Keep Mrs. Kelley at Stillmeadow!
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During Dr. Michael Sanders' tenure, Stillmeadow became one of the highest-performing elementary schools in Stamford. Today, Stillmeadow is widely known as a warm, safe, and inclusive community with high expectations for student performance.
Who will be entrusted with Stillmeadow's future? For many members of the Stillmeadow Community, the answer to that question is Kathleen Kelley.
Mrs. Kelley has been an integral part of Stillmeadow since 1989, first as an award-winning teacher and for the last three years as the school's administrative intern. As administrative intern, she has been entrusted with decision-making authority on a wide range of academic and operational issues. Time and again, she has demonstrated a willingness to go above and beyond for the Stillmeadow community. For instance:
- Stillmeadow has had three assistant principals in the last four years, only one of which joined Stillmeadow through a formal interview process. The Stillmeadow community was able to adapt to these frequent changes due to Mrs. Kelley’s consistent leadership.
- In May and June 2016, Stillmeadow did not have an assistant principal. Mrs. Kelley assumed the duties of assistant principal without additional compensation because she is invested in Stillmeadow and wants the best for its students and educators.
- In the three years that Mrs. Kelley has been the administrative intern, she has attended every after-school event, where she personally connects with families and thanks them for supporting our school. No other Stillmeadow administrator attended every event in a single year, let alone every event in the last three. To most families, Mrs. Kelley is the face of Stillmeadow.
We recently learned that district officials are planning to recommend another finalist as their choice to be Stillmeadow’s next principal.
This could mean starting the 2017-18 school year with an administrative team that is largely unfamiliar with Stillmeadow and its families. After nearly a quarter-century of stability and continuity, we are concerned about the effect this will have on our school community.
As members of the Stillmeadow Community, we are appealing to the Board of Education to answer the following questions:
- Why didn't district officials communicate with families when Dr. Sanders informed the district in late January that he was retiring? (Most parents learned about Dr. Sanders’ retirement via a March 3 story in the Stamford Advocate.)
- Why didn’t the district offer Stillmeadow Families a forum to solicit feedback, such as the one afforded to families at Westhill High School? By the time Superintendent Kim addressed families at a PFO meeting on March 30, the first two rounds of the interview process had been completed.
- Did the district take into consideration the many letters of recommendation for Mrs. Kelley that were submitted by current Stillmeadow families?
Anyone who has spent time at Stillmeadow knows that Mrs. Kelley is the true heart and soul of our school. Please find a way to keep Mrs. Kelley at Stillmeadow in a position that offers her the professional advancement she so richly deserves and that will benefit our entire school community in the years ahead.
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