Monday, May 16, 2016

And Another One Gone

Amherst Regional Middle School Principal Marisa Mendonsa has resigned


 
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 Ms. Mendonsa was appointed ARMS Principal two years ago

94 comments:

Anonymous said...

This is disconcerting. Does anyone know why she is leaving?

Anonymous said...

WOW!!!!! Do we know anything about the interim?

Anonymous said...

Wow!!!! Do we know anything about the interim, and how they are picked? I wish she resigned before all the changes that were made in the middle school. Not a popular leader, I'm assuming that's why she left?

Anonymous said...

hope none of the kids get hurt running to leave the district! WTF?!

Anonymous said...

an 'arts integration specialist" will be our next academic leader at ARMS- could it get worse?

Anonymous said...

From what I understand, her administrative style with teachers was the primary factor. If you believe that this was a problem that could not be overcome, then this is a step in the right direction.

There is however still the significant problem of the changes she leaves behind: most notably, the requirement that all teachers in all classes must adhere to the same class structure ("the workshop model"), every day. From what I understand, this model has some merit when teachers are empowered with the freedom to apply it flexibly; but can be quite restrictive when required as an absolute mandate.

It's now up to administration to determine if this mandate will remain in effect going forward.

Anonymous said...

Let the bashing begin... Dr. Bode is an exceptional and respected educator. What an e-rag this is. I wonder how much this blog alone has cost the community in staff turnover. Good work, Kelley

Anonymous said...

Larry - Given that emails around school personnel to school committee are confidential, it is evident that one or more of the committee members violated that given your possession of the email and how quickly you posted it. Another sad commentary about our elected officials.

Anonymous said...

My son is supposed to be a seventh grader at the Middle School next year but given the hateful community, mean and vengeful comments, and disappointing staff at the Middle School determined to drive good potential people out, we will looking at our options now. Demling and Alshular should be ashamed of themselves.

Nina Koch said...

And so it begins. The new principal has not even started and already some thin-skinned anonymous person gets on the internet to say something snarky.

Patty Bode has a lot of experience with middle school students (specifically at ARMS). She is also someone who thinks deeply about education. So, to answer your question, yes it could be a lot worse.

It's lucky that anyone is willing to take this job. Why don't you see what you could do to help things go well at ARMS next year instead of taking pot shots at someone whom you don't even know?

Anonymous said...

Patty Bode is an art teacher/ artist

Anonymous said...

I wonder what more is needed before the SC recognizes that there is something seriously wrong with the abilities of our leadership. As I understand it, this principal was simply carrying out orders from above. Guessing she was tired of getting blamed. I'm sure that the supporters of our current SI, will blame this resignation on parents, like all the other failings of the system...

Anonymous said...

And a sad commentary about Larry that he posted it. You are being used, Larry by folks who hate Ms Geryk. Oh that's right. You're one of the folks that hate Ms Geryk.

Anonymous said...

If the shoe fits!

Dr. Ed said...

"an 'arts integration specialist" will be our next academic leader at ARMS- could it get worse?"

Yes, and I imagine that it will.

MARIA'S GOTTA GO!!!!!!!!!!

Anonymous said...

At least you spelled her name correctly.. Anon 458 unlike the superintendent. In her Letter to the SC. Very professional I must say .. But after listening to the problems at the middle school during last two reg sc meetings I think leadership change Is what we need.. Of course I would like the change to be all of Team Maria. That would include Brady, Guerva, and Hall, well as the bully herself.

Sckened by admin in Pelham said...

I think Ms Bode is exactly what we need at the middle school. She is a creative leader who has a mind of her own. She won't get pushed around hopefully Maria doesn't regret this decision in the future.

Sckened by admin in Pelham said...

Its very obvious that the leadership at the top bullys people into submission if they have their own mind.. That is why there are so many bully problems in our schools. If its accepted at the top it will filter all the way to kindergarten. Good for her for leaving. Im sure she was following orders and Im sure shes tired of being under the bus

Anonymous said...

I can only assume by some of the comments that this is all larry's fault...bad larry...I also enjoy the "parent" commenting above that one of the reasons they are pulling their child out is because of mean comments here....lol....where is ed?...can't wait

Anonymous said...

