Saturday, June 4, 2011

SPASD Loses Two Administrators

[Updated 6-5-11: SP-EYE offers sincere apologies to Rainey Briggs and affected board members for an inadvertent--and non-Freudian-- typo.  An astute follower reported to us that our initial post indicated that "3 board members voted AGAINST accepting his reputation.--instead of his RESIGNATION".  We assure you that while many questioned his resignation,  NO ONE questions Mr. Briggs' reputation.]

The Monday June 6th HR Committee agenda  indicates that, Executive Director of Student Services (Special Ed.) Lisa  Dawes ($116,240)  has tendered her resignation.  Ms. Dawes will certainly be missed.

At the last school board meeting, we learned, in a late addendum to the Personnel agenda item, that High School Assistant Principal Rainey Briggs ($75,971) is also leaving the district.  Word on the street is that he has been offered a Principalship in the Madison school district.  Hmmm?  Don't we have a Principal position open here in Sun Prairie? At Creekside elementary?  Was Briggs interested in that position?  Was he interested but Culver was not, n'est ce pas?  Enquiring minds are wondering.

Briggs has developed a reputation as a charismatic, inspiring, and aspiring leader within the district and the community.  We've heard anecdotal tributes to his efforts to work with kids at the high school and middle school level.   We're hoping we didn't let him go without a fight.  In fact, the board meeting got a little edgy when 3 board members voted AGAINST accepting his resignation.  It came down to poor Terry Shimek having to cast the final vote to accept the resignation of Briggs as well as the Sound of Sun Prairie leaders who resigned amid stormy allegations.  It was the right move for Shimek...they couldn't really deny these folks...right? (although Briggs had technically committed to honoring his contract earlier this year).   You can't force people to stay when they wish to go...right?

The harder question, however relates back to the HR Diversity issue.  Wasn't retention of existing diverse staff as important as recruiting new staff?  District administration can hold up their hands and try to lay this on the school board, but the motion was clear:  go ahead and hire the HR Specialist within your existing allotment of FTEs--and there seem to be plenty of those available.  Administration chose NOT to fill the position.  Apparently it wasn't as high a priority as, say, an administrative assistant for Business Manager Phil Frei.  And here's a better question:  why did they need a new position to RETAIN existing staff?  Isn't a bird in the hand worth two in the bush?  To what extent did administration work to retain Rainey Briggs in our district?