Framingham Teachers Association members vote with no confidence in elementary headteacher

FRAMINGHAM — In 2018, after a principal department in less than a year and an unsuccessful principal search, Superintendent of Schools Bob Tremblay announced that Brophy Elementary vice-principal Cynthia Page would become the new principal of the McCarthy Elementary School.

Although previous searches have had the participation of staff and parents, Page’s announcement as director was not preceded by a formal search committee.

Four years on, the staff, especially members of the Framingham Teachers Association union, have a lot to say.

On May 25 and 26, FTA members at McCarthy Elementary School voted out the superintendent of their building.

Of those who voted, 94% don’t trust Principal Page.

There are 75 FTA members at McCarthy Elementary – 61 voted against and 10 members did not vote.

The last time the EFA took a vote of no confidence was against former schools superintendent Stacey Scott.

The last time the EFA took a vote of no confidence in a director was more than two decades ago.

“I have no official communication from the FTA on this vote of no confidence,” the superintendent said. Bob Tremblay at SOURCE this afternoon at 4:20 p.m. “I’m surprised the media has this information in front of me.”

Six FTA McCarthy members, along with FTA President Chris Mulroney, met with Superintendent Tremblay on two separate days in April to discuss staff concerns about the matter. McCarthy staff describe McCarthy as a “toxic and retaliatory environment” created by Principal Page.

After these meetings, an attempted restorative meeting was held with the senior page, Supt. Tremblay, 2 teacher representatives, Chris Mulroney and Framingham Public Schools Associate Director of Human Resources and Talent Development, Tiago Gadens.

FTA management said it was decided that Principal Page should restore the relationship between her and the staff.

The district has hired “Sean Larry Stevens, who is the” founder and executive director of Sapphire Education, an executive leadership and life coaching firm where he consults with Fortune 500 companies, celebrity clients like Kanye West and a leader in the school system. The cost was requested by the media as well as the hiring objectives.

McCarthy Elementary staff have filed union grievances, multiple “hostile labor” complaints and now an “unfair labor practice” charge, FTA leaders said.

Current assistant principal Jean Nolan, who served as interim principal at McCarthy before Page was named principal in 2018, is retiring at the end of the 2021-22 school year.

In a letter to families announcing Page as Principal in 2018, Tremblay wrote, “Page, currently Vice Principal at Brophy Elementary School, has a proven turnaround track record, strong interpersonal skills, and is an educator and a leader in our district for over 21 years. She has the relationship building skills to quickly build relationships with staff, students and families to provide effective leadership at McCarthy Elementary School.

Page earned her Bachelor of Arts in Music Education from Skidmore College, a Master of Arts in Educational Leadership from Framingham State University and completed the Teachers21-sponsored Turnaround Leadership Academy in 2014.

When he was named superintendent of McCarthy, the district said, “Page has over 25 years of experience as an educator, instructional leader and school administrator. She was a member of the Framingham Public Schools Music Department for 12 years and most recently served as Vice-Principal of Brophy Elementary School. Ms. Page believes that a successful school consists of a community that includes children, parents, teachers, administrators and all staff working together to create a caring and engaged learning environment that will provide the best possible education for all his children.

But Earlier this year, one of her decisions caused an uproar in the community, when she told teachers they couldn’t read certain books in class. Staff and parents were upset by the decision, which has yet to be resolved.

The union said that in the 3.5 years that Page served as McCarthy’s principal, “27 teachers have moved to new roles and levels.”

FTA management said that “some of these staff have been moved for several years in a row; Grade 5 to Grade 3 to Grade 5 back to Grade 3 or or Kindergarten to Grade 2 back to Kindergarten.

“It is very difficult for a grade level team to work collaboratively when half the team is new year after year. Just when a teacher learns about a new grade level curriculum, they are moved to another grade level This practice of regularly moving staff between grade levels is not in the best interests of students,” said McCarthy teacher Lisa Zanella, who has worked at the school for more than three decades. year.

Over the past 3.5 years, turnover in primary school has been high, the union said.

“61 staff members left, 34 of those people made their decision partly, if not entirely, because of the strengthened leadership,” FTA management said.

Andrew B. Reiter