The anti Team Maria movement grows every day ...the stay away order is in place. We haven't even started yet. More to come..

Anonymous said...

They are speaking up for great teachers who are scared to come forward due to admin bullying.. They are speaking up to keep clAssrooms creative in order motivate kids to love learning. They are trying to stop our schools from turning into a cookie cutter system that won't work for diffent learning styles.

Anonymous said...

Wow...I Googled Dr ed cutting...he posts comments all over the place....truly a housebound crank...ed please tell us what THEY did to you? Does it involve alien abduction? You can't demand our respect ed...you have to earn it !!

Sckened by admin in Pelham said...

Ed We have an art person isn't the WORSE thing maybe she can figure out a way to get c electives back. If not she will be bored

Sckened by admin in Pelham said...

#TeamRaheli is everywhere.. Even the SC..

DaveMB said...

Patty Bode is indeed an art teacher, and ran an art program that was one of the best things at Wildwood when my daughter was there 15-20 years ago. More recently she is an administrator at the arts magnet high school in Springfield. A friend of mine teaches there and thinks highly of her -- she is the administrator to go to if you want to get something done.

WebTechAds said...

For all the people bashing people who think lead to this resignation, be ashamed of yourselves.

We have no idea what lead to her leaving. There could've been many issues that were beyond the bullying situation.

2nd: For all those bashing Geryk, understand that their problems might not correlate and there's no reason to assume this resignation as a sign of things to come.

To those bashing parents who bring these issues up with school admins : THAT IS THEIR DUTY AS A PARENT.

And it is the dufy of the community to hear out these stories and make active gestures to come to a resolution. Everyone here I assume is too old to be taking matters into social media and blogs. If you don't know these people firsthand and your kids attend these schools, get to know the people more.

This is a small town. It's not like you don't know each other. Acting like kids more than the kids themselves. And you wonder why these controversies plagued your school's.

Act like adults . Meet each other. Understand the issues, and have good resolutions. It's your effin' kids futures for chrissakes!

Dr. Ed said...

"Given that emails around school personnel to school committee are confidential

No they aren't -- I believe the Sunshine law defines them as public documents.

it is evident that one or more of the committee members violated that given your possession of the email and how quickly you posted it.

1: Said representatives of the people have a duty to represent the people, and that includes informing the people.

2: The more interesting thing is how quickly the new principal was hired.
"Interim" my a**, Miss Maria was hired as an interim.

3: Notwithstanding #2, the *instant* someone is actually hired, it's both public information and while there is no obligation to announce it by the most expedient means, any attempt to embargo it is questionable.

4: I find it troubling that (a) the "faculty/staff" had already been told, (b) the SC members were being told now (as opposed to last Friday), and (c) the parents wouldn't be told until the evening.

Amongst other things, this means that, but for Larry, the children would have known about this before their parents did -- that's unprofessional and actually rather stupid as you (admin) have no idea what version of the story will be going home with the kids.

Another sad commentary about our elected officials.

More on an unprofessional administration.

Dr. Ed said...

Random Reflections:

1: As a general rule, a person resigning will author the announcement -- when someone is fired, you usually will see something more like what we have here.

2: It's still early May -- I've heard of principals being hired in July if not later, particularly interims (when the intent is for it to genuinely be an interim).
She's hired a replacement awfully fast -- that caught my attention.

3: As a general rule -- and this is "School Admin 101" -- secondary principals tend to come out of a core subject area.

4: Spelling the same word more than one way in the same document (when it isn't carelessness) is a big-time SPED indicator, particularly when it is the name of someone whom you know. Yes, the "Ms. Body" caught my attention -- and as "e" & "y" aren't typed with the same hand, let alone finger, this isn't a "typo" in the traditional sense.

5: I can't help but think of the tail end of WW-II, when Hitler was hanging out in his bunker. Or the DDR just before the collapse.

Team Maria is imploding.

Anonymous said...

8:10 -- I notice you aren't identifying yourself....

Anonymous said...

From what I hear it's a positive development.

Dr Ed said...

