In a Jan. 26 letter to the Jamestown Press, Pete Gingras, assistant executive director of the National Education Association of Rhode Island and chief negotiator for the Jamestown Teachers Association, questions Superintendent Katherine Sipala’s motives in advocating for a principal at Lawn Avenue School at a time when the School Committee has closed classrooms and eliminated teachers due to declining enrollment.
The superintendent’s proposal is an outgrowth of School Committee discussions that began last spring, and it is consistent with the committee’s goal of making the best use of our resources — both fiscal and human. The committee’s administrative reorganization will generate savings for the community and provide essential support and instructional leadership for our teachers — our most valuable asset.
The School Committee will respond in detail to Mr. Gingras’ concerns at our Feb. 2 budget meeting and also in a letter we will submit to the Jamestown Press for publication the following week.
In the meantime, one point raised by Mr. Gingras calls for direct comment. Pete has questioned the superintendent’s “motivation” in this process. Everyone who attends our meetings knows that Mrs. Sipala has advocated for a principal at Lawn Avenue School even though she knows that the ensuing reorganization of administrative roles could cost her her job. She has consistently placed the district’s needs before her own, adding weight to her recommendation and underscoring her commitment to quality education in Jamestown.
Cathy Kaiser, Chairwoman, Jamestown School Committee