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New education commissioner for USVI?

 
Becky R
(@Becky_R)
Trusted Member

After reading the article below, why do I NOT think ya'll are possibly getting a deal? Placed on administrative leave without explanation and now scurrying for a VI job? NINE jobs in 7 years? How do I just know there's a "rest of the story"? Anyone living there know what the legislature could be thinking on this one? It kind of sounds like mediocrity in motion at the very best.

http://pittsburghlive.com/x/pittsburghtrib/news/rss/s_522210.html

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Topic starter Posted : August 17, 2007 12:27 pm
Ronnie
(@ronnie)
Trusted Member

The Governor appointed her. The Legislature will have to confirm her. Maybe she is the type that goes in to make changes and then leaves. This is what I gather. She ruffles a lot of feathers. That's what our system needs here.

RL

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Posted : August 17, 2007 12:41 pm
rkurpiers
(@rkurpiers)
Advanced Member

IMHO, her confirmation by the Senate would result in a disastrous term as commissioner. Qualifications aside, one just has to Google her name to read numerous articles about her propensity to rub people the wrong way. To be successful in any leadership position, one has to get almost unanimous buy-in not only from one's superiors, but from everyone down the chain. I.e., there has to be a common belief that the goals are not only worthwhile, but obtainable. In her previous jobs, Spampinato is known for shaking things up by firing people who aren't on board with her. That's fine in the states, where there's a pool of available skilled professionals ready to step in to replace someone, but such an approach is likely to render her impotent in the Virgin Islands; especially when you consider the resistance she's going to encounter from simply being an outsider.

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Posted : August 17, 2007 1:09 pm
Ronnie
(@ronnie)
Trusted Member

Maybe it's what we need. For years we are screaming we need some change. Hopefully DeJongh has done all the homework and can counteract any problems she may create.

RL

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Posted : August 17, 2007 1:27 pm
Becky R
(@Becky_R)
Trusted Member

Nine jobs in 7 years and placed on administrative leave isn't just ruffling feathers....I'd be interested in knowing how the programs she implemented at her past jobs are holding up. I don't know how you can get ANYTHING up and running and successful and not needing some tweaking in 9 months, which is about the average for each of her jobs. Consultant is one thing - commissioner is another, or at least in my mind. I do hope she can succeed, but it will take a lot longer than 9 months to change and fix the educational system. Add in the island time factor and she could have a very long tenure there, and she doesn't appear to be the staying kind.

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Topic starter Posted : August 17, 2007 2:28 pm
Alexandra
(@Alexandra)
Trusted Member

they were discussing her on Roger W. Morgan's show a couple days ago and something Roger said made one caller (the principal of Complex HS) think that she had purchased a house here... and Roger was quick to correct the mistaken impression to say instead that she had housing here... so most likely a rental property or maybe even something provided by the government for her to live in. No ties other than a job for however long that lasts. We all know how advice from brand new arrivals is received by life-long residents. Even when the advice is sound, it is likely to be avoided just because it's from someone new. The new commissioner has more on her plate than she probably realizes when you factor in the cultural differences on top of the educational reforms needed. I do wish her luck.

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Posted : August 17, 2007 5:28 pm
Trade
(@Trade)
Expert

The head of the hospital here was an outsider & managed to turn it around in a short time. Let's hope this one can do the same with Education. Maybe we need somebody tougher than the same old, same old who have run the school system down so terribly. Let's hope for the best & see what happens.

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Posted : August 17, 2007 7:35 pm
East Ender
(@east-ender)
Expert

Sometimes an organization needs to have a little shake up. And often that person gets sacrificed after the tough changes are are made. Then the peacemaker can come in and everyone gets to have a group hug again.

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Posted : August 17, 2007 9:04 pm
Lizard
(@Lizard)
Trusted Member

I Hope things improve under her leadership on our islands! and I wish her the good fortune.

