Apr 14, 2011

Caution, unconfirmed rumor

This blog has received a tip that our favorite school superintendent, has hired our favorite past community director, Joyce Marin. I have not been able to confirm this information, hopefully a whoops, my mistake will be needed.
UPDATE:
I have confirmed that indeed Marin was hired as a grant specialist. I've been told that the hiring was at Pawlowski's request. This will not be music to the ears of many laid off teachers and aides. I know of no accomplishments by Marin as community development director.

UPDATE: Marin is the Administrative Center Community Before/After School Activities Project Manager effective 4/4/11. The stated salary is $84,000 / Yr. This is a new position.
UPDATE: Email exchange
dr. zahorchak, it has come to my attention that you hired joyce marin as a grant writer. would you please explain why nobody in house could not perform this function and how an additional administrative position can be justified with so many teacher layoffs pending. sincerely michael molovinsky

Mr. Molovinsky, I read your question regarding Joyce Marian. There appears to be confusion probably due to the fact that the position is grant funded. The position is funded out of the Safe Schools Healthy Students grant. The position promotes and only focuses on before and after school activities as many of our therapeutic support services are covered outside of classroom hours – mentoring, arts enrichment, life skills support, and family activities. Her position will help dozens of agencies and friends of the district align their work and use our buildings as they support our children. Gerald Zahorchak

34 comments:

michael molovinsky said...

i have confirmed that marlin was indeed hired. details will follow. needless to say, one more bureaucrat was not in order, considering all the teacher layoffs. due to a technical problem, i'm unable at this time to update the post, thus this comment

Patrick McHenry said...

MM -

Please explain. I thought the Marin's moved to Europe, presumably to enjoy the light rail there.

michael molovinsky said...

apparently, that eurorail pass ended up very short term. they were back in short order, with another line on their resumes. zahorchak, with no knowledge of the area's cast of carpetbaggers, made a poor hire, at the worst time. i was unable to attend the school board meeting last evening, but will pursue an explanation from him

Anonymous said...

So we are to believe there was no one on staff who could write grant requests? We are way past strike three with all involved.

Scott Armstrong

Anonymous said...

What about Spain?
What about her husband?
What about the thousands of dollars allotted during her reign.

Anonymous said...

MM-
Might you know what's happening with the accomplished and highly talented AEDC top banana? Was she let go?

gary ledebur said...

As a matter of law, the board of education, exclusively, has the authority to hire personnel----not the superintendent.

michael molovinsky said...

fair point gary. i have been led to believe that this was inserted with a large list of routine personnel changes. zahorchak owed it to the school board to point out this specific new position, and who he was hiring to fill it.

Anonymous said...

City With No Limits...

...in all its Glory.

Teachers lived by the Democrat Union sword, I will shed few tears when they die by the Democrat Union sword.

Tough.

Too bad.

So sad.

Keep voting Democrat and bear in mind, Rethuglicans just want old people to die.

Chris Casey said...

Lets not beat Marin up, but do ask what Commandante Gesundheit thinks he is doing. How about a 25% across the board cut in administrators and their salaries? So many chiefs, yet so few Indians. What will they do when they have to lay off the last teacher, and have to administer themse;ves?
Buy a fleet of Robo teachers 2050 models from the latest incarnation of Mack Trucks?

local said...

Please help the ignorant.
Who is this person and is there an issue with some former affiliation?
What does this position entail?
Is this job like a lobbyist?
Will she be paid commission for the federal funds she might drag in?
Are none of the professionals slated to be fired able perform the duty?
Was any body else interviewed?
Help me out here.

michael molovinsky said...

local, i will reveal more information as it becomes public, as not to violate any sources. suffice to say that we who follow the city and school are aghast.

Anonymous said...

You traffic in rumors. You should be ashamed.

Marin has served the public honorably and is an asset to Allentown and the region.

Anonymous said...

Retired ASD teacher.

I am shocked Zahorchak would actually create ANOTHER new administrative position during times like this.

He already added another new position this year, a lobbyist. Yes, grant writing could be handled by any current teacher, even the youthful talent that is about to be out of a job.

There was a time when school superintendents handled BOTH of these functions as part of their own job description. Probably still true in many other districts.

Seems like the new ASD Super is being paid a much higher salary than the previous leader, yet is responsible for fewer functions.

Nice work if you can get it!

Anonymous said...

