Submitted by Joe Markey
Dear members of the Hopkinton School Committee,
The resignation of the new Superintendent came without warning to many in our community including myself. The letter announcing it seemed carefully crafted, but provided very little meaningful context for the community. The timing of the announcement was inconvenient for the public to gather any context.
As with every initiative our town undertakes, critical decisions open up windows of opportunity for communication. How we choose to manage communication at these critical decision points can either enhance or destroy credibility and public trust, with long term impacts. In that spirit, and understanding that some level of prudence in communication may be advised for contractual reasons, could the School Committee please provide additional information to the community regarding the context of the new Superintendent’s resignation – or at least a timeline for when such discussion may occur?
- Was the School Committee disappointed with the Superintendent’s March 1st Report of Entry Findings, available on the School website?
- What are examples of the “expectations and approach of the Hopkinton School District” cited in the letter as justifying the decision?
- The Superintendent indicates this comes “after much reflection and discussion;” when did the School Committee have first indications this may happen?
- Were there differences in viewpoint between the School Committee and Superintendent regarding defined priorities in the District?
- Did the Superintendent initiate the resignation or did the School Committee suggest it?
- Has the School Committee been displeased with the Superintendent’s performance, or received complaints from the community or staff?
- Will a Superintendent search committee be discussed and initiated at the scheduled June 7th School Committee meeting in the Middle School Library?
- Had the Superintendent requested a pay increase that the School Committee could not fulfill?
- What are the implications for the town’s 3-year contract with the Superintendent?
- What can we learn from this?
The high level of community interest in the apparently abrupt resignation of a new superintendent is not driven by idle curiosity; rather, our community devotes a large proportion of our substantial taxes to the public education of our children. Our school system is a primary community asset and we entrust much to the School Committee; in return we expect transparency, so that we can evaluate the effectiveness of our investment and trust.
I appreciate the work of the School Committee, and ask the School Committee’s help understanding the context of the Superintendent’s resignation and what we can learn from it, or at least a timeline for when such communication and public discussion may be possible.
39 Ash Street Hopkinton