POLL: What Do You Think of the Superintendent's Plan to Reshuffle School Administrators?

Here's your chance to sound off and express your opinion on Interim Superintendent Richard Kisiel's proposal.

Interim Superintendent Richard Kisiel's plan to at , and came as a surprise to many after he announced at Monday's Board of Education meeting. 

Under the plan, which Kisiel said was intended to refocus administrative responsibilities on teaching and learning, Illing Middle School and Bennet Academy would see entirely new leadership teams put in place next school year, while Manchester high would also see sweeping changes to the structure of its administrative personnel, with many familiar faces at the three schools being shunted to unfamiliar locations in the fall. 

Some Patch readers applauded the changes in our article on the subject Tuesday, while others expressed concern or confusion over the intention or the purpose of the switches. But here's your chance to express your opinion on the topic by voting in our latest Patch Poll, and you can also let us know what you think about the issue in the comments section below. 

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tina bourke June 27, 2012 at 01:48 PM
I need to read a draft of the entire proposal in order to understand this decision. Also, if it was needed, why wasn't it done before? Just asking???
Rudy Kissmann June 27, 2012 at 02:08 PM
I think the move is for the best interest of the children and should correct some past concerns as well as improve the Educational system. Time will will tell! Rudy Kissmann
Patti Gregory June 27, 2012 at 02:42 PM
Having had 2 children that have gone thru Illing ...with not the most pleasant experiences ..... One needs to ask. Why we would move administrators from there to the much bigger high school and and put them in charge there. When there was seemingly no control in Illing let's put them into a school that needs so much more control ...... Doesn't make much sense to me. When I came home from work my child that is still in the high school came to me very upset that those administrators would now ruin her high school experience as well. Not a very good feeling for a 15 yr old to face the new year with.....Not quite sure if my comments mean anything to anyone, but having lived in town all my life and gone thru the school system I can honestly say I'm extremely worried. For my child and many others...... Thank you. For allowing me to voice my concerns Patti Gregory
Dean June 27, 2012 at 03:13 PM
Iris gomero is a great administrator who is tough but fair. Dave Welch has a great reputation with students, teachers, and people throughout Manchester. He also has a great reputation in his previous districts of East Hartford, Wethersfield, and West Hartford. Cathy Robinson does a good job as well. But with Illing being a local problem, the superintendent thought it would be best to start with fresh leadership. Also, with Illing, over 50% of the teachers are in their first 4 years of teaching which is considered new. The high school is just as bad. The retention of strong teachers at Manchesters secondary schools has been horrible due to unsupportive attitudes by top administrators and CREC offering higher salaries. The shake up of administration was necessary along with an overhaul of district programs and policies. In all honesty, Dr. Kiesel is picking up the pieces Kathy Oullette left behind. Kathy Oullette and Kevin O'Donnell drove away great teachers and administrators with their hard line and incompetent approach, created problems with the municipal side of government, and manipulated previous boards. Dr. Keisel and the new board are now fixing this and putting Manchester on the right track.
Jason field June 27, 2012 at 03:39 PM
Manchester school system is in complete disarray..we need something different!
Jason field June 27, 2012 at 03:40 PM
The high school odds in danger of being discredited? ..wow...why did I move back here?
Jason field June 27, 2012 at 03:41 PM
Dean June 27, 2012 at 03:58 PM
Matt Geary took Watertown off the NEASC warning list for accreditation and he has already taken steps in Manchester to be taken off the list. MHS has addressed many concerns already, but leadership was cited as a primary problem. I hear from those who work at the high school that specific problems are being addressed and many are confident the school will be accredited. Manchester will be going through many changes in the next few years to meet new federal and state laws and standards. Manchester is lucky to have Kiesel, Geary, and welch for the transition. These guys aren't "get off the bad list" administrators, they want excellence.
B Virgil June 27, 2012 at 04:14 PM
A new superintendent of schools is being sought. Wait for changes until he/she arrives. Do not saddle the new person with an interium's plan!
Jason field June 27, 2012 at 05:08 PM
I happened to speak to one of the school resource officers..he spoke of a complete lack of discipline..where is that learned? ..the answer is home..the b.o.e. can't change a culture..
James Bond June 27, 2012 at 08:39 PM
The shake up, as you put it,was EXTREMELY necessary.The leadership in place now will do a great job, I believe. And given time they'll prove it to the town.
James Bond June 27, 2012 at 08:48 PM
If the discipline is so bad,and I agree it isn't very good,It begs the question; "Where are the parents of the students who fly right?" I wish they'd flood B.O.E. meetings demanding that the 3%-5% of the knucleheads be dealt with and done so soon like 9th grade before they create yearly issues. In the past the administration,both in the schools and at the Board catered to the parents of the knuckleheads.Many of these parents are like their kids;"the apple doesn't fall far from the tree."
Jason field June 27, 2012 at 10:06 PM
I wish that it was only 3-5%..it is a much broader problem..I will just pay to send my kid to a private school where there is an overwhelming majority of parents and students who "care"..
Jason field June 27, 2012 at 10:09 PM
I love Manchester and have lived here 28 years. I have become less of a fan now as a parent who feels stuck into paying for private school. The public school system is one of the worst in the state.
James Bond June 27, 2012 at 10:16 PM
I wish that was the answer, but sadly it isn't.Actually its the some of the problem; runing away that is. It's your town, your school system, your child, fight for them don't let the bottom feeders win. Stand up and back the educators that want to do a great job and shout down the morons that want to blame their child's behavior on every- one else except where it belongs..............ON THEM!
