Two more school administrators submitted their resignations last week, bringing to four the number of vacancies in top positions in the East Greenwich public schools just weeks from the start of the new school year. Eldredge Principal Dom Giuisti and EGHS vice principal Tim Chace both announced last week they have taken jobs in Coventry. They join former Director of Student Services Brad Wilson there, who resigned in June. Cheryl Vaughn, who had been principal of Frenchtown Elementary for 13 years, has taken a job in Cumberland.
“We are immediately posting the positions and the hope is to find good candidates and to get people in place if not on the first day of school then shortly thereafter,” said School Committee Chairwoman Carolyn Mark. Interviews have been taking place for both the Frenchtown job and the director of student services position and Mark said she hopes to be able to vote to fill those positions at a special meeting Friday at 8 a.m.
“Everybody’s who leaving has left us in a good place in terms of getting the new year started,” Mark said. “Better for it to happen now than to happen three weeks from now.”
As to why so many administrators have decided to leave now, Mark said she wasn’t sure but suggested that recent budget challenges may have played a role.
“I’m very concerned that the last six months in East Greenwich has just tipped things and has caused people to make the decisions they’ve made,” Mark said. “We haven’t always been able to pay top dollar but East Greenwich has always been a great place to work.”
With the situation less certain, she said, perhaps “there were other opportunities out there and they decided to seize them.”
On a more positive note, the teachers union voted last week to end “work to rule,” a protest tactic that had teachers refusing to take part in any activities outside the exact hours of the school day.
“I have not officially been notified that work to rule has been called off,” said Mark. “I was delighted to read about it on Facebook. If it’s true, then, yay! I’m really looking forward to a fresh start and working with the teachers to make sure it’s a great year.”
Last year was tough, Mark said, acknowledging the difficult teacher contract negotiations.
“But at the end of the day, we’re all on the same team. I just really appreciate that they are going to go into the new year with a fresh start.”
– Elizabeth F. McNamara