Saturday, December 08, 2012

District Announces New Appointments

From SPS Communications (bold mine):


After six months as your Superintendent, it has been a pleasure to get to know our schools, staff, students and families. I know this has been a time of change, and I am looking forward to solidifying our team to ensure we are all working together in the best interest of our students.
 
Today I am pleased to announce several appointments in our District.  I will also be providing you with some additional information regarding specifically the Teaching & Learning Department, just prior to the holiday break.
 
The following are announcements regarding staff new to the central office and/or in new positions:
 
·         Special Education:  I am appointing Stacey McCrath-Smith to the permanent position of Director of Special Education.  Stacey has served as the interim director and has done a great job stepping into the role and helping to bring stability to the department.  I want to thank Phil Brockman, BiHoa Caldwell, John Thorp and key staff for their continued help and assistance to the department and Stacey while we complete over the next several months our national search for an Executive Director of Special Education.
 
·         School/Family Partnerships and Equity/Race relations: I am appointing Bernardo Ruiz to the position of Director of School Family Partnerships and Equity & Race Relations. In this expansion of his prior role, he will oversee School Family Partnerships and will lead, direct, and act as the district leader in all areas related to increasing district effectiveness in building a culture of educational equity and inclusion for all Seattle Public School students, families and employees.
 
·         Career and Technical Education: Mary Davison has accepted the Interim Manager of Career and Technical Education position for the remainder of the 2012-2013 school year. Mary has been with Seattle Public Schools for 15 years and recently served as the Career and Technical Education Specialist for Business/Marketing/Information Technology.
 
·         School Board office: I want to welcome Anita DeMahy who has accepted the position of Board Office Administrator. Anita is filling the vacancy created when Theresa Hale became the Board Office Manager.
 
We are currently working on filling several positions within our Teaching and Learning Department.  With the significant work ahead regarding common core standards, alignment of curriculum, completion of a program framework and implementation of multi-tiered systems of support (MTSS), we have placed a major emphasis on getting a solid team in place. We have a search firm in place to recruit for the Assistant Superintendent of Teaching & Learning position and hope to have it filled permanently by the end of the school year. The search firm is also recruiting for the Executive Director of Special Education position.
 
We are in the final stages of interviewing finalists for the position of Executive Director of Curriculum & Instruction and will be making an announcement by the holiday break.  We are also looking at some minor reorganization of the Curriculum & Instruction department so we can hit the ground running in the New Year.
 
I appreciate your hard work and dedication to our students and families. My goal with these announcements is to let you know how we are working to strengthen our support of our wonderful staff in the buildings and classrooms where the delivery of education is at the forefront.  As always, please feel free to contact me with questions or ideas.
 
Sincerely,
 

17 comments:

Anonymous said...

Seems to me there has been criticism in the past of bloated SPS upper management. Just asking as to why Special Education requires a director and an executive director?

What are the salaries for these two positions?

Not criticizing, just wondering.

-- Dan Dempsey

Anonymous said...

Career and Technical Education:

Where did Shep Siegel go?

Shepherd Siegel leads the CTE effort for Seattle Public Schools. With a background in music, disability, research, and writing, Dr. Siegel developed the Career Ladders transition program for students with special needs and managed the San Francisco Bridges from School to Work project for the Marriott Foundation. Shortly after completing his doctorate at UC Berkeley, his Career Ladders program received a national award from the Department of Labor, and the associated video won a Bronze Apple from the National Educational Film and Video Festival. Leadership of the King County Vocational/Special Education Cooperative directly preceded his tenure with Seattle, where the development of Personalization, Adult World Immersion, and Common Intellectual Mission—the three Design Principles of the New Urban High Schools—have unified CTE activities with the broader high school reform initiative in Seattle. Dr. Siegel has worked to strengthen academy development, work-based learning for all high school students, career pathways, and tech prep at the secondary level. He has also promoted a number of programs and systemic changes at the elementary and middle schools. In 2002, he participated in the Greater Seattle Chamber of Commerce's Leadership Tomorrow program, and in 2004, joined with Seattle University’s Dean of Engineering to co-chair the Washington State Coalition for Engineering Education. In 2005, Dr. Siegel received the Outstanding Career and Technical Educator Award for Region V of the Association for Career & Technical Education. Dr. Siegel is currently President of Washington Association of Vocational Administrators (WAVA)—an association of CTE administrators, and chairs the board of the UMO Theater Ensemble. He is also writing a book about the socially transforming power of play.

-- Dan Dempsey

Melissa Westbrook said...

Shep Siegel left. He had great ideas and tried very hard to see them thru but got little support. So he left to work at Project Lead the Way. It's SPS' loss.

Anonymous said...

As was Becky Clifford's.

- IMHO

Anonymous said...