Art is a core subject at an arts magnet school -- she thus has the experience of seeing a diversity of teaching styles & approaches, not just her own, in her own subject. I believe this is essential for a principal as she has to supervise teachers tn subjects she may not herself know so well, let alone have personal experience teaching.

Anonymous said...

Are we going to have daily references to Hitler?

Anonymous said...

As long as we are haunted by the ghost of Mr ed, probably.

Anonymous said...

A sad commentary about ONE elected official. Doesn't take much imagination to figure out who that person is.

Anonymous said...

It's not "someone whom you know".
It's "someone you know"

Anonymous said...

What's team raheli?

Dr. Ed said...

http://dailysignal.com/2014/09/08/one-state-children-homeschool-attend-private-schools-shouldnt-shock/?utm_source=facebook&utm_medium=social&utm_campaign=thf-fb

Things will get interesting when parents are issued a voucher for each child -- when all the education money follows the child. Public schools only getting a school budget on a flat per-child basis, whoever educates the child getting the voucher.

Parents who homeschool getting it.

Larry, if you were given $40-44K to do it, would you think about homeschooling your two girls? You could do an awful lot for the girls with that.

Dr. Ed said...

Oh, and as to the inevitable "what about SPED", the solution to that is what many other states do -- have a completely different aid rate for SPED, and hence a completely different voucher.

Hence if only SPED students remained in the public schools, the SPED money would as well....

Anonymous said...

Mr. Ed, that article says nothing about parents getting a voucher. It gives statistics about one state, and several "guesses" by the author. Something you so quite often when reporting "facts."

Dr. Ed (who understands what "when" means.) said...

Someone missed the word "when" -- or perhaps doesn't know its meaning.

I wrote that WHEN vouchers arrive (i.e. they aren't here now) and WHEN a means is devised for them to be payable to homeschoolers, THEN.....

!!!!

Anonymous said...

Ed you are blowing people's minds continually!

Anonymous said...

Good thing she's leaving while we still have some teachers left at ARMS. The exit of so many excellent teachers last year and this has been very disturbing.

Anonymous said...

Ahem.

You know, if we just completely, completely ignored Mr ed and never said a word to him, or about anything he says....he would not get that little jolt of enjoyment and self importance that he gets each time someone engages him, and he would probably drift away...

Seriously, there is a pathology here, whoever suggested looking at his disqus profile, it's really pretty amazing...

https://disqus.com/by/dredcutting/

Anonymous said...

Anon 4:34...that is just mean....Ed has nothing else to do or look forward to.

Anonymous said...

Oh, OK Ed. I get it now. I could re-post that link to your disqus profile, then in the next paragraph say something about raving lunatics, sex offenders or pedophiles, and people shouldn't assume they are connected. Thanks for clearing that up.

Anonymous said...

Where does it say vouchers "when, may, if or anything else" could arrive? Your link is irrelevant, Mr Ed.

Anonymous said...

Dr Ed...Mr Ed is a talking horse...

Anonymous said...

Anon 7:41
The parent comment speaks to the negative hateful community on this blog that drives strong, good people away.

Anonymous said...

Why is it that teachers, who are being held accountable for teaching and improving their practice, get away with complaining? I thought that is what this educated community wanted. Make up your mind folks!

Dr. Ed said...

"You know, if we just completely, completely ignored Mr ed and never said a word to him, or about anything he says....he would not get that little jolt of enjoyment and self importance that he gets each time someone engages him, and he would probably drift away...

Actually, no.

It's said that adversity that does not kill you serves only to make you stronger, and the one thing I really learned in the Hophead Valley is that Emmanuel Kant was right.

I will profess to what I believe to be truth, and don't give a damn if I stand alone. I believe that there truly is a divide between good & evil, and I choose to be on the side of good.

"Seriously, there is a pathology here, whoever suggested looking at his disqus profile, it's really pretty amazing..."

Someone has way, way, WAY, too much time on his/her/its hands.

Seriously...

Anonymous said...

Our superintendent has failed to hire and keep a SINGLE (new) principal in the 8 years or so she has lead our district. All our principals (WW, CF, ARHS) had been in the district long before she took the SI position. Either she is not good at hiring or is not a good mentor/leader. How could this not be considered a 'weak' area for her evaluation? Hiring, training/mentoring, retaining principals is one the most important jobs of the SI. I'm sure her supporters will claim 'bad luck'.

