Sports is 'third rail' in Lunenburg

Sports is 'third rail' in Lunenburg

There are 13 comments on the Nashoba Publishing story from Sep 3, 2010, titled Sports is 'third rail' in Lunenburg. In it, Nashoba Publishing reports that:

Until the subject of sports came up, school officials from the North Middlesex Regional School District and the Lunenburg school system meeting last Monday night found superintendents Maureen Marshall and Loxi Calmes prepared with answers to a raft of questions regarding budget assumptions dealing with a possible merger of the two school ...

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disenchantment

Pepperell, MA

#1 Sep 3, 2010
It's obvious...the Lunenburg rep's are getting a good look at what they'll be getting with the NMRSD superintendent---the inability to manage and prioritize school budget expenses, the less than stellar academic results due to an absence of real leadership, the failure to put students first (Marshall: yes to unjustified administrative raises, but let's cut students programs like grades 4-8 music, fewer student athletic opportunities with this proposed merger.) Look for the Lunenburg rep's to find cause to walk away from the table a second and final time. With much to lose in this deal--autonomy, better district leadership, admirable academic performance--it won't be long now. There is an urgency to concluding these fruitless discussions as Lunenburg needs to address the immediate repairs needed to its high school (i.e., roof).

Count this as just another Marshall distraction from the real problems in the district...the need for real fiscal management, no long term budget plan, the exodus of valued staff leaving the district (Tikonoff, Flanagan, Tara Hanley, Jill Peterson and Gerry Martin, who's since "retired"? to Groton-Dunstable), the lack of attention to improvements in student academic performance, etc. The real cancer is this superintendent and the majority of the NMRSD school committee members, who indulge her every distraction from the real problems. Get a clue, school committee members...especially the weakest links of the NM school committee on this regional planning committee. A majority of district residents do not support this distraction; stop indulging this superintendent.
Jim

Fitchburg, MA

#2 Sep 3, 2010
She will retire once she gets her 3 years in of her huge salary by double dipping between 2 districts, her pension will be enormous and then someone else can straigten out the problems.

Run Lunenburg, Run..........
Grover Pillsbury

Fitchburg, MA

#3 Sep 4, 2010
As a taxpayer I am in favor of releasing her and buying out her contract. She can do more damage in the remaining years. Let Quabbing see what she is like when she cannot suck off of this district. Vendors have enjoyed her being here and many teachers as well we need to keep the district above water. She has let the district go and we are close to the state coming in and taking over the schools. Does this remind you of a movie "Lean on Me" we need to get rid of her before we need a Joe Clark. Contact your school committee member or organize as a large group and attend a meeting and get her out. We could start a petition but the school committee does not care about those but if 100 parents showed up at a meeting they may think twice. If people want to make a difference this is the time to step up to the plate just post the date of the meeting to attend and everyone show up at once this will really shock them.
the sad truth

Pepperell, MA

#4 Sep 4, 2010
Grover Pillsbury wrote:
As a taxpayer I am in favor of releasing her and buying out her contract. She can do more damage in the remaining years. Let Quabbing see what she is like when she cannot suck off of this district. Vendors have enjoyed her being here and many teachers as well we need to keep the district above water. She has let the district go and we are close to the state coming in and taking over the schools. Does this remind you of a movie "Lean on Me" we need to get rid of her before we need a Joe Clark. Contact your school committee member or organize as a large group and attend a meeting and get her out. We could start a petition but the school committee does not care about those but if 100 parents showed up at a meeting they may think twice. If people want to make a difference this is the time to step up to the plate just post the date of the meeting to attend and everyone show up at once this will really shock them.
Grover, you have good intentions and it's obvious you see the change that's needed by this district. The sad truth is that this district can't afford to send her packing, with all the perks (call it a golden parachute)to which she'd be entitled. We can all thank Arnie Silva for that...one of his "greatest achievements" was hiring Marshall, as he's said. Furthermore, those on the school committee who might like to see her gone are in the minority, so no real action could be taken against her (or Silva as Chair, for that matter.)
Marshall has to notify the SC by October 2011 (check that) if she would like to stay on in her current capacity. Her contract expires in 2012. Fall 2011 would be the appropriate time to act, if necessary (if this merger proposition fails--yet, another of her many blunders--she may decide to leave--she doesn't have a good track record and isn't well-liked by MANY residents in this district.)
It may be too early to encourage residents to act yet, but wait. HOWEVER, better choices can be made at the ballot box, and the next election is for member-at-large positions (Morgan and Buchholz are a few who actually ask for accountability from this superintendent...let's hope they stay.)
Grover Pillsbury

