A proposal unveiled by Interim Superintendent Richard Kisiel during Monday night's Board of Education meeting would bring sweeping changes to the administration at Arthur H. Illing Middle School and . The move comes in conjunction with plan to restructure the administrative staff at proposed earlier this month by new Manchester High School Principal Matthew Geary.
Kisiel said the changes are intended to refocus administrative responsibilities at the town's sixth-grade academy, middle school and high school squarely on teaching and learning.
"These assignments of personnel are in response to needed improvements in teaching and learning, improvements in school climate and culture and vaccines created by administrative retirements and resignations," Kisiel said.
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Under the reconfiguration plan, Illing would see an entirely new leadership staff, with becoming the new principal at Illing; Ann Fuini, an assistant principal at Bennet Academy, will accompany Welch to become an assistant principal at Illing; and Keith Martin, now an assistant principal at Manchester High School, will become an assistant principal at Illing.
Current Illing Principal will be transferred to the central office, where he will become the Associate Director of Teaching and Learning; Illing Assistant Principal Cathy Robinson will become an assistant principal at Bennet Academy; and Illing Assistant Principal Iris Gomero will be moved to Manchester High School, where she will take on the role of an assistant principal.
The current associate director of teaching and learning, Diane Sheehan-Burns, will become the new principal at Highland Park Elementary School when it reopens in the fall, replacing Kathleen England, who is resigning to accept an assistant superintendent position in another district.
The restructuring still leaves five vacant administrative positions within the Manchester Public Schools system: principal of Keeney Street School, principal of Bennet Academy, an assistant principal at Manchester High, the newly created position of dean of students at Manchester High and an assistant principal position at Washington Elementary School.
"Essentially when you look at the administrative structure in grades 6 through 12, it's entirely changed," Kisiel said. "I think at this point for Manchester Public Schools this would be an important step forward for bringing new, revitalized energy to our schools."
In other actions Monday, the Board of Education unanimously voted to end Kisiel's contract an additional 90 days to allow it more time to find a permanent replacement.
"Under state law, we are required to have a Superintendent past July 1," Pattacini said. "This is a procedural decision by the board."
The school board also unanimously voted to amend its bylaws and approve a code of conduct for board members that outlines unacceptable behavior and the potential consequences for school board members. The code of conduct is largely the result of the actions of , a Republican member of the school board, who caused controversy earlier this year when she sent a series of unwanted emails and Facebook messages to Kelly Luxenberg, a Democratic member of the school board. When the Board of Education reviewed its policies earlier this year to see if it was possible to discipline or censure Kidd, they were that no such disciplinary provisions for Board of Education members existed under the school board's current bylaws.
The Board of Education, including Kidd, unanimously approved the code of conduct without any comments or debate.
Correction: An earlier version of this story said that Cathy Robinson was to be moved to the position of assistant principal at Manchester High School.