Since joining the district as Superintendent of Schools on February 1, 2022, Dr. Lisamarie Spindler’s schedule has been packed with meetings in our schools and out in the community. These conversations are helping Dr. Spindler gain a better understanding of what works well and how the District can leverage its community partnerships to better serve Hudson students, staff and the community at large.
Within the first two weeks, Dr. Spindler met with more than 20 community organizations, agencies, businesses, and government officials. This number continues to grow every week. She met with Mayor Kamal Johnson, Assemblymember Didi Barrett, the Department of Health, Chamber of Commerce, Columbia Economic Development Corporation, Greater Hudson Promise Neighborhood, Mental Health Association of Columbia and Greene Counties, Kite’s Nest, WGXA Radio, and the Galvan Foundation, to name a few.
“It has been busy and enlightening,” Dr. Spindler said of her first few weeks as HCSD superintendent. “I am learning a lot about our students and the community, and thinking of ways we can strengthen our partnerships to benefit our schools and the greater Hudson community.”
The conversations Dr. Spindler had with community stakeholders varied widely but a few main themes were prominent. Mentorships and workforce development, specifically for teenagers, was discussed during several engagements. Career and technical education as well as childhood literacy and early education programs were also common topics.
“There is a shared desire to increase the local workforce to meet demands in the community, and entice our graduates to remain in the Hudson area after graduation when they start their careers,” Dr. Spindler said. “I want to explore ways we can expand workforce-type classes at Hudson High School and possibly partnerships for adult education too.”
To help facilitate the expansion of school programs and partnerships, Dr. Spindler is interested in pursuing more grant opportunities.
“Grants can be effective avenues for building programs while minimally impacting the general budget,” she said. “We are also taking a close look at our district policies and how we can improve them, particularly those related to technology and DEI, or diversity, equity and inclusion.”
In addition to meeting with community stakeholders, Dr. Spindler has been busy visiting our schools and speaking with administrators, faculty, staff, and students, including the Hudson High School Student Council.
“Over the last few weeks, I’ve been a guest at faculty meetings and visited numerous classrooms throughout the district,” she said. “It’s been wonderful to see students actively engaged in learning and to see how our teachers use instructional technology to support content-specific lessons.”
On February 18, 2022, Dr. Spindler was a guest reader in many classrooms during the annual Read-A-Thon Day at Montgomery C. Smith Elementary School. She read a story about ideas and how students can feed and nurture their ideas until they grow into something real.
Also on February 18th, Dr. Spindler held her first “Coffee Talk” before the HHS Talent Show. Topics that were discussed include celebrating more honor students, such as the top 10 or 20 instead of just the top two, as well as gender neutral options for graduation caps and gowns.
“I loved the talent show,” said Dr. Spindler. “The acts were diverse and there was amazing support among the students, as well as faculty participation.”
To find out student and parent perspectives on what is working well and what could be improved in our schools, Dr. Spindler recently distributed a brief four-question survey to students and families.
“Results from a staff survey were very insightful and I’m looking forward to hearing what our students and families have to say,” she said.