The Carlisle Mosquito Online

Friday, May 11, 2007


Carlisle School Superintendent Doyle receives positive review

Carlisle School Committee Chair Nicole Burkel read a summary of Superintendent Marie Doyle's annual evaluation at the May 2 School Committee meeting. She noted, "A lot of positive development has happened under Marie's leadership during the 2007 academic year." Doyle, who was hired in 2004, recently had her contract renewed for three years (see "Carlisle School Superintendent Marie Doyle signs new three-year contract" March 30, 2007). The audience was sparse, in contrast to the large group who heard the Superintendent's evaluation a year ago.

Many accomplishments

Burkel described the "positive development" which has happened under Doyle's leadership. Accomplishments include: "benchmarks for all grade levels; a new math curriculum review committee; a strategic planning team comprising staff, parents, and community members; the addition of world languages to the curriculum for all grade levels; a self-funded after-school science and technology program; and expanded faculty professional development through partnerships with EDCO, Primary Source, and the Concord Public School District."

The Strategic Planning Committee, which was formed this spring, consists of 22 members including eight parents and eight school staff, Doyle said.

The EDCO Collaborative (Education Collaborative for Greater Boston, Inc.), is a voluntary collaborative of 21 urban and suburban school districts. A variety of courses are offered to teaching professionals in all educational subjects.

The Carlisle School is a member of Primary Source, a Watertown-based educational foundation that offers courses, seminars and guided travel to promote understanding of cultures around the world.

In addition, Burkel said, under Doyle's direction "staff are working with kids on student leadership, fostering respect, and identifying and stopping student bullying."

Builds relationships

The new administrative team consists of Principals Patrice Hurley and Paul Graseck, Director of Student Services Karen Slack, and Business Manager Heidi Zimmerman. Burkel noted that Doyle "has continued to build strong relations with the School Committee, parent organizations, other town boards, professional organizations, and her administrative counterparts in Concord and elsewhere in the state." Noting that the Superintendent is "very accessible to everyone, she said "Doyle is a true kid person, and children clearly react positively to her."


Burkel notes that "Marie is open to criticism and willing to reflect on both her successes and struggles." She said she offers "three constructive recommendations drawn from the conversations of my fellow school committee members:

1. Communication — Continue to build strong relationship with all school community constituents. Reaching out to others is one of your strengths, and staff and parents alike appreciate being kept informed and, when appropriate, being give the opportunity to provide input.

2. Leadership growth — Continue to build relationships with the larger Massachusetts education community so that you may continue to bring cutting-edge ideas to Carlisle and build your own leadership repertoire.

3. Pace yourself and ensure that your administrative team does the same."

Last year's evaluation

Burkel noted that "The position of superintendent is unbelievably exposed," in her written explanation of the evaluation process. Former Carlisle School Committee Chair Dockterman, expressed the same sentiment in his summary last May (see "Carlisle School Committee gives Doyle thumbs up" May 12, 2006). Last year's evaluation praised new initiatives such as "curriculum benchmarks, World Language, self-funded after school science classes, the re-configuration of the middle school classes, and the Primary Source/Chinese program of teacher study and travel." It also noted similar goals:

1. Clarify directions, roles and responsibilities, and align the team around a vision.

2. Communicate clearly and consistently, including publishing job descriptions.

3. Slow the pace and let the new people get used to the school before adding new initiatives.

Top-notch school

Burkel noted that "Our students are well-served by a top-notch group of professionals." She ended the summary by thanking Marie "for the enormous commitment you have made to our children. We look forward to your continued growth in the position and the benefits it will bring to our educational program."

2007 The Carlisle Mosquito