Waterville Board of Education votes to hire an assistant superintendent

WATERVILLE — The city’s Board of Schooling on Monday voted 4-3 to hire an assistant superintendent pursuing a prolonged debate in which proponents mentioned the superintendent’s career is beyond what 1 particular person can do and opponents preserved a vote really should be postponed.

“In my opinion, the task is also big for a person human being if we want to get further than what is crucial to continue to keep the ship afloat,” board Chairperson Joan Phillips-Sandy mentioned.

The board also took the very first of two votes to approve a proposed $28.6 million faculty funds for 2022-23 that signifies a 7.99% boost in excess of the recent spending plan. The vote was 7-. Boosts are mirrored in schooling technician salaries, projected trainer salaries and jumps in medical coverage and snowplowing.

Phillips-Sandy cited a prolonged listing of responsibilities Superintendent Eric Haley cannot get to since he is occupied with other perform. Haley experienced planned to retire this yr but a research committee turned up no candidates that officers deemed were being a excellent healthy for Waterville. Haley agreed to keep on for just one additional year and a new look for course of action for his work is predicted to commence in the tumble.

Phillips-Sandy and board users Pam Trinward, Patricia Helm and Elizabeth Bickford voted for using the services of the assistant, and users Greg Bazakas, Maryanne Bernier and Spencer Krigbaum voted in opposition to.

Haley and Phillips-Sandy previously this yr had introduced up the strategy of using the services of an assistant superintendent, but several parents opposed the move and discussion finished.

Phillips-Sandy said Monday that most faculty districts the dimension of Waterville’s have an assistant. She stated she worries that if Haley have been to be out for an emergency, there would be no a person to fill in. Haley was intended to have a hip changed previously this yr but did not do so for that purpose.

Haley does not have time to be liaison for homeless pupils, of which there are 60 in the district, in accordance to Phillips-Sandy. That employed to be a task of the assistant superintendent. Haley not too long ago came in two days of missing a grant application deadline for finding $36,000 from the point out to aid with homeless students. The district was awarded the money, but if an assistant superintendent experienced been in spot, the application would have been processed sooner by that human being, Phillips-Sandy said.

There is also no one to take care of complaints from mothers and fathers and guardians, which is an important component of the task but time-consuming, and an assistant would do that, in accordance to Phillips-Sandy. An assistant could find out district funds, budgets and making design challenges, which would empower the employing of a new superintendent who may possibly not have those competencies but is powerful in other areas, she said. Haley also would have time to work and community with spot colleges and be capable to commit more time in district educational facilities, she explained.

When Haley experienced an assistant, he was able to network with business leaders as he did when he was a member of the Waterville Rotary Club, according to Phillips-Sandy. Haley has lots of connections with the neighborhood and when he retires following calendar year those connections will be gone, she stated

Winslow educational institutions Superintendent Peter Thiboutot Michael G. Seamans/Morning Sentinel file

Waterville for several many years employed an assistant superintendent, the past of which was Peter Thiboutot who now is superintendent of Winslow educational facilities. Thiboutot was assistant superintendent for Different Organizational Composition 92, which incorporated Waterville, Winslow and Vassalboro. That composition, whose superintendent was Haley, dissolved in 2018 following 9 many years, and Winslow employed Thiboutot as superintendent. Waterville went again to remaining Waterville Public Universities with Haley continuing as superintendent, with no assistant.

Haley stated the assistant’s posture would be funded with federal CARES Act revenue for at least two years and he has checked to make certain that it is a appropriate expenditure of those resources.

Bazakas and many others prompt COVID-19 resources should be applied for helping college students with discovering reduction in places this kind of as math and examining due to the pandemic, and for substitute teachers. Haley reported he can’t get to the 60 family members of homeless pupils who need assistance. An assistant superintendent would be in demand of substitutes and run a curriculum committee, which is just one of quite a few Haley claimed he now runs. He reported he gets far more than 150 e-mail a day and he has to prioritize which ones he will have to reply within just two times.

“I just feel you are heading to be in the same scenario, without having an solution, a year from now if you really do not do anything to defend oneself,” Haley explained.

Trinward reported the district will never ever obtain a superintendent like Haley, who functions evenings and weekends.

“I just can’t notify you when he’s taken a 7 days off,” she said.

An assistant could use for grants and there is a lot of untapped funds out there, according to Trinward.

Bazakas preserved it would be difficult to obtain an assistant superintendent who would go away a work now, but Trinward reported principals would, as they would see it as a advertising. Bazakas questioned what comes about when the COVID-19 cash runs out.

“Is this a terminal posture? How does that work?” he mentioned.

Haley said a two- or three-yr deal could be provided an applicant. The new assistant would be cost-free to apply for the superintendent’s situation “but it will be a aggressive detail,” he said.

Numerous men and women in the viewers stood to aid or oppose hiring an assistant. Mayor Jay Coelho said he went back again and forth on the challenge, but he thinks the district requirements to employ a single.

“We can do superior,” he stated. “We can lead the area. I imagine Eric requirements help.”

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