Drum Point Principal Granted Tenure

Allison McConnell will remain school's principal

Allison McConnell will continue to lead .

The Board of Education voted unanimously at a hearing Tuesday night to grant McConnell tenure in the position of principal.

The proceedings, known as a Donaldson hearing, provided a chance for McConnell to prove to board members she deserved to be tenured in the position of principal. She had been recommended for tenure by Superintendent Walter Hrycenko, but board members said they had questions about McConnell that they needed answered before effectively locking her into the principal's position indefinitely.

A majority of board members voted against her tenure in April.

"My mission has been, and continues to be, providing the necessary skills and abilities for them to realize their hopes and their dreams," McConnell told board members, of her philosophy towards teaching her students.

"I have made it my life's work to be the professional I am today."

McConnell's attorney, William Nossen of the New Jersey Principals and Supervisors Association, also spoke at the meeting, saying his client "has done all that we would want to ask a building principal to do."

McConnell described to board members programs she has initiated since becoming principal at Drum Point, including reading competitions and charity events. She also said she has obtained grants and saved the district money through her efforts to increase efficiency.

For their part, board members said they did not doubt McConnell's ability in the classroom, but had questions over how she managed internal personnel issues.

"We had some questions about bullying among the teachers," said board member Larry Reid. "We got a letter from one of the teachers … in Drum Point School that said there was bullying going on among the teachers."

But for Reid, the voice of the community helped allevite his concerns.

"The real difference was the parents, the students," he said. "Their comments made a real difference for me, personally."

The majority of board members echoed Reid's comments, saying they had questions about the same internal management issues.

Board members said they would have loved to talk to McConnell informally before a tenure vote, but state law forbids them from speaking with McConnell about personnel issues outside of a formal process.

"I apologize that you had to endure such a procedure," said board member Len Cuppari.

"The achievements were so lengthy, and your energy, seriously, God bless you," said board member Kim V. Terebush, explaining why she would vote in favor of granting McConnell tenure.

Hrycenko was on the verge of tears as he formally recommended McConnell's tenure to the board. Following a motion and a second, the unanimous 'yes' vote was taken.

