Tuesday, July 26, 2016

What The Hell Is Going On?



For the 2nd time this month the Amherst Pelham Regional School Committee has cancelled at the last moment a meeting with an executive session to discuss "contract negotiations with nonunion personnel (Superintendent Maria Geryk)."

And yes, the first three times they posted the executive session agenda (with the 3rd one cancelled at the last minute) the postings did not disclose that it was Maria Geryk they were going to be talking about.

 RSC meeting 6/14: Only meeting all summer Maria Geryk attended

So far those secret talks in two executive sessions already held came to SIX HOURS!

Superintendent Maria Geryk, the highest paid town employee, has two years remaining on her lucrative contract, so why all the discussion now about her contract?

Yes, there's a provision in that contract for an additional year that automatically trips unless given 120 days notice, but it seems far fetched this ongoing mystery is simply about nixing a one year extension.

74 comments:

Anonymous said...

She gone.

Dr. Ed said...

My guess is that Maria's lawyer is threatening an ADA lawsuit.

It will be totally unfounded bullbleep, but that won't matter.

Larry: If she goes out on 72% disability, is that considered Workers Comp (at which point the district's rate skyrockets) or does it get dumped onto the state?

Bottom line: Geryk has no place else to go, it isn't gonna be like Holub who went back to being a Professor of German (I forget where) -- Maria can't go from being a Supt back to a SPED job.

What parents may not know us that August is the busiest month of the year for the admin -- and if the Supt is non-operative, that's a problem parents won't see until January, but very much will then...

I always said that Maria Geryk will implode, and that it will be spectacular. And she well may be taking the UM School of Education with her.

Anonymous said...

Ed i wish it were true just to help you make sense of your bizarre little inner world!

Dr. Ed said...

Well, if it is true, then what?

No, we won't see an apology.

Dr. Ed said...

Read the contract -- She's not employed by the Town of Pelham, She is jointly employed by the district and union. Hence Aisha Hiza can sue all four towns -- not just Pelham.

And it was perfectly approprite for her issue to be raised at the Amherst meeting.

Anonymous said...

What is going on is the closed doors of American Government after it takes over an industry, tanks it and then over funds it....aka public education run by below average performers who know the public cannot resist.

Anonymous said...

OMG a MEETING was CANCELLED!!!! In the SUMMER!!!!

(insert special font)

Sckened by admin in Pelham said...

I'm going to go back to my original guess and I think this is tied up with evaluations. And well maybe people think or it is so as it is to be seen the evaluations needed to be filled out differently and within guidelines of the contract there may still have been enough information in those evaluations for Maria to realize that she no longer holds the school committee at her beck and call. I think this is all tied together and whether it's the evaluations that are prompting the school committee to move forward on Maria's contract or it's Maria realizing everybody is on to her game and that she no longer has the strong-willed she thought she had and she wants to move on I think all of this is tied to those evaluations and the fact that there this late coming out. But as so many people have reminded me especially mr. Kurt I have no idea what I'm talking about we'll just have to wait and see

Larry Kelley said...

For the second time in a row (at the last second).

Anonymous said...

Last year Maria Geryk was not evaluated until August.

Sckened by admin in Pelham said...

Well last year she didn't break federal law this year she did

Dr. Ed said...

Perhaps it is time to ask the Chair why she did so.

Anonymous said...

She did not break federal law at any time.

Anonymous said...

Maybe she was offered a job in Brookline, MA.

Larry Kelley said...

How would you know that?

Anonymous said...

I predict we will be just as unhappy with whatever admin. takes her spot, this year or in the next couple. In spite of what this blog and the readership think, she is well regarded and recruited by other school districts often (ditto for Morris). I don't have inside knowledge about the Brookline job but she will land a great job somewhere when she does leave. We are going to lose competent people because our town is crazy.

Who is going to be willing to take this job after what we've done to her? Someone second rate that will be gone in around two years. We have no one to blame but ourselves.

Larry Kelley said...

Well she will not land a great job anywhere if her current evaluation has "unsatisfactory" checked off by a few School Committee members.

