Thursday, May 27, 2010

Alert Poster Strikes Again - More News On Stinson Alabama Job Interview

Again, one of this blog's outstanding posters comes up with news from the Baldwin County School District Superintendent search. Thanks (again?) anon 11:34.

From the Mobile Press-Register :

Baldwin County school board members took about an hour to interview each finalist in the superintendent search this week, with both men up for the job proposing change and collaborative leadership for the system of 27,000 students.

About Alan Lee's interview:

Lee faced the board for the second time on Monday, saying he might not have all the answers for Baldwin County, but he could "help people realize they have the answers, and I can guide the board and the people here to the best decisions."

School board President Tracy Roberts asked Lee to "help me feel better about your coming from a system that seems very small at 7,800 compared to Baldwin County with 27,000."

Lee said he would rely on experts that are most familiar with the system, make his expectations clear and work with all stakeholders to be sure the system reaches its goals. He said most of the concerns he had heard over the day could be solved through better communication between all involved.

"Openness is the key to addressing issues," Lee said. "Nothing is sacred and everything is open for discussion and consideration."

Lee said negotiating with state and even national leaders does not bother him, and he currently serves as the president of the State Superintendent's Association in Virginia.

Lee said he advocates technical training for all students, and is very protective of art and music in education as well as professional development. Regarding cuts to the system's personnel, he said principals should always be involved in decisions that so drastically affect their schools.

Lee said he would immediately create e-mail addresses for all county school employees, post the policy manual on the system's website, form advisory committees for schools, a planning team for the central office and begin learning the system's strengths and weaknesses.

About Don Stinson's interview:

Stinson met with board members on Tuesday, proposing sweeping changes to the way students are educated.

The Decatur system has about 7,000 students.

"I advocate the small learning communities concept," Stinson said. "We are
reinventing education, making it customized for learners. We need to get in touch with our students. For so long we expected one size to fit all, and it simply does not work for 21st century students."

Stinson implemented a system in Decatur that groups students according to interest in various areas like the arts, business, scientific research among other areas. Students remain in classes that infuse math, reading and other basic lessons as they relate to the learning community. The system also assigns an adult that mentors and tracks a student all through their school career.

Stinson said leaders must "imagine you can start over from the ground up and design a system to meet our students' needs. What's needed? Can it become real based on the finances available? Unless you have a 100-percent graduation rate, 100-percent success-in-life rate for your students -- you need change."

He said leaders must change their beliefs about education, and reaching that point "is almost a spiritual experience."

Change in Decatur meant implementing the small communities concept, and opening technology use like cell phones for project research. He said the changes took parts of successful systems across the country and created the Decatur model.

Stinson complimented the county on its high test scores and the open interview process.

He said he plans to mold new leadership in the system if given the chance, and would begin the process of change by finding out what stakeholders want the system to become.

And in conclusion:
Board members said both men were outstanding candidates, and that site visits to the out-of-state systems led by the finalists would be the last task before the Tuesday vote.


Anonymous said...


Thank you for posting this entire article. There is a lot of important information revealed.

Anonymous said...

The following comment was posted at the above website:

"This is a joke, right? Our finalists are two old men? That's the best they can come up with? These guys just want to retire on a beach. I don't think we could get five good years out of them combined. And, of course, there's always the little matter of going from a 7,000 student system to one with 27,000. We're choosing between two retired minor league coaches to lead our major league team. Nice!"

They might be interested in comments showing Decatur "insights."

It will be interesting the next few days.

Anonymous said...

