April 6, 2021
Trenton board of education neglects union input on superintendent search
The Trenton Board of Education announced its plans to interview superintendent candidates in executive sessions at its Wednesday and Thursday board meetings this week. This came as a surprise to members of the staff unions working in Trenton schools.
“After a revolving door of superintendents, one would hope the school board would consider bringing all parties to the table to ensure they select the right candidate for a change,” explained Trenton Education Association (TEA) President Talithea Duncan. “Trenton students, families, and staff deserve a superintendent who truly understands the needs of our community. We need a superintendent who is willing to work collaboratively with us and is committed to doing so for the long run.”
Since 2010, Trenton has had eight “permanent,” acting, or interim superintendents. The board has been secretive during this latest search, not disclosing any of the candidates’ names or including any of the staff unions in interviews. The board meetings scheduled for this week will be virtual meetings despite a push by the board to bring staff and students back into school buildings. The public will not be included in the candidate interviews since they will be conducted in executive session. A public comment session will be held after the closed interviews.
Two board members seem focused on candidates with business backgrounds which TEA believes is not in the best interest of students. “School finances are difficult to manage which is why school districts hire a business administrator or a chief financial officer,” explained Duncan. “The school superintendent should be the leader with the vision and experience to help students learn. Business experience isn’t as important as a proven record of success in elevating students of color.
“We don’t understand why the board isn’t being more transparent,” added Duncan. “Our members, as well as those in the Trenton Paraprofessionals Association, the Trenton Educational Secretaries Association, and Trenton Business & Technical Association, are the ones who work in our schools and know how they function. We know what our students and staff need to help Trenton schools succeed. Cutting us out of the process is short-sighted and disrespectful. The last time we were invited into the process, the board hired Dr. James Lytle who was a committed superintendent for eight years. Perhaps the board should consider the value of including us in the interviews.”
Before you criticize please know the following: We are teachers that love what we do. We are the teachers, for a calendar year now, have had to change course according to decisions we do not make. We are the teachers that teach in ways that seem impossible. We are the teachers that plan for hours. We are the that teachers provide instruction and differentiate the lessons so despite the pandemic, our students can learn. We are the teachers that identify students who are experiencing issues and make sure those students have access to the services they need. We are the teachers that have worked- and have worked hard. We have found ways to run programs and clubs so our students don’t miss opportunities. We have gotten sick. We have been exposed to the virus. We have experienced loss. We are the teachers that have taken the blame for learning deficits. We constantly hear our community say that we don’t want to work. We(the teachers), some may forget, are human beings. We want very much for school and life to look like it did in February of last year, but it doesn’t. We need support and to not be criticized.
Trenton Public Schools instructional and support staff will continue to support each other and to adapt. We are tired. And as we move into year two of this pandemic, we will still be teaching. Be nice#stayinformed#staysafe#staytuned (copied from a teacher friend)
2016 Trenton Education Association Distinguished Service Award
Celebrating our retiree and our Distinguished Service Award recipients, Talithea ReneeandRon Sanasacat the final Delegate Assembly and End of the Year cookout. Thank you, First VP Twanda Taylorfor the great photos! Click here for more photos.
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The TEA Association-led PSI/PMI initiative continues to flourish as the number of students making honor roll has quadrupled and students are well on their way to be prepared for AP and Honors leveled courses. Click here (https://youtu.be/2tNokc0ub1A) to see a video highlighting the continued success of the program
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Attention New Hires
If you have prior work experience, the Human Resource Department needs verification from your previous district(s) in order for you to have your salary adjusted. The following process must be followed:
1) Complete and sign a Verification of Professional Experience Form at Human Resources. You must have the name and address of the previous district(s), phone number, fax number, and contact person’s information in order to complete the form.
2) Trenton’s Human Resources Department will mail the Verification of Professional Experience Form to your old district(s).
3) Your old district(s) complete, notarize and mail the Verification of Professional Experience Form back Pam Owens at the Trenton Public School’s Human Resource Department.
4) Once received, the completed form will be reviewed in HR and you will be placed on the Board Agenda for approval of credit for previous work experience.
It is important that you do this as soon as possible, so that you will be retro’d back to your date of hire.