Anonymous said...

"Well she will not land a great job anywhere if her current evaluation has "unsatisfactory" checked off by a few School Committee members."

Well- it seems school districts don't do their homework in checking prospects. Seems they meed to experience it for themselves!

A former Wildwood Principal went on to crash in many positions throughout the state (and in NY) Despite this long trail of destruction- he was recently a finalist for a Superintendent position in MA.

Anonymous said...

When and if Maria Geryk decides to leave Amherst she will land a very good job. She is highly regarded around the state.
We on the other hand will have a very hard time attracting ANYONE much less a good anyone. I would not touch the Superintendent's job with a 100 foot pole.

Larry Kelley said...

It may not be her decision.

Nina Koch said...

Brookline has recently hired a superintendent:

Andrew Bott

I agree with 6:14pm that Maria can easily get a job elsewhere and that it will be difficult for Amherst to hire. Headhunters have already told us that.

Larry Kelley said...

Yeah, those damn toxic blogs.

Anonymous said...

Maria Geryk is the best Superintendent we have had in decades.

Nina Koch said...

Oh good, then you do recognize your role.

Larry Kelley said...

Give voice to the voiceless; seek truth and report it.

And if it pisses off the Powers That Be ... all the better.

Anonymous said...

The question Larry is, how does one determine "the truth"? Just because you or others give voice to "it", whatever "it" may be, doesn't necessarily make "it" true.

Larry Kelley said...

The more of "it" there is the better.

The answer to bad speech is more good speech, not censorship.

Anonymous said...

I'm not talking about "bad" vs. "good" speech, Larry. I'm talking about the truth. Big difference. And, something we've lost touch with in this "information" age of ours.

Dr. Ed said...

There are lots of qualified "dark horse" candidates for supt slots -- folks outside the short list the headhunters shop around.

After all, what was Maria's qualifications before coming to Amherst?

Anonymous said...

Looks like Ms. Geryk is leaving Amherst. Yikes!! Are we left with Mr. Morris until the search is finalized? This school system is truly at risk.
So glad my daughter is graduating next year. To new parents looking at schools, I sadly tell them that Amherst is not what it used to be and to look elsewhere.

Sckened by admin in Pelham said...

Wrong I'll find you the quote and I'll pass it on it is against federal law to Bar a parent from attending school committee meetings I'll find you the statue and send it to you on this post in this thread after I put my children to bed

Sckened by admin in Pelham said...

Unfortunately we are going to be left with Miss geryk s wonderful leadership decisions long after she leaves regardless if it's this year and next year or in three years as Amherst and Pelham dig out from a huge lawsuit that we're going to lose because she broke federal law and we're going to lose that piece even if we win every other part and I hate to say we win because I don't consider anybody winning in this situation. And if she gets a job in another District without her doctorate degree good for her and I think Doug Slaughter should be considered for superintendent with his doctorate degree at least he would make rational decisions

Sckened by admin in Pelham said...

I hope so I hope she gets a wonderful job somewhere but I hope she doesn't take as much money away from us as the lawsuits going to take away from us for all of her awful decisions this year including completely ignoring what the parents of this town one on the Wildwood project although that won't end up in a lawsuit

Sckened by admin in Pelham said...

Rivera-Powell v. N.Y.C. Bd. of Elections, 470 F.3d 458, 465 (2d Cir.
2006) (citation omitted). As part of this analysis, "the Supreme Court has distinguished between
(a) claims based on established state procedures and (b) claims based on random, unauthorized acts
by state employees." Id. (internal quotation marks and citation omitted). A meaningful
post-deprivation remedy automatically satisfies deprivations caused by random, unauthorized acts.
Id. at 465-66. This rule recognizes that state and local governments cannot predict when
deprivations will occur. Id. at 465. For deprivations based on established state procedures, a court
must balance the three factors identified in Mathews v. Eldridge, 424 U.S. 319 (1976), to determine
the process due:
First, the private interest that will be affected by the official action;
second, the risk of an erroneous deprivation of such interest through.
Huminski, 396 F.3d at 87 ...