Anonymous said...

Geryk is a fascist bully who has used her ability to control information to hide both her incompetence and misdeeds.

Nina Koch said...

Why do people have such a need to see other people as villains?

Anonymous said...

Nina, I don't see Ms Geryk as a villain. I happen to agree w a previous poster that she cares deeply about kids, especially kids with special needs. A person can care deeply and at the same time not be effective as a leader (in all areas). I let the record speak for itself on the Principal issue. What is your explanation? I don't think bringing up that issue is a 'personal attack' on her, it is on her performance. There are lots here who do personal attacks (most from Ed) but there are genuine criticisms posted, you can't sweep them all under the carpet (that carpet seems to already be on a mountain of dirt).

Anonymous said...

"Why do people have such a need to see other people as villains?"

BECAUSE THEY ARE???

Nina Koch said...

To 11:26 AM,

My comment was in response to 10:35 AM's comment about the fascist bully. I would agree with your comment at 11:26AM. There are definitely issues here and they should be examined.

It would be good for someone to talk to some of the principals who have left. Maybe some of them were overwhelmed by the job and needed more help. Maybe some of them misjudged the situation when they applied and later decided it just wasn't right for them. Maybe some of them weren't given the resources or support they needed to implement their ideas. I really don't know.

We also have to keep in mind that the applicant pool is very small, which makes the probability of finding an appropriate candidate very low. Not very many people want to do this job. I think the district is better off when it develops leaders within the system, as happened with Derek Shea. At least those people have some idea of what they are getting into and they are a known quantity to the district.

I like good literature because the characters are sketched in layers -- we see their good qualities and their flaws and we see the motives for their behavior. Reading a good novel helps us learn how to adopt the perspective of others. I'd like to see more of that in this situation. I don't think there are evil people involved. I think there are people who are trying their best, while sometimes making mistakes. I think there are elements of chance that cause certain circumstances to arise.

To decide that some people are just bad is to over-simplify. It's not an analysis. It doesn't help to improve anything.

Dr. Ed said...

Nina, a "personal attack" is something like "you are fat, ugly, and your mother wears Army boots" -- an attach on the person qua person.

Criticizing ones actions (including failure to act) is not a "personal attack -- by definition. It may or may not be justified, it may or may not be defensible, but it is not a personal attack.

An example: Calling Carly Fiorina "ugly" was a "personal attack", discussing things she did at HP was not.

When one is in a leadership position, the bar is lowered -- saying that Hillary Clinton's apparent physical health problems should preclude her being POTUS is fair because, well, look at FDR in 1944...

Anonymous said...

OK, Geryk acts like a fascist bully...

Anonymous said...

How about trying a little discipline and education instead of the racist non-discipline and leftist indoctrination?

Anonymous said...

Confidential? Like Clinton's emails, for example?

Anonymous said...

And what's wrong with hating, not Geryk, but her policies? I hate her policies. Nice lady though. Met her once.

Anonymous said...

I've been an ARPS employee for 15 years. In that time, I've worked at ARMS under about 7 (maybe more-I lost count after Hayes) Principals. Why?

Anonymous said...

The leadership at the top? Foisting Marxism on your kids. But I suppose if you want it, you get it.

Anonymous said...

Anon 2:06, Marxism is pandemic in K-12 -- I blame Ronald Reagan for not backing Bill Bennett, but I digress. Marxism is pandemic in Higher Ed as well, look at UMass.

No, the ARPS system is also fascist in a quite intolerant way.

Anonymous said...

Was the MS principal job posted? By law the Superintendent must post all positions. Often times they are posted internally if an interim is desired. In any case, this should be investigated. The laws regarding posting in public schools are very strict.

Anonymous said...

Im not blaming her for the bullying peopke will do what their ladder does and says and will follow the acceptable..norm. Which isn't good enough that's why add as a parent I feel the manipulation and bullying by the adults needs to change so it isn't the example the kids follow. I believe the ms principal leaving is a gift to some of the naysayers to gain some smidgen of support

Anonymous said...

