Exodus of East Providence School administrators continues with Salzillo's departure


EAST PROVIDENCE — The exodus of administrators from within the East Providence School Department ranks continued recently as Director of Curriculum Beth Salzillo submitted a 30-day notice of her impending departure.

Ms. Salzillo, who was among those being considered for the newly-created but as of yet unfilled Director of Education position in the city department, is leaving for what is believed to be a post in the Pawtucket system similar to the one she currently holds. Ms. Salzillo becomes the latest of the city's higher-ranking administrators, including school principals and assistant principals, that have opted to leave the department.

As she departs, only Interim Superintendent Dr. John DeGoes and Director of Special Education Cheryl Ursillo along with Diana Clarkin, Special Ed operations manager, remain in the E.P. School Department hierarchy.

"We were hoping that Beth would stay and possibly take on even more responsibilities in the department, but she decided to go elsewhere," current, though out-going School Committee Chairman Charlie Tsonos said in confirming Ms. Salzillo's impending departure.

"With all of the uncertainly we have in the department, all of these people leaving doesn't bode well for hiring quality replacements," Mr. Tsonos added.

Finding a permanent superintendent could go a long way in ending the exodus, and the East Providence Budget Commission, which is overseeing the hire rather than the School Committee, noted at its most recent meeting a full-time replacement for Dr. DeGoes is expected to be in place sometime shortly after the New Year and most likely by February.

The tenure of Dr. DeGoes, who came out of retirement late this summer to replace Edward Daft as interim super, ends in late January due to state pension guidelines.

In other school-related news of note, former East Providence High School and, briefly, Martin Middle School Vice Principal John Craig and the department reached what was a mid-five figure monetary settlement his employment status dispute.

Mr. Craig won a grievance with the Rhode Island Department of Education against East Providence over his termination from his then position at EPHS at the end of the 2010-11 term. As part of the settlement this summer, Mr. Craig initially returned to the system as an assistant to new MMS Principal Frank DeVall. However, he was one of the aforementioned administrators who have recently left the department, opting to take a similar job in Connecticut last month.



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No one wants their dirty laundry hung out to dry; but this administrator was told to "get the administrative certificate or move on". Two years ago, she was thinking of moving on, so it is no surprise that she did so.

So, we are left with two interim administrators and one operating manager who does not have the certification to do the job!

Several years ago, a teacher was asked to leave until her certification was complete. After completion, the administration put the teacher back into her job. If the operations manager were a teacher without a certificate, she would not be hired. Why hire someone who does not have the credentials? We all know why.

The operations manger continues to perform special education duties despite the Rhode Island Department of Education telling the "powers that be", she may not do anything with special education. Guess who was the supervisor of the ESY Summer program for students with special needs?

I have sat in the audience at school committee meetings for several years. I have heard the erroneous comments come from those administrators who are left. In fact, I know that the comments either have a great spin to them or they are outright lies. Whenever the interim Superintendent is given information from the special services department, it is usually incorrect. Like Dr. DeGoes saying "the preschool teacher wanted to reduce the hours and it didn't come from administration". Well, that would be believable if the preschool teacher didn't "show off" to her colleagues and say that she had a meeting about this at Dunkin Donuts with the special education department.

Dr. DeGoes mentioned that the special education department was going to obtain another transition assessment in compliance with the comments in the School Support Visit at a school committee meeting. The issue RIDE was concerned with was the wording and creation of a transition IEP...nothing said about a new assessment. In fact, three years ago, the current principal at the high school did not want another assessment. Three years ago, David Sienko said, "It is not about the transition assessments; but what vocational opportunities the students have." Except for the students with severe disabilities, there are no vocational opportunities for the other IEP students with mild disabilities.

Smarten up people. You will be left with two people who have caused the district money, lawsuits, arguments, favoritism, a lack of transparency, non-communication, unilateral decisions, usurping the right of the evaluation teams to make decisions, ignoring important phonecalls, etc., etc., etc.

Don't cry over being called "mean girls". That's only one title you are given.

Enough now! We need a new competent administrative team.This school system will take years and years to get back on its feet. For the Budget Commission, it is not all about money. It is also about POWER! Dr. DeGoes will leave in January and they will choose the Superintendent and appoint in February. What is that? God help this District. Pray for Miracles!

Saturday, November 24, 2012 | Report this

Awful -- Who suffers? The students who are unable to advocate for themselves!!

Sunday, December 2, 2012 | Report this

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