About the only thing Joyce Marin has done in the Lehigh Valley that I know of was to play a role in the creation of the Emmaus Farmers Market. For that she should receive kudos, it's one of the best in the Valley.

I'm not aware she's accomplished anything else.

Anonymous said...

Joyce Marin has a long and successful track record of working collaboratively with community partners to develop too many community projects to name.

She was instrumental in turning around downtown Emmaus and the Emmaus Main Street program at a pivotal time in that community's history, attracting partners and outside sources of revenue to accomplish much of what is good in that community. The Emmaus Farmers Market is just one project that she helped organize. She also spearheaded the streetscape improvement project downtown, was a supporter of community visioning and an advocate of community based planning. Additionally, she has inspired numerous people to get involved in the community at the local level, both in Emmaus and in Allentown -- again, too many to count.

ASD and the region will be benefitted by her involvement.

Anonymous said...

I called Jeff Glazier, president of the board, when I heard this rumor. I was told I voted for her appointment and I had. He apparently was aware of the appointment.

When we vote on personnel issues we do in a large block during the regular monthly session. Most of the personnel actions are routine and in the normal course of the daily business of the school district. There are a large number each month.

Generally, significant positions and I consider this a significant position, are discussed in executive session, prior to the vote. I do not recall this happening. I checked with a few other board members and they did not recall any discussions about this either.

This was voted on at time when there were much more critical issues on the table. Mea Culpa. If this was based on political influence by The Mayor, as has been rumored, I find the whole issue even more reprehensible and highly disrespectful of the authority of the board. Even without the influence the way this played out is disrespectful and arrogant.

In retrospect, at this point, it seems to me the way this was handled was done so deliberately.
This event will have a profound impact on how I interact with other members of the board and the administration in the future. This is especially so given the decisions confronting the board over the next few months and further into the future.

Given the teacher furloughs currently on the table, the school board should look at a contraction of administrative personnel and not an expansion for any reason. I am growing weary of the excuse these are grant positions.

I do not support the hiring of this individual for this position. Additionally I question the hiring of a turnaround officer who I have heard little about or from since the position was filled.

David Fehr Zimmerman
ASD School Board

Anonymous said...

David,

Great and thanks.

Scott Armstrong

Anonymous said...

News flash
ASD already has 3 grant writers ....

Anonymous said...

Where does Pawlowski get the funds to buy up Hamilton St. businesses?
Why are city residents allowing this to happen?

Anonymous said...

This is disgusting. At least the following single school board member has the guts to speak out.
Wonder if someone will sue.


April 15, 2011 5:12 PM
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I called Jeff Glazier, president of the board, when I heard this rumor. I was told I voted for her appointment and I had. He apparently was aware of the appointment.

When we vote on personnel issues we do in a large block during the regular monthly session. Most of the personnel actions are routine and in the normal course of the daily business of the school district. There are a large number each month.

Generally, significant positions and I consider this a significant position, are discussed in executive session, prior to the vote. I do not recall this happening. I checked with a few other board members and they did not recall any discussions about this either.

This was voted on at time when there were much more critical issues on the table. Mea Culpa. If this was based on political influence by The Mayor, as has been rumored, I find the whole issue even more reprehensible and highly disrespectful of the authority of the board. Even without the influence the way this played out is disrespectful and arrogant.

In retrospect, at this point, it seems to me the way this was handled was done so deliberately.
This event will have a profound impact on how I interact with other members of the board and the administration in the future. This is especially so given the decisions confronting the board over the next few months and further into the future.

Given the teacher furloughs currently on the table, the school board should look at a contraction of administrative personnel and not an expansion for any reason. I am growing weary of the excuse these are grant positions.

I do not support the hiring of this individual for this position. Additionally I question the hiring of a turnaround officer who I have heard little about or from since the position was filled.

David Fehr Zimmerman
ASD School Board

April 15, 2011 9:14 PM

Anonymous said...

Retired ASD teacher here.

First of all, my objection has nothing to do with the abilities of Ms. Marin.

This was obviously a political patronage hire. In light of all the recent layoffs of classroom teachers, hiring yet another new administrator SHOULD be seen as controversial.

The Morning Call SHOULD be all over this development had it not been so much in the pocket of Pawlowski.

How ANY school board can continue to pad its non student contact employee list at the expense of professionals who actually interract directly with kids is shameful.

ASD is way too top heavy in supervisory and administrative positions, especially in times like these.

