High Profile Departures worrisome sign for Lowell Schools

The recent announcement by LHS Head of School Brian Martin of his unexpected retirement followed by news that respected Murkland Elementary School Principal Jason DiCarlo is leaving for a lateral move in Andover should be seen as a worrisome sign for the Lowell School system.

These two high profile, well respected individuals who had positive effects building strong school based teams and improving their schools test scores were valuable assets to the Lowell School System.

Their departures are worrisome especially when you hear chatter about the lack of support and direction coming out of the Superintendent’s office or the lack of leadership displayed by this Superintendent.

The Superintendents attendance at the LHS School Building Committee Meetings was nonexistent. If you look at the Minutes from the School Building Committee meetings you’ll notice that the Supt. attended the first meeting and the February meeting to vote on the final 4 options. Then wasn’t at the March meeting.

The MSBA mandates that the School Superintendent be part of the School Building Committee and his lack of attendance and participation has gone unquestioned by this current School Committee.

The MSBA regulations clearly require the establishment of a school building committee (“SBC”) in each municipality seeking such funding, as well as set forth the responsibilities and the membership of a SBC. The regulations require the town to make “a reasonable effort” to include representatives from each of the Select Board and the School Committee, the Town Manager, the Superintendent of Schools, the manager with responsibility for maintenance of the new facility, the school principal of the facility, a local budget official, and community members with experience in architecture, engineering and/or construction, among others.

He has shown little leadership for the High School Project.

Rumors say has not been supportive of principals and others who question him or who he perceives as people “connected” to the past administration.

The “school community bubble ” fodder says his reputation for non support, not wanting people perceived connected to the past Superintendent and his reputation for lack of leadership is why the interest in the Asst. Supt. post required an interim appointment and if the High School position ends up with an interim that should set off red flags.

Today’s Sun column list two regarded, long serving Lowell School personal Daley Middle School Principal Liam Skinner and Director of Curriculum, Instruction, and Assessment at Lowell High School Amy McLeod as possibly interested in becoming the next LHS Head of School, it will be interesting to watch how they are treated in the process.

Mayor Kennedy should know better than to insert himself in the hiring process in any way,shape or form so hopefully the comments in today’s Sun that Kennedy isn’t supportive of McLeod doesn’t hurt her chances.

It will be very interesting to watch how many Principals leave the system either by choice or if the Superintendent chooses to not renew their contract. It was reported in the Sun that there were at least 3 that might not have their contract renewed so this issue should be monitored closely.

More high profile exists by respected and admired Principals are worrisome for the Lowell School system. The fear of regression from all that progress that has been made is a real concern.