Saturday, January 14, 2017

Replacing Maria



Maria Geryk at 3/31 Finance Committee meeting with Mike Morris, Sean Mangano (just before the fall)


A joint meeting of the Amherst Pelham Regional School Committee and Union 26 voted unanimously to hire Ray & Associates as a head hunter search consultant to have a new Superintendent in place by July 1st, the start of the FY 18 fiscal year.

The winning bid was $17,000 but it was not the lowest one as the only other bidder (at $14,000) could not handle the ambitious timeline of the Request For Proposals.

Ray & Associates was founded in 1975 and currently has 170 "associates" who make up the firm.  Dr. Michael Rush put on a masterful homespun performance at the January 10th meeting  and assured committee members his company's final short list of candidates would not embarrass his firm or the Region.

Dr. Michael Rush presents to Region-Union 26 on January 10th

Which of course is a good thing considering how embarrassing the demise of Maria Geryk played out before a w-i-d-e audience, which of course will be available to potential candidates via a simple Google search.

So at least they will know full well what they are getting themselves into.

Dr. Rush will interview by phone all school committee members in the next few days and he will return to Amherst on January 23rd and 24th to hold stakeholder interviews with teacher, PTOs, Lions/Rotary Clubs, etc and his firm will also provide an online survey available for any member of the general public.

The deadline for potential candidates is March 3 and based on his firm's 40 year experience he initially expects 70 respondents, which they will whittle down to 8-12 for presentation to the School Committee via one way video and then narrowed down to two or three for a final in-person interview.

He suggested the School Committees choose a new Superintendent by March 27 so they can give plenty of notice to their current District before relocating to Amherst for July 1st.

Salary is of course a major carrot so the Committee will have to quickly decide a range to be included in the nationwide search which is expected to cost an additional $10,000 to $15,000 in advertising.

Safe bet the proposed salary will continue to keep the Superintendent's position as the highest paid in town, even though they "do it for the kids."

90 comments:

Anonymous said...

PLEASE ......NOT...another glowing letter of reccomendation from the school union booster cabal aka Kippy Fonshes glowing reccomendation of ZMarua Geryk BEFORR hiring of her ....and absurd letter to the Gazette after the fall exonerating her. Stay clear of the teachers union reccomendation.don't get fooled again-any questions ?!?!!!!!

Anonymous said...

The school building committee could learn from this superintendent search firm- They are actively seeking community input (including Amherst groups/residents not associated with the schools) before moving forward.

Anonymous said...

I'm begging you: not another leftist. Get someone who believes in a modicum of discipline.

Nina Koch said...

The searches always ask for input from stakeholders, which includes community members. Typically, they ask what qualities you are looking for in a superintendent. What would be your top three priorities, Larry? I guess thick skin would be #1 for you.

Larry Kelley said...

Bring down the average cost per student is my #1.

Nina Koch said...

But unfortunately you've helped to create an environment where thickness of skin might matter more than other things that are more important. Someone with really good ideas about cost management might shy away from the job because of the atmosphere.

We've already had very qualified people withdraw from consideration for other high-profile jobs.

Larry Kelley said...

If you can't stand the heat ...

Anonymous said...

sure larry..easy to throw those statements out there ..but the fact remains, very good candidates won't apply, not because they can't stand the heat, more because in amherst, your damed if you do, damed if you don't..who needs the head ache..for $20,000 less you can go to a Northampton, Hadley, wherever and not have to deal with nut cases, liberal or conservative

Anonymous said...

Seriously, Nina? It's been this way for over 20 years. There has always been some issue that bitterly divides administration and parents and often could be found on an internet search. You can't blame it on Larry.

Anonymous said...

Top three qualities:
1. Set (restore) high standards for academic achievement and hold everyone to them.
2. Set (restore) high standards for disciplined behavior, and enforce them.
3. Clean house - eliminate weak/unnecessary staff & administrators, dump nonsense curriculum and restore teaching of western civilization, languages, STEM and civics.

Result: ARPS will once again produce superior students, excellence for all at peak potential.

Anonymous said...

Nina-is off the rocker-again!?!! Let us ask this of the union booster cheerleaders-when will YOU grow up-and accept a modicum of responsibilities four YOUR OWN union actions ??!! This sets a very disappointing poor example " for the kids" just another reason we can't trust education with just "insiders" ruling the roost-just Say'n !?!!!!!$$$$

Dr. Ed said...

9:54, there are people who like a challenge.

Michelle Rhee didn't have to go to DC -- other cities would have loved to have her.

Anonymous said...