Jerseyclone June 07, 2012 at 03:03 PM
Reality check page 13 is a generic organizational chart that does not reflect the true top heavy brick school system. Show me one with all employees shown so all the taxpayers can see the truth.
mary June 07, 2012 at 03:25 PM
@lifetimeofshore....your examples of children not knowing certain things may be true in your experience, but how exactly is a child who cannot count out her cash register without her cell phone the fault of the school? The teens u claim only know the month if June by the number 6 and don't know the word June because its not on their cell? Who buys them their phones? Not their teacher. If you want children to not be so reliant on their phones....don't let them be attached at the hip to a cell phone at all times. If a kid is trying to figure out some math at home....give them a pencil and paper and take the phone away. They are not being taught via cell phone in class.....that aspect is completely brought on by the parent. I, in no way, defend all teachers....I have see plenty who should not be in the profession. But to use examples of things that are totally beyond the scope of what a teacher can control is quite pointless. We are not in the home reinforcing the curriculum....that is where homework and parents come in.
outofthebox June 07, 2012 at 07:58 PM
@ Mary the point is with or without cell phones that has nothing to do with information that Children should know & do NOT ... PPL are graduating from HS NOT knowing simple things NOT having a Idea about US history ( some unable to name the states & captial of our own Country) Children are NOT learning Because ITS NOT BEING TAUGHT TO THEM PERIOD!!! If its not part of the Standard test , Its not taught... DONT you think with our without a cell phone a teenager should KNOW what month "6" is?? Dont you think the young girl spoke of should have been able to count $$ ?? I myself have 4 children 3 still in school & one special ed student.... & I do NOT let them use a caculator at home, Although my youngest IS allowed to use them in LRMS... ( just for a point I asked my 3 that are still in school the exp about D-day... got the same result 1 out 3 .... Just the boy knew .. the girls didnt. & dont get me started with unable to write in script...
mary June 07, 2012 at 08:19 PM
All of the anger you all show is very misguided. Do you think that the concept of standardized testing and teaching to the test was created by teachers? In any job, you have to do what your superiors tell you to do. It is not up to teachers as to what they teach. The only input we have is in lesson design, not content. The curriculum is given to us and if we do not follow it to the letter, we will be in trouble. The curriculum itself is not determined by teachers.....it is handed to us. Believe me, there are things in the curriculum that I feel are less valuable than other things I could be teaching, but if I do not teach what is there....the kids will not know it for testing and scores will drop. Then parents will read about how the scores are down and will in turn blame the teachers. We can not win. I think parents need to realize that the changes they desire in education have very little to do with the teachers and more to do with what administration and the government dictates.
Bootleg June 07, 2012 at 09:06 PM
I got Boy Scouts fliers a few months back - I have two children in that school and got 2 fliers!!!
Lorraine June 07, 2012 at 09:56 PM
@reality check - The principal at Midstreams School has his PhD. His name is Dr. Billen and he is wonderful principal; brought many new ideas to the school, stresses reading and litercy. Has a open door policy with the parents and the kids love him.
JD June 08, 2012 at 12:04 AM
Everything you said is a GOOD Thing!!! The State develops the curriculum... Teaching to the test is a bunch of BS... that is what teachers say when they don't want to be held accountable for results... Bottom line... test results matter... try getting into a decent college without a decent SAT... due to grade inflation they don't look at grades as much. Hey.. do you give tests in your classroom? How do you give grades at end of grading period? and did you "teach to the test?"... lol
mary June 08, 2012 at 12:26 AM
@JD....if state/govnt developing the curriculum and testing is a good thing, then what room do parents have in blaming teachers for what us being taught or is not being taught to their kids? Regardless of who decides on the content to be taught, the fact remains that the argument parents make about how kids are not learning some of the basics but are getting decent grades has to do with the people who dictate what is to be taught and tested. I don't know what point you intended to make. Yes, tests matter, that is how our society is set up. People are not judged on their cumulative abilities, they are reduced to a score. Of course I give tests, and grade them .....and EVERY teacher to some extent teaches to the test because if they do not get their kids scores up then their teaching ability will be in question. If it were up to me all kids would be assessed via a portfolio of their work as they show progress throught the semester. I have had very bright kids who do not do well simply because they are not good test takers. The point I was trying to make is that parents who blame teachers for all of the inconsistencies in public ed as far as curriculum/testing need to understand that those decisions are not made by teachers.
JD June 08, 2012 at 12:36 AM
curriculum/testing etc... has nothing to do with ineffective, poor teachers... some teachers have to go!!! at least 20% need the boot!!! some need to improve!!!
mary June 08, 2012 at 01:36 AM
There are ineffective, poor employees in every profession.
MomofBrick3 June 08, 2012 at 03:12 AM
NO dought that is true, but the scores are going down anyway & the children then have poor test grades on top of not having gerneral knowledge.
MomofBrick3 June 08, 2012 at 03:20 AM
@ JD, College is VERY over rated these days ( Not to say A education is NOT a good thing) however it No longer nessarily mean you are going to find work in the field you just went into debt for 100,000+ & 4 yrs of your time... , I see & hear of many young 20 somethings in Debt that they will never be able to pay off making MAYBE at best 10$ a hr somewhere & cant leave their parents house bcz They really cant affort to. personally pushing my children to learn a Skill , Lincoln tech? YOU will ALWAYS make a living knowing how to fix something.
MomofBrick3 June 08, 2012 at 03:23 AM
Mary I really hope you are not a teacher... you SEEM TO KNOW everything & have alot of freetime on your hands.... your annoying just here cant imagine how you would be in a classroom all day& our children have to be subjected to you...
KC June 08, 2012 at 05:39 AM
Joe Woolston gives a very apt post about the reason tenure is needed. To further clarify Joe's excellent post I would add it also gave teachers no fear of reprisals if they had to give a failing grade to some politico's son/daughter. Generally speaking, it is a protection from the public. It does not save teachers from being dismissed for dereliction. Teachers undergo a minimal bi-annual observation and evaluation which they must adhere to the tenets of. No other professional that I can think of gets and actual blow by blow observation/report/and recommendation. If administrators have a real lemon they simply lose a position and a teacher can be let go. Most teachers have to be pretty good to deal with everything they are being asked to contend with in today's classrooms. Not at all like when we went to school.
mary June 08, 2012 at 10:01 AM
I am a teacher. I make no claim to know everything. I do, however, know my profession. If you read my posts in their entirety, you may learn something about a job that people seem to enjoy degrading. Oh, and "alot" is two words....and the correct "your" in your sentence would be "you're".