If I were an employer (wait; I am; I'm a taxpayer) and my highest paid employee was looking for a job, I'd ask why. Hey School Board; have any of you asked Stinson WHY he's looking to leave? From your support of him and voting "yes" to every one of his budget-busting ideas, you obviously have to be concerned? My concern is what we'll end up with here in Decatur when the chief rat deserts the ship. We're obviously stuck with this Board of Education for quite sometime. They're as useless as.....well, we'll leave that comparasion alone. Lets just say that they can't sink much lower. When and if Stinson leaves, guess what this School Board will have to do? Yep...go through the hiring process to find a NEW CEO! They'll probably use the search group from Ball State; tahat will cost us a few hundred thousand. I would be worried about the candidate pool that would be thrust upon us. It's common knowledge what financial shape our Township is in. Who would want to take over this mess? Someone who has problems of their own no less! Hey School Board. You wanted got it! LOL! Good luck finding a QUAILIFIED and COMPETENT replacement for your "Don".

Anonymous said...

Anon 1:49

A search of the websites used to post superintendent vacancies shows there are a total of 3 superintendent positions open in Indiana today - Brownsburg, Kokomo, and Central Noble. The Indianapolis area is a VERY desirable place to live in Indiana. This blog has documented the monumental financial mess created by Stinson, Baer, and the Board during a time of state and national financial crisis. There are probably superintendent candidates with integrity and skills to address the many challenges in the district. IF - IF Stinson leaves, one big challenge will be for taxpayers to cause the board to be open to the public in the hiring of the next superintendent. Unfortunately, many think Stinson and the Board have already picked out the next Superintendent.

Why is Stinson leaving? Don't have a guess BUT IF he is hired in Alabama he will have his very large retirement benefit from Indiana in addition to his pay in Alabama that will total more than he is paid today - not too bad when you live on the beach. At least, many understand that the kitchen is "hot" !!!

Anonymous said...

Anon 1:49:

Would these superintendent candidates be able to work with this Board? LOL can you imagine being interviewed by these clowns!?

Anonymous said...

Maybe some of the board members will resign.

Does any one have a list of teacher assignments for each school next year? Could that list be placed on this blog?

Anonymous said...

to anonymous at May 27, 2010 5:09 PM

I don't have a list but when we visited the Gold Academy, Mrs. Wiseman had pictures of each teacher outside of their new classrooms. I don't know if the other schools followed suit.

Anonymous said...

So just how much does MR Stinson "love" our students and teachers.....he should take only the TFR and nothing else in his retirement package.

Anonymous said...

rumor is Stinson got the job

Anonymous said...

Stinson loves no one but himself!He PROVED THAT WHEN HE SIGNED A NEW CONTRACT THIS YEAR AND TOOK 40,000
EACH YEAR FOR A NEW ANNUITY.That was when he said he was staying to help us through this financial mess for the children.

The Alabama people were here today touring our facilities.

Why would he take this job when he can stay here and continue to rob this township blind?

I'am betting he won't take the job even if he gets it. It is a ego trip just to try and get the job.


Anonymous said...

Would guess that if the other guy gets the job then Stinson will say that he is withdrawing his application. IF he gets the job he will say it is an opportunity that is once in a lifetime. Which ever happens he should resign next week or agree to work for a TOTAL of $150,000 (including health insurance, annuities, car, etc.)

Yoda said...

I love the misinformation on this site. Mr. Stinson was not looking for a job, the Alabama people came to him. Mr. Stinson asked the school board for a 20% pay cut this year due to the financial troubles in the township but, the board would only give him a 15%.

Can anyone get the information from the other townships in Marion County and prove that ours is in worst shape than theirs. This is one of the biggest complaints that continues to permeate this blog but from glancing at what the other townships are doing, they seem to be in the same shape.

Anonymous said...

And there lies the problem with the Board....we only took 15%??? If someone is offering to give money back, YOU TAKE IT! The Board just cost our kids money once again.

Anonymous said...

I have posted before the break down in taxes from all the townships and counties around. Decatur and Franklin Townships have been the highest! A LOT of this money has been going to the schools. I have said it time and time again. The government voted for the tax cap 4 years ago. Decatur did not plan for that tax cap. Other schools did! All schools then faced the gov. reducing funds even more. So most schools are just trying to deal with the one reduction. Decatur spent spent spent and now has to deal with both reductions. They should have been preparing for the tax cap for the last 4 years.