BCS BOE names two principals, nears superintendent finale

At the board’s latest meeting, it announced that Berlin Community School will have an elementary and middle school principal starting next school year

After leaving the community with a few questions at its last meeting, the Berlin Community School Board of Education hopes to have provided some answers regarding its administration.

At a meeting last month, the board abolished four positions, including school principal, assistant principal, supervisor of instruction, achievement and student activities, and the position of supervisor of special services.

At its latest meeting Thursday, May 9, the board approved the contracts of Kristin Groark and Jean-Philippe Silva as the middle school principal and elementary school principal, respectively. The positions were approved to be in effect from July 1 to June 30, 2020.

The move from one school principal in previous years to next year having two principals for the separate sides of the school, according to acting interim Superintendent Joseph Campisi, was part of the board’s efforts to balance the budget.

“We had around a $340,000 budget deficit, so we had to figure out a way to restructure in a way where the supervisory duties at the building level and the supervisory duties at the superintendent level could all be carried out in an effective way,” said Campisi.

Other duties held by positions that were abolished at last month’s meeting will be absorbed by other positions, such as the future superintendent, who could potentially be named in the coming weeks, as well as the two principals.

Campisi said that the board did not take the discussion lightly and looked at multiple ways of closing the deficit while focusing on the students, and that this decision was best for the school.

“We came up with many different models with how we could put together a budget that would put the students first,” said Campisi. “The alternative was that we would’ve had to potentially cut teachers or programs or have somewhere in the range of 30 to 35 students in a class.”

Also at the meeting, board President Jocelyn Lewis said, after two nights meeting with numerous candidates for the superintendent position, the search has been narrowed to four final candidates.

“We’ve confirmed interviews with those four candidates for next week,” Lewis said. “I’m looking forward to hearing from them.”

Lewis also said the community forum for the public to meet and question the final candidates for the position will be Wednesday, May 29 at 7 p.m.  The date is tentative, as the final candidates for the final position still need to be selected, however, once a date is confirmed, a flier with info on the candidates and the forum will be posted on the school website, www.bcsberlin.org.

“We welcome the public to come out and participate in that portion of the search,” Lewis said. “Tell a friend, tell a teacher … anyone in the community.”

Lewis also thanked the teachers for their work in the school each day in honor of National Teacher Appreciation Week.

Campisi also presented to the board and public on the Berlin Community School’s Performance Report Card, analyzing the school’s ELA and mathematics scores over the past couple years. The presentation is available on the school’s website.