I hope we find someone who values the importance of science and math (forget A in STEAM, wtf!). Under Ms Geryk science and math withered and died. Not actually accurate- they were murdered...also 'diversity' should not be a goal. We have diversity and have had it for a long time. The question is how do we improve the mixing of our diverse population and not create differences. Go to any sport event and find how segregated the Amherst students are in the bleechers. shocking. What an utter failure....

Anonymous said...

What a stupid comment with no specifics just complaints. What is lacking about the math program (that you can take three free courses at Amherst College)? This messsge board has been described as a cesspool and that comment is what people are talking about. Complain but be specific and offer a solution.

Anonymous said...

Kids self segregating at lunch or in the bleachers is nothing new. It was happening when my kids were at the high school. In the late 90s. Well before the arrival of Ms. Geryk.

Anonymous said...

Ironically, as much as Larry has to say about needing more fire fighters and a new fire station, the guy is a pyromaniac. Larry loves to pour gas on the fires in Amherst life and watch as it burns. You have that addiction Larry, of needing to goad and encourage the back biting, hate and vicious, aggressive behavior. You love to push the fires of disagreement past the point of civility and into full blown blazes. Yes, your "fireground" is the human being Mr. Kelley. You like to watch and nudge those painful encounters house fires.

You don't love Amherst. For some reason, as yet unknown to us, you hate it. Why stay?

Larry Kelley said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Larry Kelley said...

All I do is hold up a mirror and a flashlight.

If you don't like the image it reflects then try to change it (or don't look).

Nina Koch said...

Larry, every time you trot out your "can't take the heat" comment, you push toughness up in the queue. You're allowing that quality to eclipse others that you probably care more about. Suppose there is someone with some fairly radical ideas about cost management. Should they take the risk of bringing those ideas here? Even if they could take the heat, why should they take it when they have other more pleasant options?

The heat in the kitchen should be just enough to cook the food. Don't make heat for its own sake, just to see who can take it. That's unproductive and won't help you with your own professed goals.

Larry Kelley said...

I'm just a thermometer. If you can't stand the heat, don't blame the device.

Anonymous said...

anon@940: are you being funny? So Math is good because students (and a very very small number) can take math classes ELSEWHERE??? Is that irony?

Anonymous said...

Larry really could care less what happens in this town…The only reason he blathers about needing more fireman is because the advertise on his blog !!!

Anonymous said...

Anon 11:35 Kudos to you!!! Want to be the Super?

Larry, Do not let the Nitwits call you names. The hate being called out when they are wrong. Thank you for "airing" both sides of local issues. Your blog is the only vehicle for doing it, even if some of us Anons still wish to remain that way. Keep up the good work!

Anonymous said...

Sooooooooo self assured and arrogant-the teachers union cabal has proven nothing but a costly abject failure and disappointment to Amherst regional for decades-partly the low grade material of UMass School of Ed diploma mill-a cash cow for wanna-bes-no wonder Nina defends it-the union has got no clothes-must be an eye toward a view to a killing-of tax largesse-if someone suggest QUALITY -not quantity-Nina-Appy-Kippy Fonsh-and lately Maria Geryk-feel at liberty to go ballistic-high time to deep six this inveterate whine and cry-actually-most of the region want's to kiss this lack of productivity or success-good riddance-adapt and change-don't be resistant to what's better !!!???

Anonymous said...

Has Morris been ordained, or will there actually be a search that is more than a charade?

RKA45 said...

Nina, Just a thought here.. I wouldn't want someone in a high position in this town if they can't handle the transparency that the position requires.. If they are transparent we the tax payers and Larry have nothing to shed light on. I also would expect them to have thick enough skin to handle the criticism if they can't value disagreeing opinions then this is not the town for them. The Amherst area has been very outspoken for as long as I can remember. I don't think it is fair to say Larry's blog is scaring away qualified candidates.
When we try to raise independent / under dog supporting HS graduates... the last thing we need is someone running the schools that doesn't uphold the values of independence and freedom of thought and speech.. An ideal prospect would see Amherst as a challenge and enjoy fostering what we have been teaching in our schools for 40 years... The right to say your peace, have your own opinions, and to have parents constantly in the schools wanting to be involved in their children's education !

Anonymous said...

The teachers union is surely looking out for it's own product-a "made persona" - just you wait and see...our bad...!!!???@&$$$

Anonymous said...

Hey, what has happened to kathy mazur? hear she retired but is still working part time? How can that be? Oh the deals made in amherst.

Anonymous said...

To have an opinion worth listening to you have to know what you are talking about.

Anonymous said...

