Click here to read Kathy Bowers' September 1, 2010
Welcome Back Address to Wyckoff Staff
Click here to read Kathy Bowers address to the
May 10, 2010 Town Council and
BOE Budget Meeting
Kathy Bowers’ address to the BOE on January 11, 2010
(This is the entire statement that Kathy Bowers had hoped to make at the BOE meeting.
Unfortunately, she was not permitted the time.)
I would like to thank everyone for coming out on this bitter cold night. Comments made tonight will drive the decisions made by the Board members that will have a lasting impact on the leadership of the district as we move forward.
On October 21, 2007, a few short months after Dr. Razze came to the district, Rob LaMorte and I met with her to discuss a great deal of concerns the staff were voicing. It was a difficult meeting for all of us. We subsequently agreed to meet monthly to help Dr. Razze get to know the district, help her through the transitional period, and we hoped get the district back on tract.
If I left you with the impression that the custodial issue was the reason for the vote of no confidence, I apologize. A majority of the staff wanted a vote of no confidence to be taken at least a year prior to the actual vote. I felt Dr. Razze needed some time to get her feet wet and recover from some of the major changes she allowed the interim Curriculum Director to make. Changes that still have a major impact on the district and were out of line with promises made to Michele Pillari, the new Curriculum Director. I sat around the table at her interview and listened to Dr. Razze tell her that there would be no changes prior to her arrival and she would have the opportunity to asses the curriculum and make adjustments as she felt were needed. We all know that did not happen.
We do know that within her short tenure Instructional Aides have been let go, the Custodial staff has been privatized, and Rob and I have been told by Mr. Reiffe that the teaching staff will be cut this year. If we are in such a financial crunch, why do we return money to the town? It doesn’t make sense and the cuts need to stop.
I am curious as to why after an astounding vote of over 94% of the staff both voting and supporting the vote of no confidence in a closed ballot, the BOE didn’t asked to sit down with us to discuss our concerns. Isn’t communication what builds strong communities? Does it not matter what happens on a day-to-day basis. Does it not matter what affects the staff? I realize you are all volunteers and therefore you do not get into the schools to see what happens on a daily or weekly basis. We live it, day to day. I assumed our monthly meetings with Dr. Razze were reported back to you. I know now they weren’t, otherwise you would not have been surprised by the vote.
At Dr. Razze’s request, I listened to a webinar this afternoon, for “The Race to the Top," a Federal incentive that New Jersey is encouraging districts to support, which will allow the state to apply for Federal grant money. If a district desires to move forward with the request, three people will be asked to sign off on the application: the superintendent, the BOE President, and the Association President. Whether or not they all decide to sign the application will not keep it from going forward, but it will be placed in a non-favorable pile. You see the state realizes the key ingredient for a successful plan to be implemented is unity. Not only in your subgroup, but across groups. That everyone is on the same page and there is evidence that they can and are willing to work together on behalf of the children. The WEA has striven for such unity in the district for many years.
Last week, I found out a very good friend of mine, has been diagnosed with very aggressive cancer. It has really put everything in perspective for me. Life is too short. You never know what lies ahead. You can’t put off until tomorrow what needs to be done today, or as in her case, ignore it, pass it off due to stress, and hope it goes away. It NEVER does. It only gets worse. As Rob and I conveyed in our very first meeting with Dr. Razze. The time is now. Don’t put off for another year or two, what needs to be done today.
Welcome Back 2009
I would like to welcome every back to a new school year.
I’d like to especially welcome all of our new staff to the district.
On behalf of all the veterans, welcome! We are glad you are here.
Remember, we are here to help so please don’t hesitate to ask.
I would like to congratulate and thank, Ronnie Powers and Jayne Maize for the outstanding job they have done with PRIDE. On behalf of your requests that they submitted, we received over $25,500 in PRIDE money for the coming year. All projects were approved. If you submitted a proposal, congratulations, you can start spending the money. At some point please touch base with either Jayne or Ronnie.
Today is a great day to celebrate the great work we do, and to join together as we face another year – and another group of children whose futures we will help shape.
There is an old saying, “A good teacher is like a candle - it consumes itself to light the way for others.” Think about that!
It’s true; wegive so much of ourselves to ensure our students have the resources and support they need to be successful in life and in school.
Today, we start a new year.
Some things we can EXPECT. Some things will come as a SURPRISE. The first surprise was the lanyards we ordered for your room key did not arrive, so please look for it next week. Hopefully there will not be many more surprises like that….But one thing we can all count on is our COLLECTIVE strength, wisdom, and dedication.
Welcome to the 2009-2010 school year.
Have a great year!
It is now my pleasure to present the following staff members with a gift from the WEA. We celebrate with you and congratulate you, in receiving tenure.
Will the administrators and Rob please join me to congratulate our newly tenured staff?
Present Gifts….. Have a great year.
Kathy Bowers address to the December 10,
2007 BOE Meeting