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Friday, August 9, 2013

What is so complicated about hiring a Superintendent of Schools?


Rumor has it that there is a dearth of qualified candidates to serve in the role of school superintendent.  That is what the consultants making big money would have school boards and taxpayers believe. But, the real truth is that a small group of people are causing a perceived shortage of qualified candidates in an effort to trump up the demand for their seemingly magical consulting services.  School Boards are naive to think that searching, identifying and hiring a school superintendent is any different than hiring any other staff member.  In the case of Hamburg Schools, searching for a superintendent is becoming such a common event that the process should be second nature, and the need to hire an expensive consultant is simply a waste of taxpayer dollars.  

Three examples of recent or current superintendent searches got Concerned concerned that there might be a larger agenda for some consultants when identifying candidates for school districts.  

Here are a few recent examples, 

Frontier Schools, a client of the Harris Beach lawfirm,  has hired retired Williamsville superintendent, Howard Smith to lead the superintendent search.  Since retiring from Williamsville in 2011, Mr. Smith  has served as a consultant with the Harris Beach law firm and as a consultant in superintendent searches with  School Leadership, LLC  School Leadership LLC.  According to the Buffalo News, the Frontier board hired Howard Smith of  School Leadership LLC (and Harris Beach) to head its superintendent search at a maximum cost of $18, 500, in addition to related expenses.   Concerned wonders what these related expenses might be? 

Niagara Wheatfield Schools, also a client of Harris Beach, also hired Mr. Howard Smith, a Harris Beach and School Leadership consultant,  to conduct their search for a new superintendent.  Niagara Wheatfield Superintendent Search.  

Additionally, Silver Creek Schools, a client of Harris Beach, also hired Mr. Howard Smith to conduct their new superintendent.  Silver Creek, after hiring Howard Smith of Harris Beach and School Leadership, LLC, settled on Williamsville South High Principal Daniel Ljiljanich, who Mr. Smith hired in December 2008, while Superintendent of Williamsville.   

It seems to Concerned Hamburger that lots of taxpayer dollars are going to consultants and law firms.  Perhaps, the Hamburg Central School District should do the search for a superintendent the old fashioned way- put an ad in the paper, and perhaps on a few job websites and collect resumes.  Hire the person with the best credentials, the most experience and with the heart to put children first.  There is no need to hire expensive former superintendents to put a mysterious spin on hiring a school leader.  If recent experiences, and the hiring of Steven Achramovitch (who ends his career with Hamburg today 8-9-13) doesn't serve as a lesson of what NOT to do, then perhaps the school district deserves what it gets. 



18 comments:

Anonymous said...

Leave the decision solely up to the current school board without any insight from professionals? Please tell me you are kidding. I am surprised these people can find their cars in the parking lot after a school board meeting, let alone make a serious decision. This is the single most important decision this school board needs to make and you want to put an ad in the Penny Saver. What a laugh! Thank god I can start my day with a laugh with this ridiculous website.

A Mom who is concerned and friends with the others moms there. said...

I was at the school board meeting the other night, but I did not catch the short bald man's name who claimed to have a 30 year vested interest in the school district. I was born, raised and live in the district, I never heard of this guy. He talked about himself alot. I want to say his name is Mr. Piazza from BVS, but I could be wrong. I was so embarrassed to hear him speak in circles and then chastise a board member who actually called him to talk about the FACT that James Martinez put him and others up to pretending to be active. Mr. Piazza or what ever you name is- we know you pay taxes we all do- we know you have kids- we all do, but you are the problem sir. You are critical of the districts attorneys, but did you ever asked why the district had harris beach at all. Read this post. I work in the courts down town, and you are one lucky district to drive harris beach away from your bank account. Get a clue, and stop embarrassing yourself and your kids.

Anonymous said...

Yes, MARTENZ (SP) IS soliciting support for himnself. A lot not right with lack of respect for his staff at the BV elementary. He is an over reactor and is likes to scare people. Mr. P. who spoke at the last sb meeting is one of his guys. Why is Jim going on like this?

Anonymous said...

We are wondering why the attack on the school district attorney as well as a sb member? What does this Mr. Piazza know about the districts attorney that he keeps attacking him? Where was he when the former law firm billed us possibly a million dollars? I don't know or care about him, but I do know I cannot affort any more increases in my school taxes. I do have kids and appreciate all the school officials and teachers do, but eventually many of us will no longer be able to affort to live here. Yes I to have been raised here and educated in Hamburg.

Anonymous said...

We had a disaster with Steve Achramovitch and he was brought here by Dr. Calkins and Mr. Ogilvie.

We need to do it right this time and a possible a year to year contract as in other school districts, if he/she turn out as bad as S. Achramovitch

thanks for the forum

Anonymous said...

