Friday, May 4, 2018

A Casualty of Consolidation

Photo: HCSD website
The Register-Star reports today that Steven Spicer, principal of John L. Edwards Primary School, will retire at the age of 56: "Hudson principal retires after his position is eliminated." 

The news brings to mind something that happened back in 2010. Spicer was then, after serving for sixteen years as the school's assistant principal, the principal of Hudson High School. When HCSD discontinued an alternative learning program and Tom Gavin, the principal of that program, was out of a job, the solution was to make Gavin and Spicer co-principals of the high school. That didn't work out too well. The two men found they couldn't work together, and the untenable situation erupted in an altercation that took place in the hallway while a school board meeting was going on. Spicer filed charges against Gavin for second degree aggravated harassment and petitioned for an order of protection. The charges were withdrawn, however, and a more amicable solution was reached when Spicer was appointed principal of John L. Edwards Primary School, to replace Carol Gans, who had retired. Still, in 2011, Spicer filed a complaint alleging that he had been the subject of racial discrimination by HCSD and the Board of Education. 

In today's Register-Star article, Spicer is quoted as saying: "My only regret in retirement is that that most diverse school district in Columbia County will no longer have any school administrators of color. And with Dr. Suttmeier and this school board having no specific plans or programs in place for future minority leadership recruitment, there won't be any hope of another school principal of color in Hudson for many years to come." 

The principals now in place at the three HCSD schools that will remain after this academic year are: Hudson High School--Antonio Abitabile, principal; Robert LaCasse, associate principal; Hudson Junior High School--Derek Reardon, principal; Alyssa Sabbatino, associate principal; Montgomery C. Smith--Mark Brenneman, principal; Ian MacCormack, associate principal.

From left to right: Abitabile, LaCasse, Reardon, Sabbatino, Brenneman, MacCormack | Photos from HCSD website

Statistics about the racial and cultural makeup of the HCSD faculty are not readily available, but the teachers new to the district in this school year provide some indication of the district's commitment to and success in creating a teaching staff that reflects the diversity of the student body. The new teachers and staff for the 2017-2018 are all introduced on the HCSD website. Click here to access that information.

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