To the editor:
This was written to be given as public comment at the School Committee meeting on July 26 and has been edited to be printed since that meeting was abruptly canceled without hearing from any members of the public.
I had hoped that my time spent in School Committee meetings was over; however, I could not sit by last night while this malfeasance continued. The main reason I ran for re-election this spring was because I feared this kind of scenario happening, as it has been wholly apparent for years that some members were pursuing the covert goal of removing Dr. Buckey from his job as superintendent. Rather than rooting for his success, they were rooting for his failure.
The standing of our town within the broader region is being hurt right now because of this fiasco. It’s being seen as yet another instance of “Marblehead being Marblehead.” The director of the state superintendent organization, Tom Scott, has told us to “get our act together.”
There were superintendents from across the state and country who were logging on and prepared to speak at the meeting last night. They were there to bear witness to this spectacle of leadership fueled by hate and resentment.
I am not writing this to defend the superintendent. I am writing this to call out the irresponsibility, thoughtlessness and deceit being demonstrated by this board. I ask that you cease and desist immediately before it costs the district and the town any more precious funds or stature. We have already fired teachers and placed the cost of sports on the backs of parents, and now you are running another superintendent out of town. The cost alone is incomprehensible under our current circumstances. Those funds should be spent on student-facing items and support for our overburdened teachers.
In the past few days, many people have reached out to me. I’ve been told about the chair contacting staff members on their personal time. I’ve been told that she is speaking with the previous interim superintendent to see if he will come back once they have dispensed with Dr. Buckey. I was also made aware that she has offered the interim superintendent job to Michelle Cresta. So much for open meetings, transparency and “making the sausage in public.”
Most concerningly, I’ve been told that teachers and administrators who are in support of Dr. Buckey are afraid to speak up for fear of retaliation by this committee. It has been 37 days since the election. The lack of appropriate governance, communication and executive leadership demonstrated by this committee is palpable in the community now. Elections have consequences. But so does lying, false and duplicitous campaigning, unethical behavior and irresponsible leadership.
The people who will be most hurt by this are the children. It does not seem possible to salvage the stability of the current administration. So I will ask that every member on this committee tender their resignation immediately. You have shown that you are unable to follow the School Committee operating protocols set forth for appropriate governance, and the only precedence established here is that the community can count on you to continue to behave inappropriately. Allow everyone to heal (once again) over the remainder of the summer and let another committee make the decision on the next superintendent of Marblehead Public Schools.