Jason field June 27, 2012 at 10:38 PM
I follow the situation closely..I vote for the people who seem to want to make a difference. The problem is my child is in school now..I don't have the time for change to be implemented.. I hope it comes though.
Jason field June 27, 2012 at 10:46 PM
Who would want to buy a home in a town where the schools are in trouble? ..I would like to know so I can sell them mine..
James Bond June 28, 2012 at 12:41 AM
I hear your pain. I hope it all works out for you and especially for your child.
Jason field June 28, 2012 at 01:10 AM
Sorry just a bit disappointed with this situation..
Gary Benson June 28, 2012 at 01:32 AM
Rudy, my concern is that there are a number of changes being made, significant changes, by an undividual who is more or less a place holder until a new, permanent Superintendent can be hired. If "time will tell" is a consideration, is it fair to the new Superintendent to be handed this without his or her input? The same goes with the hiring of the new High School Priincipal. It would have been better, in my opinion, to have a premanent superintendent in place FIRST so that these decisions could have been made by that individual. I have heard that there have been "problems" in the hiring of a new superintendent. I'm beginning to believe that this is the issue. If so WHY? This whole thing seems to be messy. I hope things start going in the right direction but I'm not overly optomistic that it will. I am really beginning to lose the pride I have always had living in and being a part of Manchester. If our schools fail, WE FAIL!
Jon Crickmore July 01, 2012 at 11:30 AM
The so called shuffle is a waste of time. It's like changing seats on the Titanic. The result is still the same. Having dealt with Kissel personally I can tell you he is NO different then the rest. If they spend more time fixing things and less time covering things up the school system would be a much better place for the KIDS.
John Gardner July 01, 2012 at 11:45 AM
Appreciate Dean's optimism but let's not oversimplify the present, future & past. No  administrator, principal, board or interim person etc. ever "saves the day."   History repeats itself here and everywhere.  Every administration, principal and board has improvements and setbacks, wins and losses, highs and lows.   It is a complicated journey.  The question then becomes whether MHS staff is sincere about wanting to change and improve things.  Think about the countless staff reorganizations, changes in superintendents, administrators, principal and vice principals that took place over the last two decades plus the various NEASC warnings and curriculum and program changes and still no significant change. I think only the teachers can make things happen. I agree with Gary's concerns about letting the new superintendent write the plan for change at the high school. Let's hope for the best.
ABG July 02, 2012 at 05:49 PM
As a retired MHS teacher, I agree with some of what all of you have vented. Children who aren't disciplined by their parents are causing havoc in the high school. Administrators are running out of options for punishment. They're called on the carpet by the state for having too many suspension and the students understand that, continue to be disruptive and don't stay for detentions. Some parents believe that their child can do no wrong, and try to "HANG" the teacher for giving their child a failing grade. Teachers are required to "teach to the test (CAPT, etc). It leaves little room for creativity and insuring completion of the curriculum. The re-assignment of the administrator is a great idea. Some have become too complacent. Teachers need more administrative support, parents must support 'good' teachers and learn to control their kids, at an early age. Trying to discipline at 13 or 14 is too late. Stop being a friend to your kids, be a parent.
Jerry O'Connor July 02, 2012 at 09:54 PM
These changes are all positive, and give us cause for optimism. In fact, nearly all the administrative changes since Dr. Oulette exited have been improvements. While the Board of Ed is worrying about emails, legal procedures, and debating other nearly insignificant details Dr. Kisiel has taken the first steps toward getting things back on track. (Hopefully he can give the SMARTR Committee a nudge - or swift kick - in the right direction!) David Welch and his team have done an excellent job at Bennett and he may be the kind of educational superstar that can turn things around at Illing. Let's make sure his replacement at Illing doesn't lose ground. The new Principal seems to be taking the bull by the horns at MHS and shaking things up for the better. So far, though, progress seems to be coming in spite of, rather than because of, the BOE and I'd like to see them get with the Program. (C'mon folks, the Superintendent admits there are serious problems that need addressing, you should too!) Let's pray that the next permanent Superintendent keeps the momentum Dr. Kisiel has ignited after the long Oulette malaise.
Greg July 03, 2012 at 11:45 AM
Moving am administrator with proven skills to a school where those skills are needed is sound, logical and the right thing to do; however, thinking that moving the administrator that is being replaced to another assignment rather than letting him/her go may not be a good decision. That action is probably a reaction to the remarkably hard job of doing just that, letting them go. The Manchester administrators union is pretty powerful so a reassignment is the action of choice. Case in point our last superintendent. She didn't get the job done at Bennett, passed over for the MHS job so then selected as superintendent. Didn't get the job done at Bennett, and didn't get the job done as superintendent so we had to wait for her to find another job and move on when she wanted. I hope the reassignment of current administrators who did not get the job done at their current assignments will not repeat itself at their new assignments. Finally, the changes being made can not wait until someone new is selected as superintendent. The new person will have a learning curve and it will take time for he/she to learn the system, administrators and central office staff. Our kids should not have to wait another minute for the system to change/improve. A year is a long time when we only have them for 13 years. They deserve the BEST every year starting right NOW.


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