One must wonder how much thought Mr.Zimmerman and others put into Zahorchak's radical plan. I'd say not very much, because STUDENTS are clearly on schedule to receive much less service and assistance. Should not this be the board's priority, over adding even more bureaucrats?

Any responsible school board would open the Zahorchak design for further discussion.

There's a reason why private schools tout their small faculty to student ratios.

michael molovinsky said...

dear retired asd, i prefer not to comment after i write the posts, but must interject here. it's my understanding that the marin hire was inserted within a long list of routine personnel transfers. i believe zimmerman feels that the inclusion should have been pointed out by zahorchak before the vote, especially being a new position. i applaud him for his candor on the marin issue. secondly, and more important, is the issue of the curriculum changes and teacher layoffs. unfortunately the state and federal revenue reductions would have forced either some layoff's, or a substantial tax increase, beyond the 6% already scheduled. an ill advised law requires that teacher layoffs can only occur because of curriculum changes, not revenue shortfall. so some changes were unavoidable, how many and what kind is the issue. as i have indicated in previous posts, i would have preferred leaving as much of the existing courses in place as possible. i don't favor teaching for the standardized test scores. zahorchak seems preoccupied with those scores and graduation rates. i heard a rumor that he has already had enough of allentown, and in my opinion, we had enough of him.

Anonymous said...

Retired ASD teacher here.

Thanks, Michael. I'm just glad you provide a forum for me to express my opinion.

I understand the technique used to reduce staff. A loss of positions was in order under the circumstance.

What I can't accept, is for ANY budget-trimming exercise to NOT include positions with no direct student contact. To add even more such positions in this economy is outrageous.

The addition of ANY new position paying $84,000 per year should have thrown up a huge red flag, no matter how large the list.

Pleased to hear Zahorchak is uneasy.

michael molovinsky said...

i've updated this post with an email exchange between myself and zahorchak. although i'm reluctant to post private emails, i decided it was probably more fair to him to print his reply.

Anonymous said...

Mike,

Let's do this for an exercise, look up the word "patronage" and see how it applies here. Our superintendent now appears to be part of the bigger problem in Allentown.

Scott Armstrong

Local said...

I find very telling the fact that Mr. Zahorchak never answered michael molovinsky's original question.
>
"would you please explain why nobody in house could not perform this function and how an additional administrative position can be justified with so many teacher layoffs pending.(?)"

An Emmaus resident said...

It is very satisfying to see that finally a professional businesswomen in the Lehigh Valley can earn a professional level salary. She did an excellent job here in Emmaus as a Councilwomen and she will do an excellent job for the school district. She is a passionate community leader and a dynamic lady!

Anonymous said...

I strongly concur with the statement below:

Joyce Marin has a long and successful track record:

She was instrumental in turning around downtown Emmaus and the Emmaus Main Street program at a pivotal time in that community's history, attracting partners and outside sources of revenue to accomplish much of what is good in that community. The Emmaus Farmers Market is just one project that she helped organize. She also spearheaded the streetscape improvement project downtown, was a supporter of community visioning and an advocate of community based planning. Additionally, she has inspired numerous people to get involved in the community at the local level, both in Emmaus and in Allentown -- again, too many to count.

ASD and the region will be benefitted by her involvement.

Anonymous said...

It seems to me that anyone who is trying to help Allentown grow and to be self sufficient are under fire! You can't please everyone when trying to solve enormous problems. Yes, these are difficult times with tough solutions. Beating Marin up isn't very productive is it? She is not the problem but she is part of the solution. She cares enough to work towards change and all I read on this site are accusations and unfounded criticism! What's up with that people?

michael molovinsky said...

anon 10:45, the purpose of this post was not to beat marin up. the issue is hiring another administrator when 247 teachers are being laid off.

Anonymous said...

Did the teachers union really say that their raises were off limits no matter how bad this economy gets? Were they really unwilling to make concessions for the sake of the poor school children of Allentown? Companies everywhere in the nation are asking their employees to sacrifice something to help them stay in business during hard times. So, what does that tell you?

Perhaps the teachers union will be sharing space with PA's steel industry!

Anonymous said...

Anon 10:45 - People like you are the problem. Your refusal to acknowledge the real issue is what is killing this city.

Grant Funded said...

I didn't realize that this position was grant funded. I feel better because all that money for these grants fell from the sky, and not from the taxpayers wallets.