The mommie dearests from Boston Valley are causing quite a stir....now they are demanding their kids get pulled out of classes. Wait until this gets out that certain guidance counselors, teachers with kids and SCHOOL BOARD MEMBERS ARE CHANGING THEIR KIDS CLASSES. This will be blown out to the public very shortly. How dumb can some people be? BBBBBBBBB

Anonymous said...

School Board needs to transfer some of those ringleaders out of BVS- Martinez is a monster and his spec ed teachers with not alot going on in the brain are causing a still. We can see it very clearly with our glasses on.

BVS TEACHER said...

I am a teacher at Boston (BVS). It is the craziest place on the earth. Martinez is militant and down right abusive to teachers and staff. Now, he has the PTA mom Mrs. Piazza rallying the few trouble makers in the building who allow her,, AND her HUsband, to be abusive. I heard the other day that Mr. Piazza goes to Board meetings and makes a complete ass of himself. Let me tell you, he is one loose cannon. He doesnt even trust his own wife, and he is EXACTLY like Mr. Martinez. THe Board needs to get rid of Martinez, he is trouble. A LAWSUIT WAITING TO HAPPEN.

another BVS teacher said...

Hey BVS TEACHER (2:13pm), you don't speak for all of us. Like everything else, it's all in the interpretation. I hope you've never made mistakes, and if you have, hopefully no one has called you out on the carpet anonymously on a vitriolic blog. How do you know that a new principal would be any better? Have you forgotten our last one? I would much rather work with the system as much as I can to make things good for our kids...instead of trying to undercut leadership from the outside. Mistakes have been made-- no doubt. But either we work together or we fall apart. I know which I choose.

Anonymous said...

Let's lose the subtlety and ambiguity please and be honest for once.....people are transferring their children out of ONE teacher's classroom, a teacher who has behaved unprofessionally and inappropriately in public and is involved in a lawsuit hurting the school district. Can anyone blame these parents?

Anonymous said...

Did you know that Jim Martinez used to be a principal at the High School but the old board of education moved him because he was abusive to students and parents? He did not have the ability to talk to students and parents in a professional manner. NOW, he has been made a principal of an elementary school which holds our precious little babies....this does not make sense. I have been told he screams at kindergarteners!

Anonymous said...

Did you know that last year a former boston valley teacher went to boston valley to volunteer in a classroom and Jim Martinez would not allow her in the building? The women had just retired at boston valley after many years of service to our children and she was willing to offer up her skills to the children for FREE and MONSTER jim martinez would not allow her to come in to volunteer. The former teacher had set up the visit with a current teacher that she was friends with and the children were excited for her to come back and read to them, but she was turned away at the door by Martinez and she was not given a reason. This is the type of BULLYING that should not go on in any district or anywhere. The board should just put forth a resolution to terminate Jim martinez and vote on it now before he HURTS SOMEONE. I think he has a chemical imbalance.

Anonymous said...

Lose the subtlety- why so subtle?

Anonymous said...

WOW- WHAT TEACHER IS INVOLVED IN A LAWSUIT AGAINST THE DISTRICT? I KNOW ABOUT THE SEVERAL WORKMANS COMP CASES, BUT WHAT ELSE. AND HOW DO THE PARENTS KNOW? THIS IS INTERESTING.

Anonymous said...

Strange how some of the comments of similar subject matter, grammatical style, and vocabulary seem to be posted within mere minutes of one another. It is almost as if it is the same person writing them and pretending to be more than one person. Now, why would someone do that? Hmmm.....starting to wonder about all of those "visitors" to this website.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous 1:13, do you think there are only three people on this blog? Me, you, and the commentor you seem to have an interest in? Over 343,000 hits, this blog is a massive success. We have been watching it since the beginning and am amazed that it is so popular. Do you work on South Park Avenue? Lots of people can figure things out easily. There are teachers who come on this thing everyday, and they talk about it. The administration and the Board are terrified of this blog and the truth is speaks. Whats your problem? Or are you the problem?

Anonymous said...

The abuse of the past administrations has been exposed and we are watching that the present sb doesn't fall into the bad habits of the past.

I was also wondering why all the fuss at BV? Why the attacks on the districts attorney? Isn't Mr. Piazza's wife pres. of the PTSA?


This is not the tone I like from the PTSA organization I have been associated with. We seem to be losing our focus, for the kids.


Please stop the attacks. PTSA member

Anonymous said...

I spit out my cheerios this morning after reading the news. Jetter's six tenets of positivism is a joke. He needs to get out of the self-help book aisle at Barnes and Nobles and tune up his resume. We wonder here in HCSD if Jetters true "management" style will come out. He has been know to be very nasty to many, many teachers and staff. Jetter has to go and so does many of the Board Members.