Sckened by admin in Pelham said...

Larry where do you find these people obviously there are people all along that I've been paying attention to what's been happening in this town since March. Then there's people that have been paying attention since last year with Carolyn Gardner. And then there's people that have been paying attention since Dylan. Then people have been paying attention since the Wildwood project. Maybe some people should just go back and read all the blogs since the ban was first announced way back when and get educated on what are a superintendent is actually done with all the good she's done it takes only one really negative thing to erase all the good. And then I think of all the negative things which there's so many I can't even list and I think of all the positive things but the reality is one big mistake erases it off and we are going to live with the consequences of that and this town for a long time and we are going to need a strong leader to get us through. Sorry to randomly jump all over the place but what about all the Middle School teachers and how terrible they are what about the top load on administrative staff that we have instead of having teachers to educate our children. What about spending so much in legal fees to cover our butts that we don't have as much money in the coffers to educate our children I don't know what's wrong with these people. I don't understand how none of them can see it you can be the best person in the world you can do a great job but when you start making mistakes that cost money that hurt the children of this community it's time to go

Anonymous said...

She is the leader and I'm not saying she is not an amazingly nice happy awesome for the children on the outside leader. I can tell you she wasn't there for me when I needed her. I can tell you she wasn't there for my daughter when my daughter needs her. But my daughter's life is turned out fine regardless of this Maria choice to ignore our pleas for help so I Harbor no ill will on that face. But when you put all towns at risk because you don't have the ability to do the right thing and deescalate multiple situations to the point where the town and up having to bail out the school on a lawsuit By Carolyn Gardner. Or you put a small town at risk to the point where a school may not have enough money to function because of bad choices that end up scaring away school choice candidates that's a problem. Or what about treating school committee members like Shabazz and Baptiste and Sanderson so terribly that their families are under stress that's a problem or what about current choices where it was obvious the majority of people wanted and would have supported the Wildwood plan if we could have kept the kids K through 6 and just decided to do it the way she wanted and rearrange Crocker against the majority. Because the school committee decided to vote against what the majority of the people in this town wanted in my opinion every single person that was on school committee for that boat needs to go except for Viera who is the only one who had the guts to say this is not what's best for the families in this town and that's not what the voters want in my district

Anonymous said...

Well it is good to see that the comments on this blog have determined what is going on. Kudos to Larry and ed!

Anonymous said...

No, Maria is like Tom Aceto & Michael Gargano. Toxic.

Goodbye Maria, Goodbye!

Anonymous said...

http://www.gazettenet.com/School-committees-closed-session-with-Amherst-Superintendent-Maria-Geryk-canceled-3666135

"Regional School Committee Chairwoman Laura Kent said in an email Tuesday that the meeting was called off 'because at this time there is no new information to share with the committee.'

"Kent explained that summer is a difficult time for members of the committees to find times to meet, but she hopes to reschedule the meeting for late this week or early next week, at which time a statement will be issued."


Sckened by admin in Pelham said...

Maria announced non of her staff would be around for meetings in.July. They were all to go on vacation. Tske the month off.. So if the SC has things to discuss with Maria she isnt Nd won't bed available .until August.. Thus the no new,info.. I assume..

Anonymous said...

Sry for the rant.. I didnt mean terrible,middle school teachers. I meant the middle school teachers being in a terrible situation. Not happyvwoth administration either. Then I never even mentioned the district wide bullying problem, rNdom curriculum initiatives, the craopy restorative justice program. MARIA MAYBE THE NICEST/ SUPER we have had in a while she is not the best SUPER .. by any means..

Anonymous said...

She DID NOT break federal law!!!!!!!!!

Anonymous said...

Maria is NOT toxic. This blog is toxic!

Rick Hood said...

