WPCNR SCHOOL DAYS. By John F. Bailey. October 7, 2013 UPDATED 1:35 P.M. E.D.T.:
The Board of Education met Monday evening and appointed School Leadership, LLC as the search firm charged with the task of finding a new Superintendent of Schools for White Plains.
The Board also appointed a Fact Finder, Rosemary Townley, Esq., (above) an Arbitrator & Mediator with offices in Larchmont to participate in the now deadlocked labor talks between the White Plains Teachers Association and the City School District. The teachers are entering their second year without a contract, having rejected a contract twice which had eliminated step increases. Ms. Townley was assigned White Plains by the Public Employees Relations Board of the state. Her method of compensation was not available.
WPCNR has learned from Kerry Broderick, President of the White Plains Teachers Association that the district and the teachers have agreed on selection of Ms. Townley. Mr. Broderick said that the district and the teachers went through fact-finding and mediation last year, and have agreed to start the process again.
“It’s all about the abiltity (of the district) to pay,” Broderick told WPCNR. “The district had no problem setting with the administrators,(Adminstrators and Supervisors Association). That’s an issue for us.”
Broderick reported they would have several meetings with the fact-finder either in individual formal proceedings with the district and separate with the teachers, or informal proceedings. The format has not been decided.
Broderick said after fact-finding, the finder creates a report crafting some recommendations for settlement to both parties. Ms. Broderick said those recommendations are not binding on either party.
Timothy Connors, Interim Superintendent of Schools told WPCNR, said both the district and the teachers would submit a brief outlining their positions and facts.The fact-finder then meet with the district and the teachers, hear the respective positions, and then, in Connors words “submit a report on where there’s room to look at coming together. It is not binding.”
School Leadership, LLC is currently handling superintendent searchs for Fairport, N.Y.; Hamburg, NY; Sag Harbor, N.Y. and Scarsdale. In the last school year (2012-13) they filled superintendent positions in Eastchester; Elmsford, Edgemont, NY;Niagrara Falls; Pawling; Southampton,N.Y..Lynbrook.
Michele Schoenfeld, Clerk to the Board of Education told WPCNR Tuesday that School Leadership will receive a fee of $18,500, School Leadership would conduct community forums in White Plains to hear what White Plains citizens look for in a new superintendent, with candidates presented to the board in the spring. Schoenfeld said a new Superintendent is planned to be in place by July, the start of the 2014-15 School Year.