When I read the first line of a post and it makes no sense then I know the post is by !!!!????%÷×%=÷???. Did you graduate high school or are you just too cool to speak in a manner people can follow?

Rebecca Casa said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

Rebecca...it's not a question of an opposite opinion...it's about whether what ?????!!!!! $$#×$? says is intelligible! I can't debate with someone unless I know what they are saying!

Anonymous said...

Maybe you just have either poor reading comprehension skill sets or a ?!$&@ closed mind ?!!! (Alternatively-if you have nothing to add yourself-you could stand to listen up!!???)

Anonymous said...

".but the fact remains, very good candidates won't apply, not because they can't stand the heat, more because in Amherst, your damned if you do, damned if you don't."

This reminds me of the nonsense that Clinton lost because of some sort of Russain interference. Bullshit! She lost because she was a lousy candidate who had a lousy campaign. People don't want to work in Amherst because it is so ass-backwards and has its finger up its ass. It's not that your damned if you do, it's that you just can't get anything done here because the cogs are so damaged that the clock never tells the correct time no matter how many times you try to set it. Time to drain the swamp and get a new government.

Anonymous said...

Well, I guess we"ll just have to wait and see . The talent pool that applies will be telling !!

Rebecca Casa said...

Agree however people's opinions are their own and come from their unique position and past experiences.. when someone has an opinion I don't agree with I listen and then it goes out of my brain. Why give someone power
by fostering frustration and allowing those negative or opposite opinions bother you??

Anonymous said...

When I became a teacher in 1980 (albeit not in Amherst), I remember having to write an essay on "Discipline" as part of my application. I would hope that a prospective Super here would have to expound on that topic as well. Although it would appear that the powers that be do not place much importance on discipline.

Anonymous said...

This is America. You can sit with whomever you like. Even if liberals would like to dictate to you.

Anonymous said...

9 O's. I used to love that bar.

Anonymous said...

I may not love Amherst, but Amherst dowsn't love America. I don't live in Amherst and wouldn't. I do live in the USA.

Anonymous said...

Please...don't hire a globalist. Not until they issue citizenship cards and pick a World Capitol. God forbid.

Anonymous said...

Hear! Hear!

Anonymous said...

Time for some new, outside people in the central office. Our schools need leadership.

Anonymous said...

It is not a public decision when they hire a new general manager at Big Y?

But yet food is more important than education....which is why it is handled by the private sector, you have options, competition and the best pricing.

Hmmmmm....as long as we pretend ooo's count, the kids will continue to get one poor expensive nonoption. At least you get to pick your kid's teacher in each grade....wait my wife just told me you don't even get that choice. What an expensive and restrictive mediocre system. At least your neighbors pay for most of it....wife confirmed.

Anonymous said...

Hear Hear again!

Anonymous said...

Is Morris like Hillary. Chickens counted before hatched? What's his view on the big D -Discipline? More of the same non-policy? I hope not.

Anonymous said...

Freedom of thought and speech? Here? Just ask if they're having an assembly to watch the Inauguration. Then get back to us about thought and speech.

Anonymous said...

Because maybe what they say can make you think.

Anonymous said...

I assume the kids are watching the president get sworn in!

They have the chance to watch history vs. get a later interpretation of it by those that did not see it because they were teaching about JFK or something far less educational or relivant.

Zuckerberg 2024.

Anonymous said...

That's funny.

I looked at the pic at the start of the post and pictured a local news story with the manager at Big Y with two employees behind a computer ordering cheese.

It is funny because it would seem like a silly article, but it would more important and relevant to the community that the folks running Big Y order cheese than Maria and her staff keep doing whatever they were doing in that photo, my guess is posing.

I know as a community we have trouble with priorities - we could collectively justify sacrificing a busload of white college kids to save a cockroach. I know that does not sound wrong, but it was supposed to.

Anonymous said...

Interesting notion of having the kids in the Amherst school system watch Trump sworn in as their new President. Invite the teachers too. Videotape the respectful and non-violent behavior of these adults and future citizens, as it ensues.

Show videotape to Superintendent applicants, and ask each "How do you FIX this?"

Anonymous said...

Zuckerberg? Are you crazy?

Anonymous said...

The Zuckerberg comment was based on his comments and possible intention.

He is already in charge of how many people communicate....

Are people suggesting the kids might NOT be watching at public school, would that be acceptable? I hope they watched Obama swear in. If not then what are they teaching in stead? Just be glad they do not have to swear to tell the truth...

Nina Koch said...

To RKA45,

I appreciate your thoughtful response and I agree with a lot of what you said. Large organizations necessarily involve different perspectives and conflicts around how to achieve goals. A good manager should be able to navigate that effectively.

