Letter: Let’s not sacrifice a top-tier administrator
December 6, 2014
Wednesday's Roaring Fork School District board meeting (5 to 8:30 p.m. at Roaring Fork High School in Carbondale) is a must-attend event for taxpayers, business owners, parents and community members in Glenwood Springs, Carbondale and Basalt.
It's at this meeting that the board will discuss Superintendent Diana Sirko's request for a contract renewal. The decision is of critical importance because of its cascading impact: Renew Sirko's contract and we stand a good chance of losing second-in-command Rob Stein, a progressive educator and administrator who is leading the district's strategic planning, and who many — including some board members — expected to succeed Sirko at the end of this school year.
The community is concerned, but the public outcry is not divisive. Rather, it's a sign of an engaged, supportive and enthusiastic district. The outcry comes from the very same parents who worked hard to pass the mill levy, who participated in visioning, strategic planning and facilities meetings, and who volunteer in the schools, serving on PIE, boosters and the accountability committees. This community cares because it helped select Stein. This was the community's decision, not entirely the board's. And to lose him would be to disenfranchise the very parents most involved in the district, not to mention sacrificing a top-tier administrator who would be almost impossible to replace. Last but not least, it would be a waste of our invested time and the district's money, to lose Stein.
The best way to avoid unnecessary divisiveness is for the board to find a way to keep Stein while Sirko finishes her work as our transitional superintendent. Short of that, the board should undertake a new public process for determining who our next superintendent should be.
Ellen Freedman and Auden Schendler
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