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Posted : August 20, 2007 10:30 am
jay
 jay
(@jay)
Advanced Member

What some people may be missing here is the fact that her job is a job that by its nature will not last very long. She is a trouble shooter. Hired to implement policies and get rid of dead weight (of which there is plenty of in our school system) and do it very quickly. The fact that she had several jobs in a short time is a testament to the fact that she is doing what she is hired to do........thats why the next school system is so quick to hire her.
She was brought here at a very cheap price, I believe $110,00 per year. There were other candidates who were offered the job, None would accept the job at that salary. She made a sacrifice for the people of the USVI, she didn't have to do that. She was hired by the Governor, to implement his policies, which he was elected to implement. People in the system who stand in the way of the changes he is trying to implement, should and will be pushed aside. Thats her job.

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Posted : August 20, 2007 5:44 pm
Trade
(@Trade)
Expert

And let's hope she gets to do it. Still has to go before the Senate, doesn't she? If that's not a trial by fire, I don't know what is.

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Posted : August 20, 2007 10:14 pm
Alexandra
(@Alexandra)
Trusted Member

It's awfully hard to fire employees in the islands even when they don't do their jobs or show up to work. I wonder if they have made arrangements for her to be able to cut positions and incompetent or unnecessary staff without all the red tape that usually goes with it.

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Posted : August 21, 2007 8:16 pm
jay
 jay
(@jay)
Advanced Member

If they can't fire them, then they can do what all government agencies do with problem employees protected by unions or civil service laws....take them out of the critical positions and have them do some silly needless chore where they can't cause any trouble. And don't worry about the money....She spoke of all the money the territory is entitled to that for to whatever reason....pick one...lazyness...incompetence or just don't feel like doing it, the school system is not applying for...there are piles of money that is not even being applied for by the territory and only requires the papers be filed to obtain the funds. She made it very clear that that will not happen while she is here and I know she has the support of the governer on that......

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Posted : August 21, 2007 10:14 pm
Lizard
(@Lizard)
Trusted Member

91 New Teachers, New Superintendent of schools, Looks like the acting commissioner is off to a good start.

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Posted : August 31, 2007 10:42 pm
Lizard
(@Lizard)
Trusted Member

Acting Commissioner Lynn Spampinato goes to D.C. to try to keep monies that are to be returned. I don't believe anyone has ever done that in the past. So Far she gets an A+ in the sphere of changing times.

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Posted : September 8, 2007 12:52 pm
bluwater
(@bluwater)
Advanced Member

If, in fact she is a "Turnaround Artist" (which seems likely), then she knows her job is short-term. That' the beauty of it and why she would have had so many jobs and administrative leaves. She has all the markings of one.

As others have said, if she is one, she'll shake things up, fire whomever she deems inaffective, etc. They usually bring a few former teammates with them, after time. If you see others being hired- and you trace their backgrounds far enough - you may find a connection to her in another position some while ago.

She can be completely effective without the worry about being the long-term leader and respected by the BoE underlings, the community, suppliers and vendors, etc. The sooner they all understand that, the better they'll fare.

And then, as EE has noted, the peacemaker will come in and deal with whomever is left after the turnaround artist leaves.

Being a turnaround artist is a sweet job if someone can stand that kind of engagement.

But, as Richard K has noted, I wonder how this tactic will work in the VI, where there isn't exactly a line of candidates waiting to fill the vacant slots to be created....at least not candidates that will satisfy the artist. And, there's the issue of relatives, neighbors, etc. I'm sure she's not used to potentially having to fire the governor's niece, or the senator's cousin...or whatever.

This should be very interesting!

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Posted : September 9, 2007 2:08 pm
Lizard
(@Lizard)
Trusted Member

bluewater,
So far her score card looks pretty good!

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Posted : September 9, 2007 2:37 pm
Lizard
(@Lizard)
Trusted Member

Saturday September 8,2007 the Board of Education gave a vote of confidence and endorsed Spampinato as Education Commissioner.

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Posted : September 11, 2007 1:35 am
Lizard
(@Lizard)
Trusted Member

BUMP

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Posted : October 9, 2007 9:44 am
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