What I object to are the attempts to fan the flames, to make things seem worse than they are. This doesn't help anything except for Larry's sitemeter.

We do know that some highly qualified candidates have cited the social media climate as a reason not to apply for or to accept a job. So it does make a difference. Search firms have told us that.

Larry Kelley said...

Yeah, the "search firms" who use that as an excuse to cover their asses for bringing us less then stellar candidates.

Nina Koch said...

Nationwide, the applicant pool is declining. In any district, the job of superintendent is very difficult to do, if not impossible. In our district, it's even harder. People with stellar qualifications can do something else.

Anonymous said...

New blood. Preferably conservative for a change.

Anonymous said...

Nine rka45 here.. if they are already using excuses we don't need them. I do agree that many ppl who post on this site would argue over the reading on a calculator ÷ That's us! Amherst... whether it positive or negative everyone has their opinion and it is right. People want people to know and sway others like a debate club ! Not an impossible environment to get work done or move forward but a challenging one.

Anonymous said...

That's just brilliant! I love the idea.

Anonymous said...

They will not be watching. Guaranteed. Trump doesn't fit the narrative.

Anonymous said...

Good. Glad to make a difference!

Anonymous said...

With BHO, it was a skin-color issue. Some historic occaisions are more equal than others. Trump's inuaguration doesn't fit the narrative. Was either of the 3 Bush terms sown?

Anonymous said...

Nina-When will YOU union cheerleader booster ladies country club types accept ANY responsibility for the fact-with Kippy Fonshes glowing reccomendation as proof-costed multiple disasters on the region-Maria Geryk-etc...this is YOUR BAD- stop attempting to switch the subject/deflect responsibility for YOUR OWN FAILURES. !!! Heads up !?@&$$$

Anonymous said...

There are more supporters of Maria in this town than non supporters..We just don't go on this blog to defend her as its a useless cause. The 4 or 5 prop;e or didn't like Maria post 50-60 times all the time
Maria probably should have taken her fight to court and would have made triple what she settled for. But she s happy now, and that is whats best

Nina Koch said...

To RKA45, declining applicant pool isn't an excuse; it's a market reality. And I have no problem with healthy debates. If we are doing something like selecting a social studies curriculum, I would expect that. But that's different from a bunch of anonymous snipers saying mean things about you and your family. Who would want that?

On another note, I just went to the website for Ray and Associates and I noticed that the paragraph they use to describe our district is something I wrote for the district website over ten years ago. I don't know where they found it. It's not correct. It overstates the number of students and it says we have four elementary schools in town. Not a big mistake, but still you would think that the people involved would be double-checking that all information is correct.

Anonymous said...

Nina, I was referring to you 1238 post .. I wasn't saying the declinimg applicant pool is an excuse. I was saying those in the applicant pool that are already whining aren't the applicants we want anyways

Anonymous said...

Sooooooooo -million dollar question-??!!! What does so many supporters of Maria Geryk in Amherst regional-really tell us all about the veracity of Amherst educational community ?!! Answer-blowhard-not quality educational provision !!! Let say-it's time to get real-ignore these union cheerleader smucks-our bad !????

Nina Koch said...

RKA,

I don't think it's whining to want to keep your family safe. We live in a world where someone shows up at a pizza parlor with a gun based on something posted online. There are people on this blog who appear to be perpetually embittered and angry. If someone seems strangely fascinated with you and repeatedly makes cracks about your dead father, that's unsettling. Why should anyone have to put up with that? And it certainly doesn't further any kind of genuine debate about issues.

RKA, if this blog is just a bunch of cute and cuddly curmudgeons, then why don't you feel comfortable using your name here? I guess there could be any number of reasons. Maybe you're just an academic who would be embarrassed to admit to lowbrow tastes. But you must feel there would be some kind of consequence to revealing your identity.

Larry Kelley said...

Lucky for you you're retired Nina.

Anonymous said...

You're going to wear out your keeyboard O. I'm begging you: if you must start your sentences with the word "so," would you kindly not use nine 'o's' or seven, six, five, four, three, or two. Just spell the fuckin' word correctly. Awful writing. Why torture us?

Anonymous said...

Yes, many of us have bosses who are not quite reasonable when it comes to their employees proffering opinion here. Best to go the CAN route. Is that so difficult to understand? Why take a chance?

Anonymous said...

