The Park Record editorial, June 9-12, 2012 | ParkRecord.com

The Park Record editorial, June 9-12, 2012

Wave of change is welcome at Park City School District

Park City High School seniors aren’t the only ones embarking on new challenges. This week, the teachers’ union named two new co-presidents and the district superintendent named five new principals. The fresh leadership slate signals the potential for a new era in the district.

For the last couple of years there have been growing schisms between the school board and the teachers and also between district administrators and the public.

The communication breakdown has been particularly evident during the annual salary negotiations. Unfortunately, the last two cycles have degenerated into sharply polarized camps and a lot of mistrust.

Granted, no one is happy about the overall state of the economy and the difficult task of reducing the school district’s budget to fit tighter budget constraints. But the debates about how to divvy up those cuts have revealed some deep philosophical divides and animosities.

Hopefully the new teachers’ union leaders, Jim Fleming and Ed Mulick, will be able to help reframe those discussions and help everyone move forward with the best interests of the students in mind. Both are well-respected, veteran educators in the district and have the potential to reignite the spirit that made Park City one of the top school districts in the country.

And in the individual schools, the departure of PCHS principal Hilary Hays triggered a chain of transfers. To recap: Treasure Mountain Junior High principal Bob O’Connor has been named principal of the high school. Assistant PCHS principal David McNaughtan is taking over O’Connor’s job at TMJH. McPolin Elementary principal Bob Edmiston is stepping in as assistant principal at PCHS. Greg Proffit, who is the head of the Learning Center and has been an administrator at Jeremy Ranch Elementary and Ecker Hill Middle School, will replace Edmiston at McPolin, and special education coordinator Nicole Todd will become the principal of the Learning Center.

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The beauty of the change in command is that school superintendent Ray Timothy was able to offer new challenges to existing school district staffers. Shifting all of these talented leaders into new positions is sure to generate new ideas that could go a long way toward fostering a climate that welcomes innovation.

So congrats to all who are moving up this year the kids and also the district’s new leaders.