A semblance of normalcy

Having hired an Interim Superintendent the School Committee (SC) has returned to routine operations conducted under a semblance of normalcy. However, the issues of lack of trust and lack of support for the ‘Feasibility Study” to be voted at the Special Town Meeting on December 4th as well as doubts about the effectiveness of a search for a new Permanent Superintendent remain. This will not change as long as any member of the clique that wrongfully removed former Superintendent Glenn Brand is still a member of the SC. Maria Neyland’s term expired, and Kristina Rychlik resigned after Acton Forum published the full text of the two executive sessions; that leaves Mary Brolin and Amy Krishnamurthy. These two should have resigned months ago, when Acton Forum published the unredacted minutes.

It is outrageous that these two continue to hang on, continue to have leadership roles, and apparently are going to try to help pick our next Superintendent. After what they did to remove the previous Superintendent, this is simply unacceptable.

Five months after the sudden, unexpected, and unwelcome forced resignation of Superintendent Glenn Brand, the real reason for this unjustified action by the School Committee leaders remains unexplained. The known facts indicate that Brand did not do anything wrong, that a clique of four SC members – Mary Brolin, Amy Krisnamurthy, Kristina Rychlik and Maria Neyland – decided to get rid of him and orchestrated a “disciplinary” executive session under a phony pretext. Negotiating the terms of Brand’s departure from the strong position of Brand’s contract and the knowledge that the SC could not accuse their client of anything that would justify terminating his employment, Brand’s lawyers were able to provide him with a very favorable settlement. This is not meant to minimize the harm to Brand, the School District, the students, the staff, the other administrators, or the taxpayers. Everyone has suffered under the botched plan which these ringleaders executed.

To read the unredacted executive session minutes, here is a link to our original article: http://www.actonforum.com/story/unredacted-executive-session-minutes-show-how-former-superintendent-glenn-brand-was-pressured-

Although the four members of the clique are directly responsible for the current chaotic situation and damage to our schools’ reputation, the remaining seven members of the SC are at fault for allowing the clique to continue their plans. The SC should have immediately taken steps to isolate these two by relieving them of any administrative responsibilities. Instead, they are attempting to try to conduct "business as usual."

To regain the public’s trust in the SC the other SC members must convince Brolin and Krishamurthy to resign; and to resign now, before voters decide whether or not they will support the SC’s request for Town Meeting approval of the proposed Feasibility Study.

Perhaps even more importantly, the permanent search for a new Superintendent is starting up. Other than the internal candidate preferred by the ringleaders, what other candidate, external or internal, is going to apply, interview, or accept our position with two of the bad apples still on the School Committee? Who is going to trust that these two won't undermine any other outsider picked? Who will trust that an employment contract is a good-faith agreement between the parties and not something that can be ignored and trashed with any made-up pretext by these two? For that reason alone, we need them off.

The semblance of normalcy will disappear rapidly if town meeting voters in either or both of the two towns reject the SC new elementary school building proposal, or if the search for the Permanent Superintendent does not produce good candidates and the SC chooses Marie Altieri as the default choice. Not picking the best candidate will harm our School District and our students for years if not decades.

Amy Krishnamurthy and Mary Brolin, please resign. If you care about our towns and our School systems, please retire. If you feel guilty at your actions, please quit. If you feel badly about wasting over $200,000 in taxpayer funds, please move on. We need you to leave, now.

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