I have not agreed with Geryk all the time, but overall she has been a very good Superintendent. Had she made some mistakes? Sure, show me a Superintendent who hasn't. If she had not tried to improve things, she would not have made mistakes. The next Super we get will likely be a do-nothing one so as not to make mistakes.
This is correct: "When and if Maria Geryk decides to leave Amherst she will land a very good job. She is highly regarded around the state. We on the other hand will have a very hard time attracting ANYONE much less a good anyone. I would not touch the Superintendent's job with a 100 foot pole."
There is no way the SC's (Region + Union 26) are talking about getting rid of Geryk. If anything, it's about how to keep her. She is not going anywhere unless she decides to quit.
My best guess is there is something going on with the evaluation - probably that some members did it wrong and they are trying to figure out how to deal with that. By "wrong" I mean that per DESE rules, if you give anything other than 'Satisfactory" on an item, you have to provide "supporting evidence". In the past there have been members who have not done that, and that could be the case here.
But that should take less time to resolve, so maybe it's something else.
Yeah, these meeting cancellations are odd, but I agree with "OMG a MEETING was CANCELLED!!!! In the SUMMER!!!!"

Larry Kelley said...

TWO meetings. BIG difference.

Anonymous said...

Let us be real. Dirtbag cops and priests get vounced around after violent felonies.....don't see any issues here. If society cared about school evaluations then no one would get work. Plus, skills cross professions, you can get jobs in other fields or get a promotion and an increase in your social class by starting a business. The doom and gloom crap makes no sense.

Larry Kelley said...

We're all going to die!

(Someday)

Anonymous said...

Exactly Larry, no one ever mentions or thinks about the admin in a school after they leave. Kids rarely do while they are there, most parents could care less and show this by sending kids to public schools in the first place. School admins are not there for kids, thinking so just shows you likely went to school here.

Nothing makes the school system look worse than this blog....but it cannot be fired.

Yes we will all die, but why change the subject. What the hell is going on, jokes on the parents....and even more so, the taxpayers. As long as everyone is clear that the kids are slave units.

Anonymous said...

Hey sicko in Pelham,

maybe you should write your own blog since you are essentially talking to yourself in about 10 posts here. or better yet, maybe you and Ed should get married and write a blog together. I don't hear Vira booing or hissing at the two canceled meetings, and we all know that is her go to strategy when she has something on her mind, so this must not be as big a deal as Little Larry projects. So, it's two meetings that Larry wasn't able to get his fix on Maria Geryk news and now he's going through withdrawl. I wonder if there is a 12 step program for leeches like Larry who live simply t0 suck the life blood out of small town locals.

Hey Larry, remember a couple of weeks ago when you got heat stroke and then found yourself standing with the peaceniks on a Sunday morning? Yeah, I knew that was a fluke. You must be feeling better now as you are back to your life-long hater stance. Atta boy!

Larry Kelley said...

Yeah it was pretty hot that day (and every day since).

Anonymous said...

what specifically has Geryk achieved? how have the schools improved?

Larry Kelley said...

"Are you better off now than you were 4 years ago?"

Anonymous said...

Absolutely not. Just more and more frustrated with the Amherst schools and an administration that ignores parent concerns.

Dr. Ed said...

Rick leaked confidential information without realizing it -- his discussion of past attempts to rate Geryk as "unsatisfactory."

QED there was one or more SC members "back then" who wanted to give Geryk that rating and, apparently, weren't able to do so.

Perhaps the DESE regs need to be challenged as being in violation of the MA Constitution.

In any case, Geryk has a sweet deal, even if she were "to shoot someone iv the middle of Fifth Avenue"(Trump, 2016), it would be impossible for her to get less than a "satisfactory" rating because her contract precludes any "supporting evidence" from existing.

And yes, the DESE is very much part of the problem here.

Dr. Ed said...

Hey Maria: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_50-gOeBilc

Perhaps the new theme song of the SC, with https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=47y5bo8wtqM being Larry's mantra.

Dr. Ed said...

And while a lot of the parents may be 10-20 years to young to have ever heard this, it might inspire...https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4xmckWVPRaI

Sckened by admin in Pelham said...

