Northampton Public Schools Superintendent Blog

Weekly musings: June 22, 2012

Posted on: June 25, 2012

There is nothing like the ritual and ceremony of the ending of the school year.  Graduations at each level, notes to

photo by: worradmu

teachers, tearful goodbyes…we enjoyed it all this week.  The relationship between educator and pupil is a strong and valuable one that enriches the human experience while developing academic skills.  I admire, and honestly miss, the bonds that are created through the shared experience of a school year and so often last a life time.  All of us love the phone call or email that arrives years later from a student who wants to let us know how they are doing, how they have grown, and how thankful they are for our work.

We wasted no time getting to our professional development work; Mark Prince arranged a workshop for teachers and administrators with Rob Travers from Teachers 21 on Thursday morning.  Together, we studied how to best use our new Educator Evaluation Tool.  We covered the specifics around creating SMART goal for professional practice, for student learning, and for the creation of team goals with a departments or grade level teams. 

As part of my professional role, I sit on the Board of Trustees for Smith Vocational School, and we hired a new superintendent this week.  Assistant Principal Jeffery Peterson of Chicopee Comprehensive High School will join us over the summer. 

Though we have had some detailed discussion regarding the Clarke School lease agreement, I am pleased to say this is moving forward nicely.  Clarke construction teams will begin work at Leeds on Monday, while we continue to work to create a legal agreement acceptable to all parties and build a program for kids that will unite the two school populations. 

In personnel, we have a new Supervisor of Special Education.  Pam Plumer, formerly the school psychologist at Leeds, will change positions and join ALT.  Her experience, education, and vision for special education made her our top choice and we are thrilled she has accepted.

The positions of Director of Special Education and Director of Innovative Instruction and Technology are posted through the end of next week. Interviewing will begin soon and selected candidates will be announced in July. 

In looking forward to next week’s School Committee meeting, it should be relatively short compared to last week.  Three principals will present school improvement plan results from this year and propose their goals for next year.

Last evening, ALT and the central office staff enjoyed a social event to say “farewell” to Nicole Markel and Mark Prince. Both will be leaving us at the end of next week for their new life journeys.

Sincerely,

Brian L. Salzer, Ed.S.
Superintendent
Northampton Public Schools

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