The on-leave Superintendent of the Christina School District, Freeman Williams, submitted a retirement letter to the district effective February, 2016. In August, Williams went on a leave status which prompted the Christina Board of Education to hire an Acting Superintendent. Former Red Clay Superintendent Bob Andrzejewski is the current Acting Superintendent, but Christina’s Board must now look for a new and permanent Superintendent.
The first time I met Freeman was 13 months ago at a special board meeting at Christina surrounding the priority schools. I found him to be very cordial and respectful, and he was greatly concerned about the priority status designated to the three Christina schools. I attended quite a few Christina board meetings in the next five months and watched them systematically and efficiently hold back the Delaware Department of Education and Governor Markell from making rash and hasty decisions over the Christina priority schools.
The last time I saw Freeman was at the Imagine Delaware Forum back in March. I had a very pleasant discussion with him concerning House Bill 50 and parent opt-out of the Smarter Balanced Assessment, which he supported. Whatever his reason for retirement, I wish him the best and I hope he enjoys his time away from the crazy education environment we live in.
As Christina will assuredly attempt another referendum in 2016 amidst severe financial issues, the search will be on for a new Superintendent. This district needs a very strong leader who can rally the people in favor of Christina. While some think Christina may wind up in receivership by the end of the year, I would prefer to have hope. The long-term impact of charters has definitely siphoned off a great deal of local funding due to many of the students in Christina’s feeder pattern choicing out to charters, and the emergence of so many new charters in Wilmington this school year alone has definitely had a negative effect. Now is the time for Christina to strongly promote their strengths and eliminate their weaknesses. What many don’t realize is Christina also holds the Delaware Autism Program and the Delaware School for the Deaf. That could cause tremendous problems for the students involved if they have to transition out of the existing programs.