HUDSON — John L. Edwards Primary School Principal Steve Spicer is concerned he will lose his job after the State Street school closes this summer.
The district will consolidate John L. Edwards Primary School, at 360 State St., and Montgomery C. Smith Intermediate School, at 102 Harry Howard Ave. as part of the final stage of its $19.9 million capital project. Pre-K through fifth-grade students will attend the Montgomery C. Smith Intermediate School starting in September.
After the primary school is closed, the building is slated to be put up for sale.
In the district’s upcoming 2018-2019 budget talks, the school board will consider having one elementary principal, one associate principal and one dean of students, or having one elementary principal and two associate principals.
Spicer made a plea to the district’s school board Monday night at its bimonthly meeting in the Hudson High School Library.
Spicer asked school board members to consider keeping him on as principal for one more year.
“The district is closing a building [John L. Edwards Primary School], but the students are losing their educational home,” Spicer said while reading aloud from a written statement. “All the major routines of their lives are about to change, and one of the most important people they look to for stability and safety won’t be there.”
After John L. Edwards Primary School closes this summer, pre-K, kindergarten and first-grade students will be housed in a new wing of the Montgomery C. Smith Intermediate School, which is under construction.
Second-grade students were moved to the intermediate school in September.
Superintendent Maria Lagana Suttmeier said she could not discuss Spicer’s employment status, citing personnel reasons. The school regularly assesses personnel needs every year during the budget season and follows education law, she said.
Spicer has worked at the district for 16 years and served as principal of John L. Edwards for seven years, he said.
At the meeting, Spicer asked the board to keep him there for one year to help the students’ transition to Montgomery C. Smith Intermediate School.
About 130 children are being screened for kindergarten for the 2018-2019 school year, and 312 students currently attend John L. Edwards Primary School, Spicer said.
“When the children begin their first day in their new school, with all the challenges they face, they will wonder where I am,” Spicer said. “Either I will be there to welcome them in their new school, reassure them that all is well and ease their adjustment, or I won’t.”
The district held its second budget workshop Monday, but it will be a few months before the budget is presented to voters.
“I need you to see this decision through their [the students’] eyes,” Spicer said. “Having someone they know and they love to help them and their families through this transition is a game changer… When they let go of their parents’ hands, all these years, they took mine.
“They and their parents knew they were safe, they were loved and they will be educated.”
To reach reporter Amanda Purcell, call 518-828-1616 ext. 2500, or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org, or tweet to @amandajpurcell.