What They’re Saying About Dr. Durkin’s Resignation
NEW BEDFORD — With the announcement that Dr. Pia Durkin had submitted a letter of resignation as Superintendent of New Bedford Schools, those in the education community are reacting with surprise, and in some cases, satisfaction.
Here's a look at what some are saying about Dr. Durkin's resignation...
New Bedford Mayor Jon Mitchell, who also serves as chair ex officio of the School Committee: “I am surprised by Dr. Durkin’s decision to resign, but I’m grateful for her service to New Bedford’s schoolchildren, and for her laying the foundation for the district’s continued improvement, and I wish her well. Regardless of who our next superintendent is, my commitment remains the same: we will continue to build a strong school system that puts the needs of students first," Mayor Jon Mitchell said in a statement.
The New Bedford Educators Association: "The New Bedford Educators Association wishes Superintendent Durkin well in her future endeavors. The NBEA will continue to work with her on the many important issues facing our public schools. New Bedford public school educators look forward to participating in the search for a new superintendent and welcoming that person into our community."
Jeff Wulfson, Chairman, Commissioner, Department of Elementary and Secondary Education: "I am saddened by the news that Superintendent Durkin is resigning at the end of this school year. As we noted this past July when we released the district from monitoring, New Bedford Public Schools has made great strides under her leadership to address systemic concerns and improve the quality of teaching and learning across the district. Dr. Durkin deserves significant credit for leading this turnaround effort and for maintaining a consistent focus on what is best for the students of New Bedford. District turnaround work involves frank discussions and hard and sometimes unpopular decisions. I sincerely hope that the district continues the work Dr. Durkin started to provide all New Bedford students with the education and opportunities they deserve. Dr. Durkin’s departure has unique implications for the John Avery Parker Elementary School, which is in state receivership. Dr. Durkin is currently the state-appointed receiver for Parker. The school will remain in receivership, and ESE is exploring options for the school's next receiver.”
School Committee Member-Elect John Oliveira: "I think it's a positive move for the New Bedford School District. I think her lack of personality, lack of leadership ability has greatly affected us, and I think it's just time for us to move on."
"I have never been spoken to like that, with 20 years in the Navy. I'm not going to be lectured as a 10-year-old. In the Navy, I wasn't spoken to like that, and I don't expect it now."
School Committee Member Chris Cotter on Dr. Durkin's demeanor: "I think that had led to the lack of retention of several employees throughout the district. You can be really good physician and be really good at your craft, but if you don't have that good bedside manner, there are several patients who are going to stay away from you, or get away from you."
"I think the consensus, based on myself and a couple of other school committee members, along with some of the incoming members, making the statements that we weren't comfortable with the current administration, and that based on the current contract, the renewal of the contract would most likely not be occurring."