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Donald Palmisano: Northampton SchoolCommittee taken to task

To the editor:

What exactly is the role of our Northampton school committee in reference to the management of this school system?

The superintendent was hired for a three-year contract with the Northampton school system. He was an “outsider” with little or no connection to the city or the school system. Recently this superintendent quit so he could take a better opportunity outside the country.

So the school committee allowed him to break the contract early! That was a nice gesture on the part of the school committee. Then this superintendent becomes involved in the process of hiring three new principals of various schools in the system. Why?

He’s leaving the city and the school system. What leads us to believe that he would have the city or interest in Northampton schools at the forefront of his mind when it comes to any appointment? Might he not have an agenda or a friend or two who would like to become a principal to help their pensions? The school committee should act more in accordance with the private sector: get the superintendent out sooner than later since he indicated an interest elsewhere during his short tenure here. The school committee seems to have forgotten for whom the superintendent works. And, they have also forgotten whom they serve: the people of Northampton.

It’s about time this city began to review earnestly the qualifications of those in the system who have tried to work themselves up the ladder. They would demonstrate a more sincere involvement in the school system and would have more staying power. Let those who have worked so hard for so many years reap the benefits from climbing the ladder of management. And in the long run Northampton would also reap some benefits.

Donald Palmisano


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