“People forget that we went from four years of one-year contracts, and within two months of his hiring we had negotiated a 3-year contract that allowed us to formulate our budget. That’s a function of the teachers union having some trust in him.”
Menin touted Kerble’s strengths as a strong educator who oversaw a seamless negotiation with teachers on the state’s new teacher evaluation system, an increase in the way data is used to advance student achievement, and some changes in the main office at the high school which saw two administrative positions reduced to one – a move popular with parents at the time.
“I’m of the belief that not all turnover is negative,” said Menin. “Sometimes it’s time for some people to move on.”
As one who spoke out against the mayor’s handling of her working relationship with Kerble and the school committee, taking exception with a letter Holaday penned to the city council expressing concerns about the departure of Kerble’s second in command, Menin said the mayor didn’t leave Kerble many options.
“I was deeply disappointed but I was not surprised,” said Menin of Kerble’s announcement. “I think that there never really was any resolution – a comfortable resolution – to the issues that were raised by the mayor. The superintendent has to work with the mayor and the mayor has to be able to work with the superintendent, and they have to feel comfortable with each other. I don’t know if we ever got to that point after the big blow up.”
He views the departure as a loss for the district, and recounted the hours Kerble worked on district goals, often emailing him well past midnight about something the two had discussed earlier I the day.
“I believe we were lucky to get him,” said Menin. “I think his impact is going to be very significant and over time we’ll realize how significant it is. He put everything he had into the position.”