McGurl, with new contract, sets goals

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Granville superintendent Tom McGurl.

After having his contract approved for another year, Granville school superintendent Tom McGurl delivered his monthly report to the Board of Education that included his three “clear, simple and direct” goals for the district for the 2022-23 school year.

McGurl, whose proposed salary is set at $156,582 in the 2022-23 budget, explained that annually, typically in the summer, the board will set a list of overarching goals from which he will develop his goals and the administrators at the three district buildings will establish their goals based on the superintendent’s and board’s lists.

“I think coming off of Covid and with what we’re experiencing not only in Granville but in schools across the region, three goals,” McGurl said. “Promoting and fostering academic excellence. That’s an all-encompassing goal right there we can put a lot of teeth into. I think everyone in our district from students, parents, staff, administration and you as a board, we can identify what we consider that to be and all get behind one single thing in what academic excellence is.”

The second goal McGurl suggested was “encouraging excellence in teaching” through support of teachers and staff.

“Those who are doing a fantastic job, celebrating those. Those who need additional support, making sure they are getting that. It is no secret that every school is struggling with staff positions right now,” McGurl said. “We need to do our absolute best to take our staff to the next level that they are absolutely outstanding. I really think that the mindset that working in Granville is not ‘I can get a job in Granville.’ Working in Granville is a privilege to be able to work in Granville. There are absolutely schools that have that philosophy that ‘if I get a job there, that’s a great spot to be.’ We need to work toward that.”

McGurl’s third goal is to establish and reinforce clear and effective management for himself and administration throughout the three district buildings.

Accountability, setting expectations and reaching goals are all “incredibly important” concepts to McGurl, who said his final goal will address managing and correcting negative behaviors in children.

“We are seeing concerning, concerning would be an understatement I will say, concerning behaviors on the students’ side right now in some very young grades that we need to address,” McGurl said. “Those behaviors that are not being generated here in school that are coming into school, but it is a significant issue that we will need to address.

“Again, not unique to Granville. Every school district that I have talked to post-Covid, if we are really post-Covid now, is expressing the exact same thing. A lot of these kids have been home largely for two years self-guided. Coming back into a preset controlled environment that schools are designed for has been problematic and continues to be problematic.”

The board approved the appointment of Tammy Treen to the probationary position of assistant principal at the junior senior high school. Treen’s salary is listed at $80,500.

The board also approved and recognized several individuals eligible for tenure. Ann Marie Clark and Paul Morcone were granted tenure in the administrator area, followed by Shannon West and Katlan McNamara in the elementary area and Debora Cahan in the agriculture area.

McGurl announced the district will host the regional summer school and elementary enrichment programs will be taking place once again this year.

“Big change this year with all of the construction that will be going on at the junior senior high school, we are moving the high school program across the street to Granville Elementary School (GES) and the elementary enrichment program up to MJT,” McGurl said.

“We will be providing a shuttle from the GES campus up to MJT for kids who may want to walk to GES and catch a ride up and then back down if they live here in the village.”