Fitchburg, MA

#5 Sep 5, 2010
the sad truth wrote:
It may be too early to encourage residents to act yet, but wait. HOWEVER, better choices can be made at the ballot box, and the next election is for member-at-large positions (Morgan and Buchholz are a few who actually ask for accountability from this superintendent...let's hope they stay.)

I agree that we should vote at the ballot box however there are no members of the school comittee who will stand up to Silva he just runs the school committee meeting like he owns it. He can be beat and will be beat as well as the others let the voters decide but I think they should all be replaced with people who care about the kids and are not afraid to speak out. If you have ever had to go to a meeting you would know what I am talking about they do not listen they just do what Arnie or Marshall want. They will call you on the phone and talk to you but do not stand up when push comes to shove. The district has guidelines over 500 pages yet the SC nevers follows one of them. In her budget for this year she has the sped director and her assistant budgeted for over 190,000 that would roughly be $80,000 each however I bet it is not an even split these positions should be 50,00 to 60,000 per year tops but not one SC member questioned her budget. They changed SPED transportation providers to cut cost yet the budgeted amount is the same as last year and what people may not know is that the district is reimbursed 100% by the state for this transportation. She privatized the cafeteria not because it was not profitable. No. The profits from the lunches paid for the retirement of retirees. She just dumped them onto the public dole, not to mention putting 40 drivers and monitors out of work as well as the cafeteria workers. They all must go we have to clean up the school committee and work for the kids and the parents who have to pull the money out of their budget they do not magically get more money.
FYI

Pepperell, MA

#6 Sep 5, 2010
Grover Pillsbury wrote:
the sad truth wrote:
I agree that we should vote at the ballot box however there are no members of the school comittee who will stand up to Silva he just runs the school committee meeting like he owns it. He can be beat and will be beat as well as the others let the voters decide but I think they should all be replaced with people who care about the kids and are not afraid to speak out.
FYI--Silva, Susan Robbins (ran unopposed) and Ken Brown (ran unopposed) were recently reelected or officially elected (no longer appointed)in April. Silva barely got in by the skin of his teeth (11 votes?) and no clear majority...only 43% of the vote in Pepperell...that should tell him something (he's not as well-liked as he once thought.) Someone correct me here if I'm wrong, but each position is a three-year term. It's a sad state of affairs when candidates run unopposed. If change is wanted, people have to step up to the plate.
resident