RealityCheck June 08, 2012 at 11:12 AM
@Lorraine - thank you, I was not aware there was a second principal with a doctorate; great to hear this! @Mary - you make a lot of excellent points!
be blessed for what you have June 08, 2012 at 12:44 PM
Very sad if your an example of teachers in Brick, That explains ALOT!! ( shouldnt you be busy with your classroom prep. test scoring etc) that is the claim that teacher DO NOT work just part time that they are SOO busy on their personal time that doesnt even get accounted for.... Like said, you seem to on here alot & have a lot of free time you MIGHT have a degree that says your a teacher, but are you a parent with more then one children??? those are the real teachers, they are 24/7 7 days a weeks 365 days yr no vacation No pay no benifits, & for the most part love what they do, encourge & love their children & are tolorent of their needs,& listen to what they have to say... (seems like alot of teachers forgot to learn that in their college classes) Get off your high horse step into reality & Get a a life, & get back to your " teaching" job... PS really hope your NOT a tenure teacher that I'AM helping to pay... Thats a scary thought
mary June 08, 2012 at 01:53 PM
@be blessed.....to answer your questions....I am a parent. I have four children. I'm not sure why you are arguing the point of how difficult a job it is to be a parent....especially with me. To claim that parents are the real teachers....um... some are, but you you would quickly change your absolute praise for all parents if you taught a class of 25 kids and saw what goes on. How about those who are lazy, uninvolved, and more concerned with their own lives than that of their children. And as a side note, you hope I am not a tenured teacher that you are helping to pay for.....you pay for non-tenured teachers as well. You might want to take a moment to understand how the public school system works before attacking someone simply because they stated that they are a teacher.
JC63 June 08, 2012 at 02:50 PM
Mary Iam a retired Jersey City teacher, I find your comments very unprofessional... If you are telling the truth that you are a teacher How are possible on here making comments all day? Do youself a favor, When you think you got it tough spend a week in Jersey City or Newark, ... For the most part parents are involved as much as they can be with their children, maybe they do not have the advantage of the hours & pay of what YOU are making, But almost evey parent I know wants the best for their children ( yes even the ones that have issues themselves what better for their kids or working crazy hours & making less then 28,000 a yr ) Stop making Judgements !! open your mnd & heart, you feel better & maybe have a better outcome of your students....
JC63 June 08, 2012 at 02:53 PM
& if you what the teachers are like in Brick even more reason why proformance base salaries should exist, it is eveywhere else... why not with our youth?
mary June 08, 2012 at 03:57 PM
Did I ever say I was a teacher in Brick? And to attempt to compare inner city schools with the suberbs is pointless....apples and oranges. Performance based salaries should exist...but if you are a teacher, how would you not recognize the flaw in that argument. If you base salaries or raises on performance....how do you plan to evaluate said performance....test scores? The argument many patents have is that teachers teach to the test....that would be magnified if you tied their raise directly to the test scores. I think that better teachers should earn more, nobody would dispute that, but the problem comes in with how to assess a good teacher from a bad one.
Jane USA June 08, 2012 at 05:30 PM
Mary, If your a teacher you still have not answered how you spend all say making comments here ?.... I refuse to battle wits with a unarmed man ( or woman) ... I do not know how old you are but it seems as though you forget yourself to learn a simple lesson... When to let it go, If you know your right about something there is no need to debt it... It seems to me you have alot of maturing to do... & God ( oh sorry as a teacher are you alot to even say that?) God help our youth if your what a standard teacher is these days ....
mary June 08, 2012 at 08:30 PM
Jane...I only keep responding because people keep addressing me. Please feel free to let me know what portion of any of my remarks would lead you to tell me to mature....if you have read anything I have written. If you are wondering why I am able to comment on here, I am on maternity leave. Are teachers still allowed to take time off to have a baby? Hmmm, that is allowed in other jobs, but I suppose I am somehow cheating your children and stealing your tax money by taking a leave, right? And I am not sure why you would bring the issue of God into a discussion about public education and attempt to imply that as a teacher I have something against the word God. It seems as though you have decided to jump into a discussion without reading what has actually been said previously.
resofbrick70 June 08, 2012 at 09:53 PM
OHHH that explains alot mary, your harmones.... But Still With 4 kids & # 5 on the way, Dont you have anything better to do?.. 1) if your a mature woman with a college education you shouldnt even ague a point that you feel you are right about ( If you have 4 kids & a teacher MAYBE you heard of " pick your battles) 2) NOT all jobs are you allowed to take of matunity leave in fact its a state law now that EVERYONES ( including men) have taxes taken out for that & NO NOT everyone takes off( but I have to give you this one , you planned well ,extended your summer vacation even longer) even though there maybe maternity laws, but many companies find ways around them & if you leave to soon or come back after 6 wks they find ways to get rid of you... YES that is part of tax payers Money even seniors that are still working are putting in there share so you can sit on the computer all day & keep Popping kids out... GOD is not allowed in schools you know that just as well as I do. & If you Deny that your a lie too... If you have Not yet figured out that we are tired of hearing what you have to say WE ARE!! GO take care of all your kids
mary June 09, 2012 at 02:44 AM
Res....I find it hilarious that you not only attack me for being a teacher, but for being a parent as well. FYI, a person who is married and has children does not need to be referred to as popping out kids. Your vulgar language is pathetic. You are speaking about maternity leave laws and are incorrect. If any company fires you for taking maternity leave, they can be sued because that is illegal. And just to let you know, teachers who take maternity leave are allowed a certain number of days and if they need more than that it is unpaid. So, you and your senior buddies who you claim work to pay for me to sit on my computer and "pop" out kids...are actually not paying for anything. Unpaid leave clearly does not come from taxpayer money....hence the word UNPAID. You show your ignorance by discussing things you do not understand.
DennyD June 09, 2012 at 02:53 PM
No offense resofbrick but maybe you should go back to night school and learn how to spell and use correct punctuation. There are at least a dozen mistakes in your rant. geeez.
follow the money June 09, 2012 at 03:13 PM
Mary, mary.... mary.... LOL, how unaware you are of the world outside of yours
tellitlkiseeit June 09, 2012 at 03:20 PM
Ignorance is bliss !! The lack of knowlege to a situation. Usually once the whole truth is revealed you realize you were happier being CLUELESS
mary June 09, 2012 at 06:38 PM
Ok, give me an example of what I have said that is ignorant. Oh wait, that would require you to actually read what I have written above....that would be much more strenuous than simply jumping in and attacking someone.
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