Ed I'm super busy and I know you're really good at finding this stuff on the dese website if you have the time could you post the school rankings and anything else from 5 years ago to right now so we can compare it. The thing that people don't understand I think unless they're a manager of a business like Pelham school you can get a completely functioning School from a completely awesome principal and it's going to function for the next 3 or 4 years before it becomes dysfunctional because the leader before had the systems in place and the people in place to have such things work effectively. So it takes a few years for things to fall apart. I think the same thing is happening with the school district we are seeing the effects multiple years of dysfunction finally catching up because as people retire and as people get replaced the systems that were in place start to fall apart with a dysfunctional leader

Sckened by admin in Pelham said...

I'm sorry I am super frustrated and impassioned by what has happened to our school district and to my school in general so I have been talking a lot because I'm very frustrated but I have decided which all of you will be so happy I have nothing else to say I have said everything I said it twice I said it 10 times and now we'll just wait and see what happens. Then when you will see that I am right and I'm sure I won't hear that on this blog or anywhere else in the world it won't really matter because I will know I'm right and the rest of you will know it even if you cant it admit it.

Sckened by admin in Pelham said...

Thank you for agreeing with me I agree with you. I think all of this has to do with the evaluation process but I think it also has to do with the fact that Miss Maria is not happy with the evaluations. I think she doesn't want anyone to see them and that may be where we disagree

Anonymous said...

Huminski, 396 F.3d at 87 . in the only other thing I have to say is at this point is that it is probAbly considerably less expensive to keep her then it is to get rid of her. Let her stay and live with the consequences of her decisions

Anonymous said...

Who would ever want her job? Amherst parents are some of the most nasty, intolerant people on the planet. No wonder their kids are a mess. Respect for teachers flew out the window years ago. Throw in all the dysfunctional families just looking for attention(or lawsuits) and you will get...just what is happening. It does not take an Ed.D to figure this one out!

Dr. Ed said...

Sorry, the DESE is useless for numerous reasons.

As to Supt Evaluations, here's what it says:

http://www.doe.mass.edu/lawsregs/603cmr35.html?section=05

Districts shall have a system of evaluation for administrators under individual employment contracts that reflects the purposes in 603 CMR 35.01(2), and adapts the Standards and Indicators for Effective Administrative Leadership Practice and the procedures in 603 CMR 35.04-35.11 as applicable to the role and contract of the administrator. Nothing in these regulations shall abridge the authority of a school or district to dismiss or non-renew an educator consistent with applicable law, including G.L. c. 71, §§ 41 and 42.




http://www.doe.mass.edu/lawsregs/603cmr35.html?section=07

Student feedback collected by the district, starting in the 2013-2014 school year. On or before July 1, 2013, the Department shall identify one or more instruments for collecting student feedback and shall publish protocols for administering the instrument(s), protecting student confidentiality, and analyzing student feedback. In the 2011-2012 and 2012-2013 school years, districts are encouraged to pilot new systems, and to continue using and refining existing systems, for collecting and analyzing student feedback as part of educator evaluation.

Staff feedback (with respect to administrators) collected by the district, starting in the 2013-2014 school year. On or before July 1, 2013, the Department shall identify one or more instruments for collecting staff feedback and shall publish protocols for administering the instrument(s), protecting staff confidentiality, and analyzing staff feedback. In the 2011-2012 and 2012-2013 school years, districts are encouraged to pilot new systems, and to continue using and refining existing systems, for collecting and analyzing staff feedback as part of administrator evaluation.

The Department shall research the feasibility and possible methods for districts to collect and analyze parent feedback as part of educator evaluation and shall issue a report and recommendation on or before July 1, 2013.

Any other relevant evidence from any source that the evaluator shares with the educator.
(emphasis added)

Anonymous said...

Perhaps God could drop down from Heaven and try his/her luck at pleasing the Amherst crowd!

Larry Kelley said...

I'd still keep him (or her) on their toes.

Anonymous said...

Could not have said it better myself!

Anonymous said...

