Board of Ed approves Valentine as Stamford High’s next principal in a 5-4 vote

After heated discussion, the Board of Education approved Donna Valentine as Stamford High School’s next principal in a 5-4 vote.

“I have a feeling your tenure at Stamford High School will be a lot smoother than your approval this evening,” Board President Jackie Heftman told Valentine, who sat in the audience, after the vote.

Board members Polly Rauh, Carmine Limone and Lorraine Olson questioned her experience and record, with Jerry Pia joining them to vote against her appointment.

Superintendent Joshua Starr defended his candidate, calling her “tough, visionary and wiling to do whatever it takes to ensure a schools is meeting the needs of its kids.” Other board members said they were influenced by comments from parents earlier in the night supporting her appointment.

My story should be online Wednesday morning and in the paper Thursday.

Categories: Education, Schools
Wynne Parry

8 Responses

  1. Sam says:

    I’d like to address this to the members of the board to who voted against Donna Valentine.
    I was associated with Donna while working in Woonsocket. You are making a supposition about her without all the facts at your hands. Did you know that Woonsocket Middle School was a failing school? Did you know she had no administrative team to start? Did you know that teachers were not teaching, smoking in the building against the rules? Did you know that the building was unsafe, full of cockroaches at the time her her stewardship? Did you know the union and the superintendent were at each other’s throats and used her as a pawn?
    There are so many other instances.
    Donna is a kids centered principal. One who values her staff and cares about the community.
    She will be a number one cheerleader and leader for the school and will work really hard to make your school proud.
    So before you or any other citizen of the Stamford community prejudges, you should know that you don’t have all the facts. I think the administration did a thorough job of vetting the situation before recommending her. You need to trust your school leadership team.

  2. Paco says:

    Veritas makes a good point: in spite of his campaign promise, the Mayor has been MIA.

    Also, all-volunteer boards might work for quaint New England towns but the size & complexity of Stamford’s education system is beyond these folks. Sure they’re all nice, well-meaning people but not ready to manage a high-powered superintendent, much less a $250mm budget.

    The volunteer school board should be in charge of curriculum only; labor relations, capital budgets, etc should be managed by professional staff reporting to the Mayor.

  3. Angela says:

    Wow, so the five board members must go! How about the committee that made the recommendation to the board and Dr. Starr, members of the school community, administrators, teachers, parents, etc were all part of the process not just Dr. Starr. Should we get rid of them to? We should all be asking the question what was the process and how did we get here.

  4. fed up says:

    This principal appointment is the final straw. Wake Up people!!!!
    Dr. Starr and his 5 puppets, King, Wade, Heftman, Polo and Hoherchak have to go!!!!

  5. jackie says:

    This principal is just another bad choice of the superintendant. As usual it is his way and he does not listen to anyones else’s opionion. Mr.Pia and Mrs.Olson made very good points when they said that if you are looking for a successful school you hire a principal from another successful school to run it. Why would we look at and hire this principal from a failing school and think she could do anything else. Why are we taking on some other districts problems???? I want to thank Mr. Limone, Dr. Rauh, Mrs. Olson and Mr. Pia for having the vision and courage to stand up to the superindentant and vote NO!

  6. Marsha says:

    Donna Valentine is an outstanding, experienced administrator. The teachers who worked under her at Woonsocket High School, and in New Hampshire love her. She is a kind and brilliant person, who is on the side of teachers, understanding the stresses with the job, yet cares deeply about the students. She is able to achieve a remarkable balance. Stamford is getting the best principal possible. The teachers, students, and parents will discover this soon and never regret this choice. Anything associated with her unfortunate time at WMS understands that the superintendent went through 35 administrators in 3 years, and Ms. Valentine was just one of them. She did as she was ordered by Macera, the superintendent, and then had the rug pulled out from beneath her for doing what she was told. Macera went through any number of others in her destructive path, left then hanging when there were problems, but gratefully, is now retired.

  7. Veritas says:

    5-4 certainly is not an auspicious start.

    Starr is a bit full of himself.
    Stifling dissent becomes no one.
    The other 5 Board members should remember that.
    What does the Mayor have to say about this?
    Was the Mayor there?
    His ‘deputy?’
    Has that question been settled yet?

  8. concerned parent says:

    Thank god there are some members of the Board of Education that have integrity and are brave enough to stand up to the superintendent. Thank you to the four members who voted against the appointment of Donna Valentine as Principal. Her inexperience and troubled past will bring down our school and our children. What kind of role model is she for our kids? How dare Dr. Starr apologize for the four board members doing their and questioning valentines resume.The rest of the board should be ashamed for always caving in to the superintendent. Hopefully November will bring a new board of responsible members who will stick up for our city and our kids not the arrogant Dr. Starr. The five traders should search their souls and remember who put them in office. President Heftman should be impeached. concerned parent