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East Hampton Schools Gear Up for Admin Shifts

Parents wish Keith Malsky would stay at the middle school.

Some parents are displeased with the decision to move the well-liked principal to the elementary school, but the superintendent said the plan has been in the works for months.

Two parents voiced concern over  at the East Hampton School Board meeting on Tuesday night. He will join current principal Gina Kraus at  and Assistant Superintendent Charles Soriano will replace Malsky at the middle school.

Abby Fleming, who has a daughter at the middle school, said,  “I’ve worked with Mr. Malsky, and I’ve seen him work with students.  I’ve found him to be excellent at what he does,” she said, “He’s a middle school principal.  My grandmother used to say, if it’s not broken, why fix it.” 

Fleming said she had attended budget meetings and wondered if the board was putting what’s best for the children first.  “I found out yesterday it’s been decided. If I had more time, I could’ve gotten signatures from parents and kids in the school saying we want Mr. Malsky to stay,” she added.

Interim Superintendent Rich Burns — who signed his official contract at the meeting to become on July 1 — thanked Fleming for her tribute to Malsky, and said his quick response would not honor her question.  

"We’re moving the district forward, and we’re trying to place our administrative team in the best places for our students,” said Burns.  “The process took over the past two months, and the decision was made so that it was transparent and clear.  I recommended and felt very strongly that this is the way it should move forward,” he said.

Diane Smullen, who also has a daughter at the middle school, said that  This is a time of upheaval in student’s lives as they become young adults, she said.  “A lot of parents feel that keeping Keith there would be a good thing for the kids; and it’s about the kids.  I don’t think everyone found out about it until yesterday.” 

In an interview following the meeting, Burns elaborated further on the rationale for the moves.  “We’re best utilizing our talents. Each person has their own unique styles and propensities,” he said.

The new titles for Malsky and Kraus are under discussion. “I have to sit with each of them.  It might be principal and principal,” he said, “I want to make sure for Keith that it’s a lateral move, and the title honors his position.”  Both Malsky and Kraus will be on “equal footing.”  According to Burns, Malsky will focus on administration, management, and discipline, while , will concentrate on curriculum and instruction.

Burns also stressed the need for the board to be open with the public with these decisions.  “A lot of boards make these changes on June 28, and we want everyone aware of it before the summer.  I respect the teachers too much,” he said, “I want to give due respect to the teachers, students, and parents.  Middle school is a very special place.”

Burn said Soriano, in his current role, has been involved with curriculum, instruction, mentoring new teachers, and dealing with complex legal issues. “He has a wide breadth of knowledge and experience.  He wanted to go back to the building level, he’s excited,” Burns said.

Meanwhile, Daniel Hartnett, the current assistant principal at the elementary school, will return to his former role as a district bilingual social worker.  “When he moved up, we lost a bilingual social worker.  We have one, and we need another to meet the diverse needs of our population,” Burns said.

At the meeting, Kraus was positive about the changes.  “Dan has been phenomenal.  I understand he needs to be moved in the best interest of the district,” she said, “I’m looking forward to working with Keith as a partner and part of our team in the best interest of the kids.”

The administrative changes are accounted for in the .  “They were within the adopted budget, administrators are moving to different roles,” he said.

Mary Smith May 16, 2012 at 03:59 PM
If JMMES had been "fixed" a couple of years ago when it first "broke", the Middle School would not now be a SACRIFICIAL LAMB in this mess. It is a sad day when a high scoring, highly functional, loving environment (the Middle School) is torn apart with what will probably turn out to be, yet again, another bad chess game. Parents, teachers - and most importantly, the kids love and respect what Mr. Malsky has done this past year, and want the Superintendent and the Board of Education to reconsider before this move is finalized.
annoyedagain May 16, 2012 at 04:01 PM
bad move.. has anyone explained why Mr. Soriano wasn't asked by the board to stay on as Asst. Superintendent; I mean especially w/ all those accolades he has received?.. (as posted by E.Hampton Mom in previous comments) Come on Mr. Burns and Board be honest with the public that you serve!
annoyedagain May 16, 2012 at 10:37 PM
CMM..guess your child/teen was handled w/ discipline that you disapproved of..hmm kids in trouble for a reason???
Bonac Bob May 17, 2012 at 01:37 AM
Finally this board made a courageous decision for our kids...Soriano is an A-list administrator who belongs in the schools. I saw him talk at board meetings and the presentations were dynamite...this guy is the "real deal." He spent too much time in Gualteri's shadow doing what the super needed. Kudos to the Board for Burns and Soriano. Two really really good decisions for our kids.
EH11937 May 22, 2012 at 10:40 PM
How do you get a high paid never seen, seldom heard administrator under contract out of a district? Make his job more difficult so he CHOOSES to leave. But is it proper to use kids as the straw that breaks the camel's back? I am very upset. I have one child in the Middle School and another on the way. You DO NOT use kids to force a move. How dare they Administration, teachers, and the Board of Ed are all supposed to be there FOR the students, NOT THE OTHER WAY AROUND. How dare they! Be honest, this is no way to start a new administration. Gualtieri's lied to us for years doing his own thing his own way, now more tactics and altering motives. Shame on you all, you are not thinking of the students. If the teachers support Mr. Malsky, which I hear they do, and the students do and from 98% of the comments are in support of Mr. Malsky, then why make a change to 2 schools. They want to make Mr. Soriano work for his $$$,$$$. He will be there alone now, right? The elementary school would be an easy move for him. Think about it, easy move for Soriano, easy move keeping Malsky at the Middle School. But no, change it all why??? Open your eyes everyone, there HAS to be other reasons. I am just appauled that they are using 11 year olds. Speak up everyone, the Board of Ed is supposed to represent us, the public. If we make known the public's majority view, then they have to act on it in good faith of their position, otherwise, they are not reprentative and should go.
Harold Pinkowski June 07, 2012 at 12:14 PM
so as I understand it from those who did attend the school board meeting, that the proposal to make this all happen was pulled on the board's agenda. What is happening?
me June 19, 2012 at 05:27 PM
ok all you tax paying citizens whom may want a say in Keith Malsky staying as Middle School principal; as well as those staff members who share that same feeling.. show up at tonights board meeting and use your STRONG voice to advocate for him as well as your right to have a say!!! We alll know his preference!!!
1/2 n 1/2, 2 sugars February 02, 2013 at 04:17 PM
If you have a child in school and are concerned with their education, watch this: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iG9CE55wbtY&list=FLIYocUCja9Ug_XiYROeb_cw&index=10
1/2 n 1/2, 2 sugars February 02, 2013 at 07:14 PM
I suggest you watch the entire 20 minutes, but especially from 15:00 - 17:50 Also, here's a proverb to think about: IF YOUR PLANS ARE FOR ONE YEAR, PLANT RICE, IF YOUR PLANS ARE FOR TEN YEARS, PLANT TREES, IF YOUR PLANS ARE FOR ONE HUNDRED YEARS, EDUCATE A CHILD!
1/2 n 1/2, 2 sugars February 02, 2013 at 07:21 PM
A follow up video, again, if you dont watch the whole 20 minutes, please be sure to watch from 15:06 - 16:20 http://www.youtube.com/watch?annotation_id=annotation_148916&feature=iv&src_vid=iG9CE55wbtY&v=r9LelXa3U_I

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