Kristen Gordon has superintendent certification and has been C.T. Plunkett Elementary School's principal since 2003.
ADAMS, Mass. — C.T. Plunkett Principal Kristen Gordon will spend her next few months shadowing the superintendent so she can take over in October.
Gordon was appointed on Monday as a temporary assistant to the superintendent with the intention of learning the ropes from current Superintendent Alfred Skrocki. Upon Skrocki's retirement in October, she is expected to take over the position until a permanent superintendent is found.
The principal of nearly 10 years and former Plunkett student could not hold back her excitement Monday night, profusely thanking the committee and saying she wouldn't be getting to sleep that night. The committee members volleyed the thank you back saying they were happy that somebody in the district would be willing to "step up" and take the position on.
"I think we're very fortunate to have somebody in the district who is certified and willing to step up," Committee member Gloria Lewis said.
Gordon, who committee members said is qualified for the position, is expected to be later appointed as interim superintendent and will be a candidate for the permanent post.
The committee has not had enough time to do a full search for Skrocki's permanent replacement and, last week, voted to appoint an interim until a full search is completed. Unsure of how to proceed, the committee initially did an internal search for the permanent position, for which Gordon was one of two respondents. She then became the primary choice for the interim when the committee felt it needed a larger candidate pool for a replacement.
"It became quite clear that in the timeframe they were looking at it would be very difficult for us to complete a regular search and have a replacement by fall," Chairman Paul Butler said.
A consultant with the Massachusetts Association of School Committees said the search for a replacement in time for October would have to be shortened and would not likely return the best candidates. If Gordon did not accept the position, MASC would have helped find a retired superintendent to fill in.
Skrocki will develop a transition plan that will start shifting some of his work to Gordon to prepare her for October.
"I'd like to keep everything as intact as possible for the students as long as we can. When the interim position is taken over on the first, we'll address the need of an interim principal," Skrocki said.
In other business, the committee delayed taking a stand on the location of the preschool program. Skrocki previously proposed moving the program to Adams after the new Hoosac Valley High School construction but a group of parents opposed the measure.
Led by Michelle Francesconi, parents petitioned the school committee to keep some form of the program in Cheshire — citing fears the loss of the children would affect multiple aspects of the school.
Skrocki, however, defended his position saying because there is a greater number of students with special needs from Adams, it is no longer logical to keep the program in Cheshire. The school's "side-by-side" special education program requires an equal amount of special needs students and other pupils, meaning the school would have to transport nearly a dozen Adams students to Cheshire to run two programs.
Francesconi asked the committee to delay a vote until after student screenings in March, when parents can be asked which school they would prefer. Skrocki said he was not sure if delaying a decision until April was possible but said he would talk to teachers and staff to see how long they could delay.
If the decision is held until April, Francesconi hopes to have enough students choosing Cheshire that the district would figure out the logistics to keep a program there.
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Dr. Martin in recent weeks has brought up the very serious issue of bullying. Elementary schools accept zero tolerance of bullying by its' students, yet bullying can also exist at the professional level too. Comments attached to this article coin a term for it. If you define what it means situation specific, are you a friend of a friend, a family or extended family member or just part of the social click, if not then you're out. Unforutnately, the professional environment of Plunkett is laced with this. Good people whether adults or students are the price bullying takes as it prize. Do we want this to continue to reproduce itself? Should the search committees be professioanllly and socially unrelated to do the job it is intended to do?
Before you go posting things about how people are not qualified for a position why don't you justify your apparent biased decision with some relevant and substantial facts. You have a school committee for a reason and they have chosen this path. If you don't like how they conduct business then I suggest maybe some of you people should run next time. For those who are unaware, it is an elected position. This world is rampant with negativity and unprovoked suggestions of incompetence. You should feel proud that someone from the community who grew in up in these same schools is even considering taking the job.
I have always found Kristen to be professional, responsive, caring and to have the best interest of the kids as her primary interest. I expect this will serve her well in this position as it has as a principal.