"When will YOU union cheerleader booster ladies country club types accept ANY responsibility for the fact-with Kippy Fonshes glowing reccomendation as proof-costed multiple disasters on the region-Maria Geryk-etc...this is YOUR BAD- stop attempting to switch the subject/deflect responsibility for YOUR OWN FAILURES. !!! Heads up !?@&$$$"

Do you know how to vote? Have you ever voted or are you one of those who only complain about life and never actually try to change it? If you did vote then you could go into a voting booth and cast your vote for school committee members. And you could get out there in town and campaign for those brilliant people you think should be on the school committee. And maybe with some hard work and effort your person would get elected to the school committee. You could even run for school committee yourself, god help us all.

In case you didn't know it, Kip Fonsh was elected to the school committee fairly, when voters went to the booth and cast votes for him. That means that more people voted for him than for others and he was elected to the school committee. Still with me?

I realize these are challenging ideas for some people, so if you don't get it then maybe you should stop a fifth grader on the way home from school and ask her to explain it to you.

If there were a teacher conspiracy, then teachers would be making a lot more money, don't you think? Do you know how the teacher contract is determined? People who represent the towns meet with people who represent the teachers and they all negotiate. Do you know that word, "negotiate"?If you had paid attention when you were in school, then you'd know how voting works in a democratic republic such as ours here in the wonderful USA, and you'd know what negotiate means. Maybe next time, eh?

Anonymous said...

Any teacher who had their class watch Obama get sworn in yet does not provide their class with the viewing of the swearing in of Trump, should not be teaching in the USA.

Anonymous said...

WRONG -Massachusett's state law forbids an active teacher-or teachers union boss-Kippy Fonsh did both-from running for the school board-as this violates state conflict of interest laws-it is actually illegal to even put this selection to a vote-and how-so-ever it were voted-such a vote is null and void as illegal-any actions Kip took would be illegal and a crime-and no -voting doesn't serve to legitimize this illegal vote-at all -so please ...have an educated/ lawful opinion-not just a baseless diss like Nina Koch's union instigated clique inanities !???? Heads up !???!!!!

Anonymous said...

Trump is a clown.

Anonymous said...

Since Trump tweeted that Chuck Schumer is the Head Clown, does that mean the Dems will really be in charge the next 4 years?

Anonymous said...

Obama hates America is a Marxist and an anti-semite. I'll take a clown any day.

Anonymous said...

Trump's not even sworn in and is already a better President than the current one.

Anonymous said...

Well, we watched the swearing in of Obama in the schools because we wanted to show the kids that even in a country as racist as the USA, a black man still has a chance to be president. We won't watch Trump getting sworn in because the kids already know that a rich, white asshole can be president. They've seen that in so many other presidents: The Bushes, Reagan, the man whose wife took the keys to the country from him, and of course, the always drunk Nixon.

This week we're going to be watching Saturday Night Live videos of Alec Baldwin talking about how our Trump likes those golden showers. Gets that accounts for his hair color, always pursed lips, and strange smell around the guy.

Anonymous said...

It is important if you want to continue to brainwash kids to make sure that they DO NOT see historical events directly, discuss them realistically, get facts about them and only get another very biased person's opinion on it, who also did not watch history and formed the opinion before the history even happened.

This makes about as much sense as a teacher in Kansas teaching against evolution, because she knows it to be true and that is what the brainwashed locals think. Teach to the bias.

Hey at least most of us will not have to deal with these brats as they will be unemployable, especially in the automated world they will grow up into. You see, liberal snowflakes melt at any temperature outside of Amherst. Hope you parents have basements, you will need them for these kids in 10-20 years or we can ignore them at intersections when they are begging...like you did this week.



Anonymous said...

This is what they're teaching in our schools. Hatred rather than love of country.

Anonymous said...

Are you telling me there's someone left who watches SNL? The intelligentsia of the town. Alec Baldwin? You actually find him funny? How about his calling his daughter a pig? Nice guy.

Anonymous said...

Obama was and is a racist who set race relations in this country back 50 years. He tried to destroy the country, and damn near succeeded.

Anonymous said...

Obama: finally. The end of an error.

Anonymous said...

How is Obama a racist?

Anonymous said...

I use my own identity 75 percent of the time.. but after Kurt's CRAZINESS I REFRAIn from using my own name when it has anything remotely due to Maria or situations. This is one of those situations .

Anonymous said...

THE KING HAS NO CLOTHES !!!?????

Anonymous said...

Anon 2:04 wrote his comment in the exact manner of a Trump Tweet! Nice

Anonymous said...

Lol. Rich white guy? You came close to electing a rich white woman. Too bad she lied to the families of the Benghazi dead, eh?

Anonymous said...

n was the last time We the American People heard President Barack Hussein Obama comment on the death of a white man at the hands of a black man?