Found this on another site and was asked to pass it on. So that's what I am doing.
Having been a teacher at Silverthorn Collegiate Institute for a good number of years I have had an unprecedented opportunity to see a number of principals (and vice principals) come and go in their quest of climbing the educational ladder, or just simply waiting for their retirement. Some were good, some were bad, and some were just plain ugly.
Lets recap the last 10 years at SCI.
There was Barb MacKenzie, better known as Empire Builder or BM. She had her own little clique and everybody suffered as a result of her inefficient manner of running a school of the caliber of SCI. Fortunately she left, no doubt under duress, for some Hong Kong private school to unleash her incompetence on unsuspecting Chinese students. Latest word there is that she is now in the Middle East somewhere running an all girls school. The most offending part was all those ridiculous post cards she sent back to SCI – as if anybody cared to read them without making negative comments. Her popularity with the students was so immense that her portrait near the auditorium was vandalized.
Then came the Barbs replacement, Gordy Stefulic who, while at the helm, was to turn SCI around but instead sank the ship to the bottom of the ocean. This woman made her applications for promotion during a period during which the TDSB was Pink Listed and subsequently was promoted mainly due to the lack of well qualified competition. Naturally this would be confidential as there is a tacit agreement between the Teachers Federation and the Board negotiators that no action against scabs will be taken in exchange for no contact stripping on preparation time or some other minor issue. Needless to say Gordy Stefulic had both professional and personal life issues that needed to be resolved. She had conflicts with teachers, students and office staff, the latter a constant source of useful confidential information. Being a principal is a skill like any other. There are right ways to do it, and wrong ways to do it. Ways that work and ways that dont work. It seems, unfortunately, somehow, that this basic concept has been lost in the TDSB and very apparently on Gordy Stefulic. She had absolutely ZERO
1. Leadership skills
2. Motivational skills
3. Work ethic
4. Understanding of human psychology
5. Willingness to do, or experience doing, what they ask their teachers to do
6. Basic level of respect for their team
7. Ability to be fair
8. Ability to de-escalate conflict
9. Willing to take responsibility for the consequences of their action, and for the actions of their
As such, I’d say this is, or borders on, incompetence. At the very least it’s lazy. She would always delegate tasks which she was too incompetent to do herself and in the process take credit if the task was successful. This is the kind of hiring mistake that shows a systemic lapse in the TDSBs ability to encourage informed and proactive actions from those in educational management. At the very least, I’d like to see that someone, somewhere in the strata of TDSB education management cares enough to make this a rather more public case study of how NOT to operate. It’s only from errors like this that others can learn, after all.
Incompetent principals fortunately represent a relatively small proportion of the teaching force, but the number of students who come in contact with such principals is substantial. Students are not the only ones who are being shortchanged by incompetent principals. These poor performers tarnish the reputations of the vast majority of teachers who are competent and conscientious professionals. Is it any wonder why the TDSB is going down the toilet?
Fortunately this woman was transferred under a dark cloud (as told by the girls in the front office and a number of staff members) to Etobikoke Collegiate in exchange for Ron Ellis, who although not perfect has at least not rocked the boat too much and has gained the confidence of the staff in general. It might beneficial to note that the transfer of Ms Stefulic to Etobicoke Collegiate has not been too smooth as her reputation from her previous schools had preceded her along with a number of serious allegations regarding unprofessional conduct with a student in the nineties. Although not formally proven there has been, according to different sources and the internet, an internal inquiry and a warning was the only consequence. Personally, and it is only my opinion, Ms Stefulics further advancement up the educational ladder cannot be justified in order to avoid possible future embarrassment to those who have so far protected her. Doesnt this bring back memories of stories told about Bishops, Priests and Altar Boys and transfers to new parishes?
Quite understandably, the problem of administrative incompetence has captured the attention of education reformers. They have advanced numerous solutions: cleansing the profession by dismissing all incompetent principals; improving the attractiveness of teaching by raising salaries; restricting entry into the profession by means of competency tests; upgrading the quality of pre-service education by adopting competency-based preparation programs; and providing incentives for quality teaching.