even that one was about 1%. I have never had a job where I get a raise every year - whether it's called a step increase or a COLA increase. I am grateful for every raise I get - because they are so few and far between!!

BTW - I think Maria is doing a great job! I hope she stays for a VERY long time. She is not in anyone's pocket, quite clearly. She has parents mad at her as well as teachers mad at her...she must be doing something right! She truly is here only for the kids!

I think I am pretty typical of non-education employees. Teachers need to find out what it is like to work in the real world!

Anonymous said...

In the public forum with the candidates, Dr. Tesauro said that she left her last principal position so that she could finish her PhD. Maybe Annie Foley currently a PhD student will want to do the same. Getting a PhD is a lot of work and can take a long time... even for people who don't have other full-time jobs.

Anonymous said...

Just wondering if Ms. Foley apply for any of the other principal openings in the area, including in Shutesbury? .... or was she only interested in staying at Crocker?

Walter Graff said...

Geryk runs the Amherst school system not to dissimilar to the way the feminist driven divorce court system operates. While it always makes the claim "best interest of the child" it really is a partial, lopsided system that clearly has little interest in the child and more in it's self preservation.

I've spoken to many Amherst teachers privately and I have yet to find one that has a positive thing to say about Geryk with responses ranging from "no-comment" to individual stories of how Geryk's way of 'running the camp' have hurt the quality of teaching and the methods of teaching the children. But you need not ask a teacher, just look at how dysfunctional and poorly run the Amherst school system is.

You can do all the repairs on a home that you want, but if the foundation is weak, you'll just be wasting time until you finally get rid of the owner and get a new owner who addresses the problems, not the symptoms.

As for a PhD, the Fort River principle is supposedly finishing hers (one of the reasons why she was hired). If you think a person with a full time job and children has a second to do the work necessary for a PhD, you're crazy. Even those who have nothing to do but the PhD can barely do it.

There are a few kinds of administrators/management that come through this system. Some use it as a stepping stone on the way to their life goals. Others come here, see how bad this system is and run. The third are those who never really had the chops to finish a PhD and know that with the nice pay check each week, all you need to do is follow the rules and not make any waves.

And the other kid are examples such as Derek and Mike Morris who love what they do, make a difference and value their roles and need not feel like they are on top of the world in the deck to be successful.

It's sort of funny how whenever I read about who makes a real difference at the middle management of a matrifocal educational system, it's typically a male. And when a male comes into a higher-up position of this system, he often runs for the hills quite quickly when he has to deal with the craziness. No wonder why so many men would rather do anything but be a teacher.

Sharick, Hayes...

Anonymous said...

Again... not one shred of factual data to support a word he says. Opinions and conjecture.

Walter's got a grudge.

Anonymous said...

I will say Derek was and still is a breath of fresh air he is direct to the point and most of all fair and unbiased. Definitely no patronizing, head in the sand politics with him. I give Derek 5 golden textbooks!!!

Anonymous said...

If everyone hates Maria, it either means she is very good -- or very bad.

Anonymous said...

But everyone doesn't hate Maria, so your point is mute.

She's got big fans all over the state. It's a few little malcontented rats scurrying around this town, who can't see beyond their nest, who "hate" MG.

None of the little rats around here had the balls to go for the job like she did, they just clap and clap when she's looking and then complain and complain and complain when she's not, like little sad rats do.