Principals selected as Kearns closes

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By Kim Becker

Superintendent Dr. Alan Addley announced his choices for principals  for the revamped district. Kim Dessert will stay at the primary level (Pre-K–Grade 2) at Kelly Lane School. Dr. Anna Forlenza-Bailey and Susan Henneberry will remain at Wells Road Intermediate School (Grades 3–5) and the Middle School (Grades 6–8), respectively. The surprise comes at the high school. Dr. Mary Gadd, the current principal, will be replaced by Mike Dunn, the popular principal of Kelly Lane School (Grades 3-6). A petition had circulated earlier this school year to keep both Mr. Dunn and Dr. Bailey in the District.
In a written statement, Dr. Addley said, “Unfortunately, Dr. Gadd is the principal designated to lose her position next year through a reduction-in-force due to the closing of a school. I have the highest respect for Mary and for her leadership and accomplishments at the high school during the past three years. I am saddened to see her leave the district.”
Granby Memorial High School’s graduation is set for Monday, June 13. It will take place at the athletic stadium.
FY17 Budget
The Board of Education discussed the implications of Governor Malloy’s proposed cuts to the Education Cost Sharing Fund, as he and the legislators struggle to close a massive budget deficit at the state level. As currently proposed, Granby stands to lose $234,000 from the ECS. Additionally, the town may lose approximately $250,000 in municipal funding from the state.
At this point, on advice from the Connecticut Association of Boards of Education, the BOE has adopted a wait-and-see stance. The prevailing view is that the governor will not make such deep cuts and certainly not all at once. The board recognizes that it may need to revise the FY17 budget to reflect changes in state funding, but elected to wait for final numbers from the state legislature before revisiting the budget.
Some thought was given to postponing the budget vote on Monday, April 25, but it was decided that the town’s process must be followed, especially because the state budget is in such flux.

School transition
Bob Gilbert, Director of Teaching and Talent Development, informed the board that transition activities were moving forward. Several events have been planned for students and staff to come together in May. Teachers will be posting videos of themselves on their websites in time for summer vacation so students will know who they are and feel more comfortable in September. Parents were informed of teacher assignments in pre-K through 7th grade via an eblast from their schools. Facilities planning and moving is also underway with demonstrations of how to pack classrooms from the moving company and room assignments being finalized.
Career and Technical Education
Dr. Patricia Law, Director of Curriculum and Professional Development, and Jeff Stanwood, business teacher at the high school informed the board about career and technical education opportunities for students. CTE, as this program is now known, comprises skill building and learning opportunities through community connections, which provide: “internships, mentorship programs, job-shadows, career-related field trips, and community guest speakers.”
Additionally, Mr. Stanwood was very proud of DECA, a new high school club “that prepares emerging leaders and entrepreneurs for careers in marketing, finance, hospitality and management.” The club won its first year of competitions and earned four spots at the DECA International Career Development Conference in Nashville, Tenn., which was likened to the “Super Bowl of Business Education.” The Granby Education Foundation granted an off-cycle request for assistance with the conference fees, defraying the cost for the district and participants’ parents.