WARWICK – The School Department will be advertising for a new Tech Director following the resignation of Director of Technology Douglas Alexander.
The School Committee, which had considered, and rejected, a complete restructuring of the department, gave Superintendent Phil Thornton the authorization to post the position internally and externally.
“I think we could find a good person in-house who has worked for the school district for awhile,” Committee member Nathan Cornell said Wednesday.
Assistant Superintendent Lynn Dambruch noted technology was a “very important department with many moving parts.”
“Obviously we’re in a situation where technology is a very big aspect and considering how much of a driver it is in Warwick, the idea of breaking it up into multiple positions, two at the most, would not be bad,” said Committee member Kyle Adams.
Committee member David Testa thought splitting up the department would be a mistake, noting one person should have complete responsibility.
“I think it’s clumsy,” Testa said. “We can’t afford that.”
“I would fully expect the new director to work with his team, mostly settled at this point, and determine who does what best,” said Chairperson Karen Bachus.
Cornell left the Zoom meeting before the vote to launch a search for Alexander’s successor was taken. He did not reconnect for the remainder of the meeting.
When contacted after the end of the meeting, Bachus said Alexander’s resignation was the result of getting a “better job” somewhere else, and Cornell’s abrupt disconnection was caused by a sporadic internet connection that has causes similar issues before.
Cornell doesn’t always have a good (internet) connection because he was in a “bad location,” Bachus explained. “That’s not the first time he’s gotten thrown out.”
As for Alexander’s replacement, Bachus said she was “very confident” the district would find a “suitable candidate” before July 14, the date of the next meeting.
Last March, when thirty-five school administrator contracts went before the Committee for discussion and action, all were approved for two years except for Alexander’s.
The committee voted to give Alexander a one-year contract on Cornell’s suggestion.
Testa and Bachus had opposed the amendment, with Vice-Chair Judy Cobden, Cornell, and Adams in favor.
Testa said it would be a deterrent to current or future administrators and noted that around the state, three-year agreements are more common, but
Warwick normally does two-year contracts.
According to a March 5 Warwick Beacon report, the vote on Alexander’s contract term followed an unexplained complaint from Cornell about “attitude problems,” which he did not elaborate on after the meeting, and of which Superintendent Philip Thornton’s office had no record.