Idk but it wouldn't be the v first time this administration found a way to skirt policy..

Dr. Ed said...

Anon 8:32, you might also wish to ask the union. Posting is also (usually) part of the contract.

There's also usually a specified minimum time it must be posted FOR. Less than one full business day doesn't cut it...

Anonymous said...

The obvious choice isnt always the correct choice. Anon 901

Anonymous said...

9:11 -- you don't want to know my perception of the former MS principal based on that photograph....

Anonymous said...

Ms Bode was hired as an interim principal. Posting not required for interim position. I'm sure they will conduct a full blown search for permanent principal.

Anonymous said...

Here's Mr Ed talking out his ass again. Ms. Bode was chosen to serve as INTERIM principal. No posting needed.

Anonymous said...

You still need to post for interim positions.

Anonymous said...

Actually you don't.

Anonymous said...

As a retired Superintendent and Principal, I know that interim principal positions are always posted. It's vitally important that all stakeholders have a voice when choosing their leader. This is true for interim principal positions. A culture of distrust will develop if a Superintendent makes decisions on his/her own without input or a consistent fair process. A rogue Superintendent is the worst at fostering and building healthy climates in schools & the district as a whole.

Dr. Ed said...

"Here's Mr Ed talking out his ass again. Ms. Bode was chosen to serve as INTERIM principal."

I suggested that it might be worthwhile checking with the union to see what their contract says, if anything, about interim positions. Remember that, usually, this would be a prized promotion that members of a bargaining unit would want a chance at.

No posting needed.

I don't suppose you would care to share the basis of your opinion, or do you merely wish to attach me personally?

Anonymous said...

1:05 -- and "existing practices" are often considered manditory for stuff like this -- if it always was posted in past, you can't not now.

Anonymous said...

@anon 105. I agree that doing as your suggested would be the preferred way to run things.. but since this admin has continually done as it pleases ignoring laws, violating constitutional rights, overruling court orders, manipulating and bullying SC members, blaming parents,and not accepting responsibilities I think it is safe to say we have a rogue superintendent that abuses her power. I would love to post my name but I have a child in school and I don't want to get banned.. After watching the Reg School committee meeting and watching them not be present then all walk in together grandstanding made me completely ill. Very Obvious trying to show unity and power. But true power and respect comes from being able to admit wrongs and standing together to make things right. Power isn't signified by how many people are walking behind you as you enter a room. I hope team Maria is ready when She throws them under the bus to save her own job because she will try.

Anonymous said...

You know, the entire district could wind up in Federal receivership.

Sckened by admin in Pelham said...

Look how long it took them to taje of morgan in Holyoke bad press isn't going to make them take over.. One parent complaint isnt enough.. That would be a shame and Im naive but I don't see how that could ever happen even with the mt feeling about admins policies and actions we are still many issues away from being taken over.

Jackie M'Vemba said...

At least Ed used his name.

Dr. Ed said...

Holyoke was taken over by state.

Sckened by admin in Pelham said...

I know but it took them forever lots more issues than us

Anonymous said...

W. Arthur Garrity

Anonymous said...

Thank you grammar cop.

Anonymous said...

Teachers don't teach. They indoctrinate.

Anonymous said...

She's a terrible boss, apparently. And with shitty liberal policies and zero school discipline.

Anonymous said...

If the shoe fits...

Anonymous said...

One more time with feeling...it's not her I hate. It's the leftist claptrap she foists on us.

Anonymous said...

Not the person. The policies.

Anonymous said...

Nothing on the internet is confidential, Mrs. Clinton.

Anonymous said...

I don't view Geryk as a villain. But her policies are ruinous, and she certainly is a terrible boss.

Anonymous said...

Kinda like what this totalitarian president does with his "decrees" and exec. orders

Rebecca said...

Wow. I missed this when it was originally posted and I am kicking myself for reading the comments. Read the news in the Bulletin and it sounds like they pulled the Interim Principal from the pool of candidates for the Fort River School job.

In any case, I am still wondering why someone would walk away from a $110,000/year job? Is it pressures from the teachers or from Maria G. I'm thinking that the superintendent is to blame here but I don't know anything about it.