We need 2 special ed directors (there used to be 0) if we hire unqualified people to do the job. The idea was, if you hire enough directors, the combination of their skills might be enough do the job. If you reserve the "executive director" position for a principal with no sped experience, or some other crony without sped experience looking for a top paying job but without certification, then yes, you will of course need many sped directors. Why limit it to 2? You could maybe hire/promote 10 people.

Yes. The district should have hired Becky permanently. I don't see a long line of better qualified people, do you?

Congratulations to Stacey - but it's undermined by the looming "executive director" position. Who will that be? Why do we need it?

=sped watcher

Mary Griffin said...

@sped watcher,

No.

The district should not have hired Becky permanently. I say this now for two reasons:

1. My communications and meeting with her led me to believe she was burned out. She was cold and indifferent to what would obviously be a situation that would call for at least an appearance of concern. But she appeared to care less.

2. I have copies of documents from the state made under a public records request from June 2012 having to do with compliance audits. The state requested responses in April and received no response from Becky by June. I believe the lack of responsiveness by the SpEd department may have compromised hundreds of thousands of dollars in funding. I do not know what has happened since June, but not responding to a demand by the state that ties up funding can't be a good move.

Anonymous said...

Mary, you need to look closer at the real problem of that era: Susan Enfleild and Wendy London. Ms. Clifford literally couldn't do anything. She was told to stop trying to focus on compliance and focus on making the principals happier. Which in Seattle generally means screwing Sp Ed families. Imagine knowing you were expected to shut up and not do your real job. It is no a surprise really that she might have seemed burnt out to you. Try beat up.

-JSI

Mary Griffin said...

@JSI,
There sure is a lot of finger-pointing going on. I can only say what I know. I don't know anything about what Becky Clifford was told to focus on. I guess I have yet to get to that memo. If the problem was Susan Enfield, why did Becky still have these problems at the end of June, when Susan Enfield was gone? And who in their right mind would give directions to Becky not to respond to state demands which potentially have serious financial repercussions for SPS?

Anonymous said...

@ MG and JSI

No doubt Susan Enfield was NOT helpful to special education.

And Clifford was public saying she would have survived had she made principals happier.

What we need to do now is to put distance from the Enfield era because if the new director's direction from her bosses is like Enfield's (make principals happy versus make principals accountable) the tailspin is going to continue.

sped staffer

Anonymous said...

Wendy London didn't leave in June but Becky Clifford did, early in the month. My question to you is who needed to cooperate to get whatever OSPI task done? I can't imagine that if your bosses don't give you any support you can get much done.
-JSI

Anonymous said...

What does it mean to make principals happy? To be clear, it means to NOT serve students with disabilities. It means let them use sped dollars for anything they want. Let them suspend students for being disabled. Don't make them implement anything that could make their schools accountable. Make sure you can always transfer students to other schools where they like disabled students. I'm sure they could care less about OSPI obligations , and really OSPI gives SPS a pass in all areas


Phone reader.

Mary Griffin said...

@JSI,
I am not able to tell from the documents I have who was not cooperating with Ms. Clifford. Perhaps you have access to information I do not have. Are you trying to say the Ms. London restricted Ms. Clifford's access to her keyboard and her phone so that she could not respond to OSPI at all in the space of two-and-a-half months? And that Ms. London similarly restricted her access to people she directly supervised that should have performed tasks that would have enabled her to respond intelligently to OSPI? Or what are you trying to say? Perhaps you need to be more blunt with me so that I can understand what you are trying to say.

If you are trying to say the Wendy London's agenda hampered Becky Clifford in such a way that she was unable to perform her job in reference to parents and OSPI, perhaps you should alert Ms. McCrath-Smith to that fact, as I am sure that she will be likewise affected. Likewise, if what you say is true, more attention should be given to curtailing Ms. London's influence if Special Education is to recover from its chronic state of dysfunction.

Anonymous said...

She is aware

-JSI

Anonymous said...

And Ms. London was shown the door in July/August. Like mentioned above, the success SMS or anyone will have will be Completely dependent upon the superintendent believing that special education is a principal's responsibility. If the attitude remains that it's a central problem to fix, nothing will change.

-JSI

Anonymous said...

Gee. All so revisionist. Wendy London wasn't there long, and she also has no authority. Principals aren't accountable to Teaching and Learning ed either. They can complain to and about central sped, they don't have to do a thing.

Phone reader

Mary Griffin said...

@JSI
Thanks for the input. Let's hope that Special Ed can right itself now that there is hopefully less upper management.

The conversations here have also centered on the curious arrangement of Exec Directors and Directors in SpEd and whether that sort of arrangement is needed. What is your take on that?

Anonymous said...

Central sped shoots itself in the foot often enough as it with or without the curious arrangements for supervision and accountability. Some of the people they send out to the buildings are an embarassment. It gives the sped dpt a bad name and hurts the morale and ability to make a positive difference of the good ones. I am not sure how promoting from within solves the people problem in that department.

sped watcher