Thursday, January 20, 2005

My neighbor is shopping for a new job

Turns out my neighbor is shopping for a new job.
On the day after his two-year anniversary in Portsmouth, Superintendent David C. Stuckwisch will be interviewing for another job.

Stuckwisch is one of four finalists for the schools superintendent job in Davenport, Iowa, and will be interviewing there on Jan. 22.

“I’m at a point in my life when I have options,” said Stuckwisch, who on July 1 will have 30 years in Virginia schools and qualify for retirement. “I’m not that unhappy here. ... Just because you’re shopping doesn’t mean you’re going to buy it.”
I wish him the best of luck, but I hope he doesn't go. His work in Portsmouth is not yet finished.
Stuckwisch, 55, came to Portsmouth from Hopewell after a prolonged and tense search. In the past two years he has managed to garner support from the occasionally bickering School Board and pushed through several controversial and far-reaching plans aimed at improving the struggling division.

He closed two elementary schools and plans to close a middle school and a magnet program in the fall. He also plans to keep sixth-graders in elementary school in the fall and reorganize the middle school curriculum.

The plan has angered some, particularly parents of students in the middle school magnet program.
Now, I'm not saying I agree with everything he's done. But, he hasn't angered me, and I am a parent of a student in the middle school. I think he and I share the same vision for our schools. I know he has a vision, and he's developed a strategy to get there, pulling the other administrators and the faculty and the staff and the students and the community along to get there. Perhaps I don't agree with all of his strategies or plans, but we share the fundamental vision, the end state.

Two years is too short for a leader to come into a complex organization and effect lasting, positive change. And that is what we need. So, I don't want to wish Dr. Stuckwisch ill, but I do hope he sticks around our fair city long enough to bring his vision to fruition.

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