Tuesday, Jun 25th

Parents Weigh In on Succession Plans for EHS Leadership

questionmarkSpeculation continues about who will be the next principal at Edgemont High School when Dr. Barry Friedman steps down next summer. Superintendent Nancy Taddiken will present her recommendations at the next Board of Education meeting on Tuesday, October 11th but many were eager to share their ideas on how to select the next principal.

One parent I spoke to expressed his strong feelings that the school should not solely look internally at possible candidates but should conduct a nationwide search. Given the poor economy and nationwide district layoffs he felt there may be many qualified candidates available to run the school next year. When asked about the possibility of promoting from within he agreed that there could also be qualified internal candidates but believed that should not stop a nationwide search. He felt that both internal and outside candidates' resumes should be screened by a committee of administrators, teachers, and parents, and the top candidates should be interviewed. "Perhaps an internal candidate will be chosen in the end or perhaps a candidate from the outside will be chosen, the important thing is to do a proper search for the best person to fill Dr. Friedman's position."

Other parents felt that it would be better to promote from within to maintain the school district culture that they know and love. Selecting an internal candidate also promotes good feelings among the staff. One parent said "Students feel more comfortable with the administrators that they already know." Years ago, when popular Social Studies teacher, Mr. Tim Hoss was promoted to assistant principal of the junior high, students felt very comfortable going to speak to him since he was well known and respected among the student population. (Mr. Hoss has since left the school district and is now principal at a school close to his home in Long Island.) It is a great benefit to the district that Dr. Friedman has announced his retirement nearly a year in advance so that the school district has plenty of time to choose the best candidate and perhaps even bring someone in during Dr. Friedman's last few months at EHS to learn the ropes from him.

Some of these questions will be answered when Ms. Taddiken presents her recommendations on October 11th. Attendance at Board of Ed meetings has been low and important decisions are made without much feedback from parents and the community.

Now that the New York State property tax cap has been enacted and administrative changes are under consideration at the high school, community input is more important than ever. In order to comply with the cap, budget cuts will likely be necessary, as the unfunded mandates alone will consume most of the two percent increase. At their November 8th meeting, the Board of Education plans to discuss possible structural changes to the schools as well as the property tax cap. The budget planning calendar will be discussed at the November 22nd meeting. The full BOE meeting calendar and Superintendent Report Topics can be found here:

Parents and community members can also attend the PTSA Parent Forum on Wednesday, October 19th at 9 am in the Edgemont High School library. The Forum will give everyone another opportunity to hear the succession plan discussed by Ms. Taddiken and Dr. Friedman and meet new Guidance Counselor Lauren Moore.


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