Too bad Sch’dy school officials aren’t more like their teachers
Michael Goot wrote a very nice article about the “Touch the Future” award that my son Brendan nominated his former Schenectady High Spanish teacher Pamela Parish for, and which she was awarded at the commencement ceremony at Hobart and William Smith Colleges in Geneva [May 7 Gazette].
Ms. Parish was one of a number of outstanding teachers Brendan had during his four years at Schenectady High. Some might wonder if that’s not a tough place to teach, but our experience was that there were many wonderful teachers there who came in every day and put their hearts and souls and minds into what they were doing, enriching the lives of countless students in the process.
We always felt that the contributions of classroom teachers at the high school never seemed to get an awful lot of recognition, though, and too much attention was focused on negative events at the school. There are negative events at any school, but it’s a great life lesson for students to see attention focused on all aspects of school life, not just the bad ones.
That’s why it was so interesting that the same day’s edition of the Gazette included a Carl Strock column about the Schenectady school district’s Unholy Trinity — Board President Jeff Janiszewski, Superintendent Eric Ely and “head utility worker” Steven Raucci. People like these are more of a problem in the schools than the students could ever be. As cogs in a machine more intent on preserving its own power than in anything else (like providing the best education that taxpayer dollars have made possible, perhaps?).
Instead of obsessing over their own self-interest, Schenectady school board members and district administrators should be openly dialoguing with the many talented teachers in the district, and with interested and engaged parents, to uplift the district’s approach to education and to recognize the numerous successes achieved by its students and staff.
The human resources are there in the form of the district’s talented teachers, and in the parents who are too often denied meaningful input into decision-making. The failure of the board and the administration to fully utilize those resources is a disgrace.
Bible clear in opposition to homosexuality
Re May 7 letter, “Don’t use Bible to oppose gay marriage”: Mr. Hunt’s ideology is exactly what is wrong with our country today.
First and foremost, our country was built on Christian values. Second, Mr. Hunt mentions how we should keep the Bible out of our lawmaking. This is where our country has been misguided in the worst way. Without God in our lives, there are no laws, morals or family values. What we would then have is a type of society in which there are no consequences.
Whether or not Mr. Hunt or Bill Maher want to accept it, there is a God, and there are rules he wants us to follow. One may interpret some things differently, but without any reasonable doubt, in no way is gay marriage an acceptable lifestyle. It is not normal or acceptable behavior for two of the same sex to be engaged in a sexual relationship. To be honest, it is flat-out disgusting.
This does not make me a bigot, hatemonger or bad person.
The opposition for gay marriage is a force to be reckoned with. I, for one, strongly support a normal marriage, which is between a man and a woman.
Herrmann will help shine light on school board
I couldn’t agree more with your April 30 editorial, “Schenectady school board needs some sunshine.”
Some of the problems that have surfaced with the way our schools are run could have been avoided with more transparency in the board’s decision-making, and more involvement of the community. Public schools should never be the purview of one person or a select, handpicked group of people.
That’s why I was so heartened to read in the same editorial that Diane Herrmann is running for school board. I know Diane to be an independent thinker who will ask tough questions of the administration and her colleagues. Her background as an attorney, County Youth Board member and an advocate for children will serve our students and their schools well.
I am excited to be voting for Diane Herrmann on May 19 and urge all Schenectady voters to do the same.
Reverse discrimination no less despicable
Re May 2 article, “Racial bias case not settled yet”: I am very glad that Attorney General Andrew Cuomo has decided to reopen the case of the photographer who was fired by Gov. Paterson, to be replaced by a black photographer.
It seems to me that with Paterson allegedly saying he wanted a black person for that job, he has broken federal civil rights laws. I am stunned that I am not seeing white people protesting and demanding his removal.
It seems to me that white men are the only people in the country who cannot discriminate against anyone, but black political thugs can specifically state that they want black people for certain jobs.
Why isn’t the media making more of an issue out of this?
Plugs for nonprofits OK at Amsterdam station
Re May 7 article, “Morning radio show hosts quit over content dispute”: WVTL radio has not instituted a policy that forbids our program hosts from plugging local community groups such as churches or other nonprofits, as was alleged by former host Mike Mancini.
As many radio stations and newspapers do, WVTL offers a reasonable advertising package that gives nonprofits the opportunity to pay for expanded coverage on our station.
WVTL is a commercial radio station and we depend on advertising revenue. However, our station’s public service efforts are well known. In fact, WVTL and morning host Bob Cudmore earned the Montgomery County Chamber of Commerce Herbert T. Singer Community Service Award for efforts on behalf of flood victims, the United Way, Amsterdam Free Library and other charities.
Perhaps I could have explained this subject more fully to Mr. Mancini, but both he and Sam Zurlo chose to leave WVTL without talking with me. Nonetheless, I wish them both success in their future endeavors.
The writer is president of Professional Media Services Inc. and owner of Roser Communications Network.
School bus garage plan not in Mohon budget
On April 20, the Mohonasen Board of Education adopted the 2009-10 proposed district budget. The $42.4 million proposal, which will go before voters May 19, represents the lowest tax levy increase in recent history, at 0.59 percent.
There is a great deal of misinformation circulating regarding the proposed budget, including the belief that it will also be a vote for a new bus garage. This is not accurate. The vote is only on the budget, the purchase of buses and the board of education election. The district is still in the process of developing a capital project referendum to go before voters sometime next fall.
There are many ways for community members to get accurate information about the district and upcoming budget vote, including a visit to our Web site, www.mohonasen.org (where you can view a video of the budget hearing and meet the candidates night), calling 356-8210, and reading our budget newsletter. A copy of the complete budget proposal is available in the district’s main office at 2072 Curry Rd.
The Mohonasen board prides itself on its direct and honest communication with the school community. We find the recent attempts to misrepresent and distort information by a limited number of people extremely discouraging. We encourage everyone in the community to ask questions and gather information so your decisions are based in fact.
The writer is the school board’s vice president. His letter was also endorsed by the board’s other members.
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