Following the resignation of Albany school superintendent Dr. Marguerite Vanden Wyngaard, acting superintendent Dr. Kimberly Wilkins prepares to take over her new duties.
Both the school board and former superintendent cited "philosophical differences" that they just could not get past.
“Job security is based on performance. When there's performance, there's security, and when there isn't, there isn't,” said District President Kenneth Bruce.
Dr. Wilkins, the former principal at Myers Middle School, is taking over responsibilities until the school board begins its search to fill the position in February. Myers has also taught at Albany High School and served as principal of the former Pine Hills Middle School.
When asked about filling the role following Dr. Vanden Wyngaard’s abrupt resignation, Dr. Wilkins said “I have to move forward. I've been here for 25 years. We have weather storms and we're going to weather this.”
Bruce elaborated, “Dr. V. was informed at every step. It's a personnel decision, so we can't share those steps with the public. But it wasn't as abrupt as maybe it seemed.”
Wilkins is from the area and has worked within the district for 25 years. She is coming on board with just days before a second vote is held to renovate the high school.
“We really do need to get the infrastructure of the high school set up and ready to go for this vote, because this is so needed at this point,” said Dr. Wilkins.
In addition, three schools in the district have been labeled by the State Education Department as "struggling" or "persistently struggling," and are under direct authority of the superintendent. Board president Kenneth Bruce says other schools are in jeopardy of falling under the same category, and now is a time leadership and governance really need to see eye to eye.
“We'd like to see plans in place. We'd like to see measurable determinants that suggest we are heading in the right direction,” said Bruce.