Letter: The Search for a New ER9 Superintendent

To the Editor:

The Courier recently posted a letter from an Easton resident criticizing Save Our Towns/Save Our Schools for not mentioning students in the letter we sent to the Search Consultant listing some of the characteristics we felt the Boards of Education should be looking for as they interviewed Superintendent candidates.

Concern for students, teachers, and education is an obvious prerequisite for any Superintendent. We felt the search committee did not need our coaching on the subject of caring for students and education. We also did not mention that they should check the Superintendent candidates backgrounds for child sexual abuse incidents since that is obvious.

Below is the the letter we sent to the Boards of Education. To suggest that we don’t care about students is spurious smear that distracts the public’s attention from what we actually said and is illogical.

Dear Dr. Joseph Erardi (Search Consultant) and the Easton, Redding and ER9 Boards of Education,

You have held community forums to explain the process of hiring a new Easton Redding Region 9 Superintendent to the public and to solicit our opinions as to what qualities we think the School Boards should be looking for as they interview candidates.

We think the following characteristics are important:

Primary:

Candidates with a history of longevity in their positions.

Candidates with experience managing geographically large, rural, school systems.

Candidates who prefer institutional administration to institutional reform.

Candidates who avoid divisive and controversial public comments.

Candidates who emphasize traditional academic excellence over student comfort.

Candidates with a positive view of American history and the Western tradition.

Candidates who think the taxpayers should have an important voice in curriculum choices.

Candidates who believe teachers should not bring their political views to class.

Candidates who will embrace the time-consuming ER9 reality of reporting to three BOE’s.

Candidates who think that the gender identity, personal political views, and the sexual orientation of students and teachers are not the business of the schools.

Candidates who will continue Easton and Redding’s tradition of academic excellence, including improving our standardized test scores versus those of our peers.

Secondary Importance:

Candidates who have been active in their community outside of their school job.

Candidates with roots in Connecticut.

Candidates who live within easy commuting distance of our towns.

We think all members of the Boards of Education should scrutinize the writings and scholarly interests of candidates and not pursue candidates whose writings or work history suggests they hold divisive views.

Dana Benson
Kathy Kuhn
Co-Chairmen

Save Our Towns/Save Our Schools

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