The recent retirements of Superintendent of Schools John Gallacher and other top administrators has created an entirely different look at the top of the Enfield Public Schools' leadership team. New Superintendent Dr. Jeffrey Schumann has assembled a cabinet of executive officers, and Enfield Patch will be profiling some of those leaders each day this week.
We began the series Tuesday with ; today we feature Deputy Superintendent Chris Drezek.
Q: How have your first few weeks been on the job?
A: The first few weeks have been great; it’s hard to believe nine weeks have already passed. With all of the changes in the district, the support from the staff and the community for all of us in new roles has really made the transition very easy.
Q: How difficult is it to replace Tony Torre, a man who held your post for nearly 40 years?
A: In my opinion, no one can ever replace Tony Torre; I just happen to have his old position. Those of us who were lucky enough to have worked with Tony know that you will never find a more compassionate, caring, and dedicated educator who not only believed in the greatness of the Enfield Public Schools, but someone who believed that public schools are the backbone of our democracy. The respect that Tony has from students, staff, parents and the community is something that cannot be replaced.
Q: The entire top of the school system’s organizational chart has changed. Do you feel a seamless transition is probable, or should parents and students expect some bugs may need to be worked out?
A: So far, I believe the transition has been very smooth and I don’t see any reason that it will not continue. There are always obstacles with change, but I feel very strongly in the team we have assembled and we will continue to ensure that our students have every opportunity possible to succeed.
Q: To date, what do you consider your greatest accomplishment in the education field?
A: It’s easy to point to a specific project as an accomplishment in my career, such as my role in the K-8 reorganization process or assisting the Board of Education with a new policy or procedure that benefited the district. However, I think my greatest accomplishment is the relationships I’ve built with colleagues, parents and community members during my career. One thing we have to remind ourselves at times is that we are in the people business, and forging relationships with all stakeholders in the community has gone a long way to helping accomplish what my goals and the districts goals are, and that’s creating a better system for our students.
Q: What do you see is the biggest single challenge facing Enfield Public Schools in the coming year?
A: One of the most well documented challenges we face in Enfield is the number of students we lose each year to magnet schools. We need to continue to not only improve the programs and services we provide in our schools, but we need to ensure every family is aware of the high quality education we are providing and that our kids want to remain in our schools.