At the Jan. 6 board of education meeting, the school board voted to change the way Massapequa's school secretaries are hired. As Civil Service employees, these secretaries passed the civil service exam and also selected a preference to work in Massapequa. For over 30 years, the Massapequa School District had made it a practice to only hire secretaries who are residents, from this preferred list. Approximately 95 percent of our secretaries currently live and work here.
Why did the school board vote to change this long-established hiring practice? The reason given was to improve quality - now the most qualified candidate could be hired, should they decide to become a school secretary in Massapequa! Our friends, our neighbors, our secretaries may no longer be the most qualified candidates to work in our schools! However, almost every district in Nassau County feels that their friends, their neighbors, their taxpayers are qualified and do hire from within their communities. Any resident of Massapequa thinking of choosing a career as a school secretary should think again! Where could you find a job? In one of the seven districts out of 50 that do not use the practice of selected preference and therefore could even consider hiring you?
The parents of Massapequa Junior Senior Parent Teacher Student Association are upset and would urge the three members of the school board who voted to ignore the preferences of their fellow community members, to reconsider their decisions. PTA members know that the duties of our school secretaries are quite varied. Does the Civil Service exam measure all of these duties? Does it measure an individual's ability to find a substitute teacher at the spur of the moment? The ability to calm an upset or worried student (or parent)? The ability to make a school run smoothly despite the effects of Mother Nature? The ability to communicate the feeling of belonging to a school community with concern, comfort, caring and pride?
On behalf of the Massapequa Junior-Senior-Parent-Teacher-Student Association. I urge the board to reconsider their decision. When every aspect is considered, it is clear that the most qualified people for these jobs live in Massapequa!
Massapequa Junior Senior PTSA