I am a parent of two children in this District. I am THRILLED that the decision was made by the school committee members to appoint Mrs. Gordon interim superintendent. Obviously, those of you who are "labeling" her as part of the "good 'ole boy" click, do not know her. My dealings with Mrs. Gordon have always been professional and she has always had the best interest of the children. Just because we don't always see "eye to eye" with someone's opinions or decisions, doesn't mean that person is not qualified for the position. Instead of all this negativity, why don't we welcome Mrs. Gordon into her new position with positive feedback and allow her the time to show us what she truly is capable of, a caring administrator who will truly have the best interest of the children in this District. Good Luck Mrs. Gordon in your new endeavor!
Parents these days...When their kids are punks they immediately blame others or the "good ol' boy network." It's never the parents' fault. By the way, for those oblivious to the outside world, the "good ol' boy network" exists in every organization in America. Would anyone honestly not help a family member or friend get at least an interview?
So many hypocrites out there.
In response to hypocrit?
Like I said...Would anyone honestly not help a family member or friend get at least an interview?
That mindset exists everywhere. In my entire professional career, I have not met one person who would not help a family member or friend get an interview. That's the way the world works. That's how everyone goes about it. Learn to network, it's all about who you know.
My comment has nothing to do with Kristen Gordon because I don't know her, it deals with teachers and parents in general. Most teachers I've dealt with have a hard time dealing with this generation of children, and most of us would, because very few parents do their job. Most parents today think teachers are responsible for their children, and they are wrong. The school system is like many other organizations or business, if you work at getting the required education and certificates, you have the chance to move up and make more money. I've dealt with principals that couldn't even deal with children, but for some reason, they thought they were ready to be managers and oversee the operation of a school. I understand some people make good teachers, and some make good managers, but some are just good at getting the necessary certificates. The school systems usually promotes within just like most companies in the country, but sometimes, someone from outside can be a powerful choice because they don't know anyone, and are free of bias, and don't have a personal agenda with everyone involved.
I dealt with Kristen about six years ago for my son who went to Plunkett. I was not from Adams, my family was not well known or "in" the click and I didn't even know Kristen prior to this. I was just a concerned parent and she was a concerned, caring, helpful, responsive educator willing to do whatever she could to resolve the situation. I believe she is very helpful, understanding, knowledgable and cares very much about children and their famililes in her school. Best to you Kristen!
I think people are writing about two issues here. One an interm superintendent is she caring, understanding about the kids in her building and her advocates are happy and the topic of its who you are that gets you the job opporutnity and is this a form of excluding like bullying and it gets people upset.Sometimes you don't have the know and you're qualified but over looked. Isn't this a forum to share how you feel, a right we have in a democracy.
Freedom of speech gives one the right to their opinion. But too many times I've read comments under articles in iBerkshires that are not factual and are intended to deliberately hurt people. I wonder how many of these comments would be posted if people had to use their real name, including myself. In today's world the internet is such a powerful source of information and news that I consider some comments made on articles in any news story to be considered cyber bullying. Maybe the editor can explain what iBerkshires.com policy is regarding anonymous comments that sometimes hurt an individual(s) and their families.
Neglect happens, people drink and drive, sell illegal drugs, kids are bullied across America and the abuse of hiring practices to favor family, social networks and friends exists. Does it make any of these things right??? No! Be real when does some one stand up and say its wrong or do we just turn our backs and sweep it under the rug. The person is qualified is one thing. I do not think that is the issue the first response on this page makes, it's the injustice that is being ignored over time.
