Canton High Principal Dr. Dias announces resignationBy Mike Berger
Canton is in the hunt for a new high school principal after current principal Dr. Douglas Dias informed his staff and the School Committee late last week that he will be taking a similar position in Medway. Dias, who is a resident of nearby Milford, has served as principal at CHS for the past five years.
While disappointed that Dias is leaving, School Superintendent Jeff Granatino said that he must now begin the search for a new principal. He said he will post the position internally and externally and will form a search committee made up of school administrators, teachers, and parents. The goal is to make an appointment by the end of the school year, with the new principal beginning July 1.
Several School Committee members praised the work of Dias, who introduced several new programs at CHS, including the Student Ambassador program and the Boomerang Project for freshmen.
“Change is not easy, but Dr. Dias was not afraid of new ideas,” said Vice Chairman Cindy Thomas. “He took the tough issues head on and was not afraid of making changes. The contributions he made are invaluable.”
“Doug had the courage of his convictions,” Granatino added. “He was not afraid of taking on the tough issues.”
Dias said he will now work with the committee and Granatino to fine-tune the budget for next year, which includes a request for an additional vice principal to focus on curriculum.
Dias, who addressed the committee Thursday night, said the decision to leave was a difficult one. “With great sadness, I have to leave Canton,” he said. “The decision is hard for me. I will miss the students and the staff. The process was lengthy and involved. You should know that the [Medway] search committee, which visited Canton, was impressed with the quality of the Canton Public Schools and of Canton High.”
In other news Thursday night, the committee wrestled with the finer points of next year’s operating budget after receiving a new projection from the Finance Committee that is $73,000 less than the figure they received two weeks ago. Granatino noted that the budget number is still in flux and could change again before the committee’s next meeting on April 5.
Granatino said the original budget of $31.77 million was a projection from the town’s Revenue Committee; however, FinCom wanted a lower number, leading to a compromise figure of $31.7 million.
Essentially, the new figure amounts to a level-funded budget plus $325,000 in “enhancement” spending. The committee must now pare down an estimated $870,000 in proposed enhancements submitted by Granatino, school principals, and administrators.
Committee members began the process on Thursday by voting to eliminate nearly $54,000 in salaries for two teachers who are on a leave of absence and will not return to the system next fall. They also agreed to scratch a request of $35,000 for late buses and after-school supervision at the middle and high schools. The district is also expected to save more than $40,000 in natural gas costs, according to school business manager Ken Leon. In addition, the committee is hoping to receive an estimated $104,000 in state “circuit breaker” reimbursements for extraordinary special education costs.
However, Granatino placed some additional enhancements on the table, including $20,000 for an athletic trainer, $20,000 for additional diesel fuel costs, an unspecified amount to cover more junior varsity games due to the Hockomock League adding two more members (Taunton and Milford), and $11,000 in additional spending for the CHS music department, which was one of the chief recommendations by the extracurricular subcommittee in a report that was released earlier this month.
The committee also approved a new three-year student busing contract that will cost $85,000 for the next school year and temporarily set aside over $100,000 for additional school supplies and textbooks.
The committee is expected to finalize its budget at its next meeting on Thursday, April 5, which is also the date of the school budget public hearing.
In other news:
* The School Committee approved all of the submissions for the Cabot Fund, which provides annual distributions to Canton organizations that promote outdoor activity for students. This year’s disbursement of $13,545 will be divided among 15 organizations, including various youth sports and scouting programs as well as the Pequitside Day Camp, Canton Public Schools Wellness Department, Luce School CAPT Fun Run, and the Galvin Middle School Problem Solvers team.
* In an annual vote, the committee reaffirmed its position not to have Canton designated as a school choice community because of a lack of space and the adverse impact that choice would have on class sizes.
* The “Battle of the Bands,” featuring 10 student bands, will be held tomorrow evening, March 30, in the CHS auditorium. Ticket proceeds will benefit the Canton Public Schools’ music program and the YMCA.
Short URL: http://www.thecantoncitizen.com/?p=12568