Hyde Park, MA

#8 Sep 13, 2010
Grover Pillsbury wrote:
the sad truth wrote:
It may be too early to encourage residents to act yet, but wait. HOWEVER, better choices can be made at the ballot box, and the next election is for member-at-large positions (Morgan and Buchholz are a few who actually ask for accountability from this superintendent...let's hope they stay.)
I agree that we should vote at the ballot box however there are no members of the school comittee who will stand up to Silva he just runs the school committee meeting like he owns it. He can be beat and will be beat as well as the others let the voters decide but I think they should all be replaced with people who care about the kids and are not afraid to speak out. If you have ever had to go to a meeting you would know what I am talking about they do not listen they just do what Arnie or Marshall want. They will call you on the phone and talk to you but do not stand up when push comes to shove. The district has guidelines over 500 pages yet the SC nevers follows one of them. In her budget for this year she has the sped director and her assistant budgeted for over 190,000 that would roughly be $80,000 each however I bet it is not an even split these positions should be 50,00 to 60,000 per year tops but not one SC member questioned her budget. They changed SPED transportation providers to cut cost yet the budgeted amount is the same as last year and what people may not know is that the district is reimbursed 100% by the state for this transportation. She privatized the cafeteria not because it was not profitable. No. The profits from the lunches paid for the retirement of retirees. She just dumped them onto the public dole, not to mention putting 40 drivers and monitors out of work as well as the cafeteria workers. They all must go we have to clean up the school committee and work for the kids and the parents who have to pull the money out of their budget they do not magically get more money.
It's very difficult to find people for administrative positions such as Sped director. The demand is great due to the amount of people retiring. You have to pay competitive wages or you'll never find someone to take the position. Same thing for superintendent, principals, etc. It's just the way it is.
time to clean house

Pepperell, MA

#9 Sep 13, 2010
resident wrote:
<quoted text>
It's very difficult to find people for administrative positions such as Sped director. The demand is great due to the amount of people retiring. You have to pay competitive wages or you'll never find someone to take the position. Same thing for superintendent, principals, etc. It's just the way it is.
Right now, we have a half-*** superintendent--getting paid top dollar for doing a half-*** job. She's compensated $96,000 from each of two districts--responsibility part time for NM, part time for Quabbin. No business/fiscal management skills to speak of and, with the way she's staffed and compensated those in her central office, she's driving our district into dire financial straits. Yeah, I think we can find "someone" to take $96K for a part time job. Heck, I'd share the G-D superintendent. Marshall has got to go.
ques

Ayer, MA

#10 Sep 14, 2010
time to clean house wrote:
<quoted text>
Right now, we have a half-*** superintendent--getting paid top dollar for doing a half-*** job. She's compensated $96,000 from each of two districts--responsibility part time for NM, part time for Quabbin. No business/fiscal management skills to speak of and, with the way she's staffed and compensated those in her central office, she's driving our district into dire financial straits. Yeah, I think we can find "someone" to take $96K for a part time job. Heck, I'd share the G-D superintendent. Marshall has got to go.
What about the sped director, which is who the previous post was talkign about.
time to clean house

Pepperell, MA

#11 Sep 14, 2010
ques wrote:
<quoted text>
What about the sped director, which is who the previous post was talkign about.
Not sure what you are asking. The previous post indicated that principals, sped staff and superintendents are in high demand, and, districts must pay top dollar for these positions. It depends on the position and need, but, in this economic environment, I don't necessarily agree. Current economic conditions encourage creative problem-solving and consolidation of responsibilities/streamlining. Some positions are more conducive to job/task consolidation than others.

There is a desperate need for a change in leadership in the NMRSD. I can support paying for top talent when I see outstanding results. Sadly, we're just not seeing outstanding results in NM, and the problem emanates from the top.
Grover Pillsbury

Fitchburg, MA

#12 Sep 20, 2010
I can do the job that the sped director does I have two Master's degrees and would do the job for half of what the current sped director gets paid and you would actually see a difference. When you contact her she does not respond back to you. We changed sped bus companies because she could not deal with the previous company. How many of you havce problems dealing with companies or even family it is time for her to grow up. There are people who work harder than she does for less pay I am sure that we could find people to take these positions. Who would not want to get paid $48,000 a year to work part time where do I sign up.
unfair underpaid

Pepperell, MA

#13 Sep 20, 2010
Grover, you're being very unfair to the sped director. She should be entitled to a big fat raise in salary. Afterall, if you are an imbecile you probably have to work twice as hard as the average assistant superintendent loafing in the central office?
Grover Pillsbury

Fitchburg, MA

#14 Sep 21, 2010
That is true I would have one less thing if I had the job, no brown nose. However, we are saving on health costs for MM, because anyone in the central office can perform a colon check before leaving work.

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