Saturday, August 15, 2009

Stu Takes to the Twitter Machine but no Tweets on Principal Evaluations

In the latest edition of Stu's News, Fayette County Schools Superintendent Stu Silberman announced that he's joining his Daviess County Superintendent, friend and mentee Tom Shelton in the bird cage. Stu says,

One other new thing this year – I’m on Twitter! I hope you’ll consider following my tweets. The school district also has a Twitter page at ItsAboutKidsFC to keep everyone up to date on new and exciting district happenings.
You can find Stu here:

By now I was hoping we would have heard something from the district, or the board, on improvements to principal evaluations in Fayette County. The Petrilli trial exposed the need to give the implementation of the current system another look.

Unfortunately, Silberman directed the press to the board attorney for comments related to the trial and he fed us a bunch of lawyer-speak about how great the legal system is without actually addressing the question of why Fayette County principals don't get marked down - even when the directors and the superintendent have serious problems with some parts of their performance.

For Silberman, the problem has an easy fix and I hope something's already happening. Put a sliding scale on the front page of the summative evaluation and ask the directors to kindly use it. Then let the public know that everyone is serious about creating and retaining excellent principals in Fayette County.

But our pleas apparently went nowhere. Perhaps we can find a bigger megaphone.

I did see some other good news for FCPS, however.

Silberman's got a new crop of excellent principals - including two gifted veterans who are helping out for a year. Congratulations to Barbara Albaugh and Jane Gettler on remaining in the trenches and providing expert leadership to a continuing succession of teachers - this year as interim principals.

Albaugh, who retired as principal at Clays Mill Elementary in 2001, started her teaching career at Dixie Elementary School in 1969. I‟m really enjoying it because I've come home to Dixie, she said recently. It's changed, but it's still Dixie the concept we started with the complexes and individualized instruction for students is still here. Since retiring from FCPS, Albaugh has been a principal and teacher at St. Mary School in Paris, worked for the Kentucky Department of Education and served as interim principal at both Rosa Parks and Squires elementary schools while those principals were on maternity leave.

If you're counting, that's forty. We're approaching Edythe Hayes territory here. Barbara remembers when music at Dixie was taught in a forest.

Gettler, who is starting her 32nd year in education, also got her start in Fayette County at Dixie Elementary School. She retired as principal at Lansdowne in Elementary School after 27 years with the district. Since 2004, she has worked as professional staff assistant at Julius Marks Elementary, worked for the state Department of Education as a scholastic auditor and served as interim principal at Northern Elementary two years ago and Mary Queen of the Holy Rosary School last year.

She may not have gotten the ink some other principals did, but Jane generated impressive improvement in student achievement at Lansdowne during her tenure.

PLUS - Silberman scores three outstanding teacher leaders as new principals, at least two of whom I know to be excellent students, as well.

Kim Lippert has taken over at Arlington Elementary.

She taught at James Lane Allen and Clays Mill elementary schools for 14 years. For the past four years, she was the professional staff assistant at Linlee and Sandersville.... A Bardstown native, Lippert earned her B.A. in education from Eastern Kentucky, her master‟s in education at the University of Kentucky and her Rank 1 in administration from UK.
Deep Springs Elementary's new honcho is Adam Kirk.
Adam Kirk is a Lexington native with roots in Fayette County Public Schools. He was the professional staff assistant at Cassidy Elementary for the past three years and taught at Southern Elementary the previous seven...Kirk, 33, earned a B.A. in kinesiology and health promotion and a master‟s in administration supervision at the University of Kentucky.
Kari Kirchner is the new principal at Mary Todd Elementary.
Kirchner, 51, has taught elementary school and gifted and talented students in FCPS off and on since 1986, with stints at Southern, Millcreek, Meadowthorpe, Julia R. Ewan and Veterans Park. She also served four years as PSA at Veterans Park and last year was the district‟s math content specialist for elementaries...A native of Webster City, Iowa, she has lived in Lexington since 1985. She received a B.S. in elementary education from the University of Iowa, her M.S. and Rank 1 from the University of Kentucky and Level I & II leadership certificates from UK. She earned National Board certification in 2005.
Congratulations y'all, and good luck in this challenging and vitally important work.


Anonymous said...

I'm pleased we have some new principals on board in Fayette County. May you keep your parents happy!

Anonymous said...

Building on the previous comment...

"...May you keep your parents [and Stu] happy!" Else you will be ex-excellent principals ;-)

Anonymous said...

Stu, Stu, Stu.....the veneer is not as bright as it once was.