Hey, Laura Kent and the rest of the school committee: What makes you so special that only YOU can know the discussions going on? What special qualifications do YOU have that make you trustworthy to hear and see what is going on behind closed doors that the rest of us, who voted you into office apparently don't have? You have become exactly what we didn't want on the school committee. You have become secretive and corrupt and I will vote against you in the next election and I will happily donate to candidates who run against you. You took that job dishonestly and you are proving it now when you claim only you school committee members are smart enough and qualified enough and trustworthy enough to hear what is being said behind closed doors. Well, you are being talked about in all of Amherst's kitchens and living rooms and bedrooms, also closed doors and we think you should resign. You have betrayed all the people who supported you in the last election by perpetuating the secrecy and sneakiness and double-dealing that is going on out of public view... and the people who will be footing the bill for your insightful decisions based on all of this secrecy are us. You are a terrible person who lied to get elected and you should be ashamed of yourself.

Dr. Ed said...

I can't speak to the Lord, nor justify much of the crap in an Ed.D., but some of it is valuable as how to deal with stuff like this.

I am NOT interested BECAUSE it is Amherst, personal reasons, but if I could do it, a lot of other people could as well. Catherine Sanderson actually found someone who could do it and you folks would listen to her...

Anonymous said...

Sicknd...3 minutes after you said you weren't going to comment anymore you did! And who the hell were you thanking for agreeing with you. If you are ever proved correct I will let you know!

Anonymous said...

Anon 9:39: I am assuming that Laura Kent & the rest of the school committee are just trying to fulfill their SC responsibilities as best they can.

I, for one, appreciate that unlike past SC chairs who have been charged with putting together the summary report of the superintendent's evaluation, Ms. Kent has gone out of her way to give the SC members additional time & opportunity to make sure that their evaluations comply with the DESE guidelines & that the high ratings & low ratings include documentation. Past SC chairs have just disregarded those evals by SC members who didn't comply with the guidelines. Ms. Kent however, extended the deadline & gave everyone a second chance.

I too wish that more was known about the recent SC exec sessions & the delays. I am sure it will be, eventually.... & in the meantime, without the facts, I don't blame the new SC members for what's transpiring behind closed doors. I do hope that whatever it is, it is resolved & some information, as allowable, shared with the public soon.

Anonymous said...

I find it so hard to understand that we the people can't know everything going on as its going on!

Dr. Ed said...

What was Kent's quote in the Gazette -- "nothing new to report"?

My guess is that it is one of three things:

1: Maria is threatening to sue over one or more SC members evaluations with neither she nor evaluator/s backing down.

2: A dispute between SI & SC being unable to perform her duties due to disability, or her failing to perform her duties.

3: Maria & SCs are in agreement on sending her out on a 73% psych retirement, but are waiting for Boston to approve it.

The other thing is that while both committees have to vote to either fire her or to not give her the additional year, IT MUST BE A PUBLIC VOTE. Hence even if she wins these votes, she will be badly tarnished.


Remember too that her badly worded contract isn't like a UM contract where you pay trough the end of the contract and immediately her someone else -- Maria has a right to continue running the schools even if bought out. That never happens because Supts quickly get a new job elsewhere but Maria won't. No Kurt, she won't.

Anonymous said...

Hey everybody..I had some good fun-look at all the good thing's said of Maria in all the paper's/online/blogs back in the day-it's an aging nineties hipster cheese Donnybrook..!!! TIME TO MOVE ON-Those that fail to learn from their mistakes-make US..what's INSANE..for being agit-prop believers in the teachers union-school committee loons-Kip Fonsh& gangstas tried to "Put one over on us".back when Maria in vogue-just hired-by the school nutz-just go ahead-howl or weep-I'll cry...!

Sckened by admin in Pelham said...

Thanks Ed!!

Sckened by admin in Pelham said...

Anon 158.. I was thanking Rick Hood for agreeing that the hold up in the evals had a something to do with all the executive sessions. That is why I replied directly to his post like I am replying directly to yours. Yes I responded 3 min after because I felt so warm and fuzzy that someone else saw the correlation.. And Im trying to make Larry ,little bit of money. Im too busy to write,my own blog.. I run 3 businesses already too busy..