Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Lesky Announces Retirement

NASD Superintendent Dr. Vic Lesky announced his retirement to the school board according to an article in the Express-Times (read it here).

Lesky will continue through the 2011-2012 school year and leave in July 2012. According to the article Lesky left teaching and began administration in 1979, becoming Superintendent in 1999. Prior to his time as an administrator, Lesky was a technical education teacher for six years, two in Easton and four in Nazareth.

The article includes a list of accomplishments, which is really in the eyes of the beholder considering there was no consensus between the administration and public regarding the direction that ought to have been taken on some big issues.

A noted accomplishment is the “successful” transformation of Nazareth from a rural district to one with a student population in the top 20% of all PA schools. The school district grew, but how one defines the NASD response to this growth as a ‘success’ is rather arbitrary. It appears there will be over-all growth, but there was also an enrollment bubble as evidenced by reduced enrollment in each of the past several school years.

This accomplishment includes several others on the list including, maintained fiscal integrity, the new building configurations, and the building and facility renovations.

Defining these as successes are also a challenge when you consider taxes have increased each year, our debt has increased, the new building configuration was contentious at best, with many, myself included, arguing to build a 4th elementary, return to K-6, and use funds saved toward reducing the enrollment issue at the HS. And the building renovations and development could be argued to have been overly aggressive ‘wants’ as opposed to ‘needs’ during a continuing period of hard economic times on the people who are ultimately footing the bill, the taxpayers.

The article notes the district will look internally first for a replacement, then outside and plan to have a new person in place by December. This seems to be a very aggressive timeline, and I hope they conduct a wide search and find a reasonably conservative as opposed to progressive candidate who is very knowledgeable in school finance as that will undoubtedly be our biggest challenge moving forward.

Posted via email from Ross Nunamaker

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