Chair's Quarterly Report
On behalf of the Board, I want to extend our thanks for your support in helping to pass
the 2013/14 school budget. Your feedback, support and especially your votes are much
appreciated. It is a relief to know that we can now return our focus to educating our
students and closing out the school year.
The following is an update on the status of our work to fill the CRHS Principal position
and of course, the Superintendent position.
First, we welcome the return of Don Gates to CRHS as Interim Principal. Since his
retirement in 2006, Don has served in several interim principal roles including terms at
Middletown, East Hampton and Valley Regional High School. Prior to that, Don was
Principal of Portland High School from 1977 to 2006 and upon retiring, was honored to
have the new Portland High School auditorium named after him. It is interesting to note
that Don taught Business Education at Coginchaug Regional High School from 1966
through 1973. As Don puts it, "RSD13 was the launching pad for my administrative
career so many years ago!" With more than 45 years of experience in education, Don
brings a wealth of expertise to the District. In addition to having participated in many
community volunteer committees and boards, Don has served as president of the CAS
Board of Directors and has also chaired several NEASC Accreditation Committees. We
are confident that he will make an immediate contribution to our high school and indeed,
to the entire school community. Please take a moment to welcome Mr. Don Gates back to
our RSD13 family.
In the meantime, the RSD13 Principal Search Committee comprised of Board members,
administrators, teachers and parents is in the process of interviewing candidates in their
efforts to find a permanent principal for CRHS. As has been done in the past, the
committee will conduct site visits and focus groups to assist them in the selection of a
candidate. Stay posted for more information as this committee work continues.
The Board is also actively engaged in preparing for Superintendent Viccaro's departure.
We have been working on a plan intended to address this difficult process in a thoughtful
and inclusive way. Over the past couple of weeks, we have met with executive search
firms to assist us in the recruitment and hiring process. We believe it is critical that we
solicit input and provide feedback to all stakeholders as we proceed. With the help of
CES (Cooperative Educational Services) and Dr. Kaye Griffin we are finalizing action
plans to include development of a planning calendar, recruitment materials and
communication protocols. In addition, we will conduct focus groups and distribute online
surveys to a wide variety of stakeholders including administrators, staff, students,
parents, town officials and other members of the community. The important information
gathered in this process will be used to develop a leadership profile and help to define the
qualities and characteristics that we are looking for in our next superintendent.
While we intend to fill this important position as quickly as possible, we also recognize
that we likely will not have a permanent replacement in time to begin the new school
year. Given the anticipated timeline for finding a permanent replacement, we must hire
an Interim Superintendent to fill this important role over the coming months. The Board
has identified several well experienced and highly recommended former Superintendents
who are interested in assisting us during this timeframe. We will be completing interim
superintendent interviews by the end of May and expect to have someone in position
prior to Susan's departure at the end of June.
We realize that this is a very unsettling time for our staff, students and parents. We hope
that you find this update helpful. The entire Board is committed to doing our very best to
minimize the unavoidable disruption that these changes create. At the same time, we are
confident that with your input and support we can emerge from these uncertain times as
strong as ever.
Thank you for your continued support.
RSD13 Board of Education