I think the school district needs to hire from outside of this district. There are too many issues in this school district that are not being dealt with. We need to clean house and start fresh because the system in place is not working and does'nt benefit the children or parents of this community. There is way too much politics in this school system. Has anyone ever heard of the words "ethics and morals". I don't feel every person in this school district knows what those words mean. The district does have some caring good teachers, but there are far too many who don't. What is really sad is that more parents do not speak up to the adminstrators and schoool committee. More people need to come forward and speak up to the Board of Education to make a change. People talk about getting on the school committee, seems to me that the committee elects freinds and relatives how can change that good ole boy system. Does anyone ask why so many kids are leaving the district to go to other schools. Kids aren't just leaving to go to McCann or Drury some just drop out and get their GED. Pretty sad that most people commenting today don't look at the real picture, time to get out of your bubble and see what is really going on here.
I wish some people would get MORE POSITIVE!!! Adams is awesome!! Great people; great things going on and YES...great schools!! Until you go and see what is going on in the schools, you have no idea. Take a day and go visit one of the schools. Adams is the town that was able to open St. Stans. NEAR IMPOSSIBLE!!! The great Thunderfest. Adams is the town that comes together when a few of our children over the past years were diagnosed with cancer and pulled together HUGE benefits!!! GREAT people make up Adams!!! We should feel honored when someone wants to be employed in Adams. There are many other jobs in different towns and cities. Let's join together and just get more positive because THAT is what Adams is all about!!! That is the town where I live and know and love. Let's get positive and let's all work together to solve any and all problems. If we can raise $10,000 for a child with cancer in our small little town than we certainly can work together to continue to create great things in Adams!!
From the comments, it seems like 10 or so people who like Kristin keep trying to influence this discussion - no big deal. Hiring someone for the position that has worked in the field can be very beneficial, because they know the strengths and weaknesses of the program. Hiring from the outside can be refreshing/powerful, but usually the learning curve puts the successful applicant at a disadvantage. Since I don't know Kristen Gordon, I don't know if she has the ability to respect everyone she has worked with, but from the comments, she sounds professional. From my experience, usually the bully teachers move up, but it sounds like maybe the school system has a real teacher/manager in Ms. Gordon. If I'm correct, the school system is doing what is right.
This is not about Kristen ROBINSON Gordon. This is about the ACRSD "townies" using the same "play" that 14 years ago made an interim superintendent (I think then they called it acting superintendent)permanent. However, 14 years ago there was not "school choice." Fourteen years ago ACRSD was "run" by experienced educators(most of them now retired.) One would think that Mr. Skrocki and the School Committee could have worked out a much smoother ending to Mr. Skrocki's career. Let's say, pay him through October, and have a timely transition with a genuine search for the MOST qualified person. No, folks, you need a "flow chart" to understand this appointment it has so many "ziggs and zaggs." This school committee should be ashamed of their collective selves.
Editor: Curious, in what way? The interim will sit until they do a search for a permanent, giving them more time. Whether they should hire inside or outside is whole other issue, but how could they have made a smoother transition?
If we could all start using free education (Kahn Academy), we wouldn't be having this discussion. Sometimes I think teachers are like baby sitters - if parents were responsible for educating their children, society would save a lot of money. I have a hard time understanding why people want to pay for education, but think it's wrong to have universal Health Care. If I have to pay taxes to educate your child, don't complain about paying to keep me healthy - i don't see the difference between the two subsidies. When a child learns how to solve problems on their own, they are ready for the real world. It's time to change the education system in this country - just like we need to change our dependence on the Oil Industry.
i have to say, insted of posting the negative on here, why dont you go to the school board and address your concerns. I have stopped reading comments on iberkshire.com because of this. Its just all talk. I think the bulling is in the negative posts. The only way a teacher will get experence is letting him/her teach and learn themselves. If you have a problem with the educational system, why dont you become a teacher yourself. If its such a big deal why don't people just home school their children??? That would be too much work now a days. We are are intended to our first ammendment right, but address to the right people. Not on the internet. Our children learn from their parents. Just think about that? Negetivity is all the internet mainly is these days. Time to grow up and stop hiding behind a computer. My Freedom of Speach! I'm happy with this school system. I think is was a great decision they made appointing her. I've heard good and bad things about the school. Mostly good now a days. Just saying....