"I have been asked to write a Letter of Recommendation relative to our Board of Education’s work with Ki Thoughtbridge and I do so with great comfort and confidence. There are many things I am proud of over the course of my tenure as Superintendent but my Board’s work with Ki Thoughtbridge is at the top of that list.
In the 2008-2009 school year we were at a crucial juncture in our District’s history. We had severe financial problems, student achievement had improved steadily, but not as much as we would have liked, and we had a Board of Education that was moving towards splintering and had no systems of communication in place. Decisions were being made in backrooms and resentment was building amongst the Board as a whole. The Board of Education has not been looked at favorably in our community for a long period of time, we had a revolving door of Superintendents and our infrastructure was crumbling. I was at a career crossroads and was strongly considering looking at other Superintendencies as a result. All in all, it was a bad situation which was getting worse.
I had contacted Ki Thoughtbridge in the winter of 2009 on the recommendation of our BOCES District Superintendent. Ki Thoughtbridge had previously worked with two BOCES in our region which merged into one (included 22 school districts and more than 20,000 students) and the transition had gone extremely well and the work with Ki Thoughtbridge was cited as the key to the success of that merger.
We began our work with Ki Thoughtbridge in the spring of 2009 and we were impressed from the beginning. They conducted very detailed interviews with members of all stakeholder groups, compiled the information and then developed a strategy to address the various concerns as noted during the interview process. The work was grueling but was the first step towards developing norms, expectations and more collegial relationships. We subsequently contracted with Ki Thoughtbridge for two more sessions in 2010-2011 which were exceptional. My Board is working very effectively, have stayed true to their public agreements and as a result, we have seen improvement across the board. In fact, our Board has received a number of accolades locally for their work the previous two years. The work we did with Ki Thoughtbridge, frankly, is the reason I am still here and the only reason that we have weathered the current financial storm. My Board is completely united and working very effectively. The trainers for Ki Thoughtbridge (Irma Tyler Wood, Katherine Tyler Scott and Bob Volpe) are very professional and the many thoroughly designed activities were developed to get to the foundation of our issues.
I have phenomenal respect for these people because they developed a plan which forced us to address our issues and did not waiver in their approach. We are so impressed that we have hired them for a summer workshop on Board/Administration Team relations, which will involve all 28 of my administrators.
I am an absolute believer in Ki Thoughtbridge and recommend them to you highly and without any reservation whatsoever. Hiring them was perhaps the best decision I have made as a Superintendent."
- Michael K. Ginalski
Superintendent of Schools