, Gloucester, MA

March 19, 2013

Editorial: Difficult choice at Veterans School

Gloucester Daily Times

---- — It had to be a difficult decision for Gloucester school officials to essentially reassign Veterans’ Memorial School Principal Cherylann Parker after she finishes her sixth year in that role come June.

But while no single change can be seen as a solution, Superintendent of Schools Richard Safier and the School Committee deserve cerdit for once again recognizing a need for change and seeking a successor while “trying to do the best we can to pull that school up,” as School Committee Chairman Jonathan Pope put it.

While budget critics may question why the committee sees the need to slide Parker into a new position helping to coordinate the schools’ curricula, the fact that she is contracted, as school officials noted, suggests the move is a creative one that can indeed bolster curriculum coordination — a real challenge to a school district that must get five elementary schools on the same page for students’ transition into the increasingly innovative O’Maley Middle School.

Here’s wishing the best for Parker, for other curriculum officials getting a new helping hand, and especially for the students and families at Veterans, whose needs come first. City school officials deserve credit for making a difficult choice.