Think students don’t care…think again, here are three posts from H.V.R.H.S students over the past week…. 4

The concerned Housy students comments over the past week…

 

1) What happened to Dr. Foster and Dr. Buchanan won’t happen to Mr. Harnett and Mr. Striever, they are very strong, brilliant people who are great for Housy. They connect with the students and they have the interest of the students at heart, not the politics. I will say however, that what did happen to Dr. Foster and Dr. Buchanan is still happening to teachers within the building and even to students. This needs to stop. I am a concerned student at Housy and the politics need to stop. This is an educational system for the STUDENTS, not for power hungry “teachers” who only care about themselves and their so called authority. Trust me, the students have noticed what actually goes on within the Housy walls and we are tired of it. Its such a shame that just those few faculty members within the building have given our school such a negative reputation. I do not represent any particular group or organization, I am just a concerned student who thinks that thsese political games within Housy and Region One need to stop.

 

2) I am also an upperclassman at Housy and I completely agree with the statement about the political nonsense at Housatonic Valley Regional High School. Many things in the “great” Northwest Corner are kept in closets because almost everyone is afraid to talk about them. The problems here in regards to the department chairs is something that needs to be adressed. Obviously since they are deeply rooted in the walls here at HVRHS it would be an interesting process to say the least. However for the future of the school’s students this issue needs to be tackled head on. Many teachers here feel that from the moment we walk in, we owe them something. Please let it be known that schools in general are for the students and teachers just work at them.

3) ImageAs well as the two above responses, I am also an upperclassmen at Housy. I completely agree with the above statements. The political nonsense and political games that go on within that school are ridiculous. The students are paying attention to it and we have had enough. It is not fair to the teachers who actually do care about the students and it certainly isn’t fair to the students. Teachers should be teachers so they can have a positive impact on students and their lives. They should be preparing us for the future, and most of the teachers at Housy are great and they truly do care about the students but those few teachers who care just about their power trips make the students not like Housy that much at all. It is a shame that the few teachers who don’t seem to care about the students are the ones who have a lot of “authority” within the school. The fact that they are focusing more on politics than actual education is a complete disgrace towards the entire educational profession and community and they should be deeply ashamed of themselves for acting like immature little children. Housy belongs to us the students, the teachers are there to teach US, not belittle us like those few teachers have been to not only us but other teachers in the building as well. Don’t get me wrong, the majority of the teachers at Housy are great and they want nothing to do with the politics that have consumed our school. In fact, there are even teachers at Housy who care enough to try and fight the politics at the school and I am very appreciative of those teachers, but those teachers also get bullied and shut down by those teachers who simply don’t care about doing the right thing for the school and for the students. This issue needs to be brought more to the public, because maybe then, this problem will finally be fixed.

Letter to the editor Lakeville Journal from Patricia Allyn Mechare Reply

Brain Kavanuagh’s letter of April 12th was right on. When you vote May 8th on the Region 1 proposed spending plan consider the following:

1. Over the last three fiscal years Central Office administrators have had salary increases of 6-7%
2. With the exception of the director of special education who has had 20 days added to her work year every other Central Office administrator has been given more days off with the superintendent and assistant superintendent leading the pack
3. The assistant superintendent has been given the additional benefit of a $2500 annuity
4. The superintendent’s annuity is tied to her salary (6%) giving her an additional increase
5. The unusual wording in the superintendent’s contract allows her to take any graduate level courses at a 100% reimbursement with no limit on the number of courses she can take annually, no limit on the cost per credit and no reporting system regarding the successful completion of the course. Over the last 3 fiscal years the cost to the taxpayer for course reimbursement has been $26,600. The spending plan does not specifically account for this expenditure

The Board’s majority has refused to revisit these contracts to level the playing field. They fail to realize that annual renewal of these contracts so that there is always a term of 3 years costs the Board plenty. Should a future Board decide that they no longer want the services of an administrator their hands will be tied. That means employing someone who no longer fits the bill until the contract finally ends or using taxpayers’ money for a buyout. Neither alternative is acceptable. That the Board’s attorney allowed so many of these contract conditions to stand, despite the obvious detriments and the lack of the best interest of the Region and/or the taxpayer, is astounding. There doesn’t appear to have been any negotiation at all, but an immediate acquiescence to administrators’ demands without any thought or consideration of the financial impact to students and taxpayers. These folks are the highest paid public officials in the area. Our local communities have been holding the line on all kinds of expenses including salary and benefits for a number of years. That this small group is treated as if it has some entitlement is an insult to all those other public employees who have been asked to sacrifice, to say nothing of those in the private and non-profit sectors. Here is a breakdown of the four top administrators’ financial packages NOT including vacation, personal, sick and other time off: superintendent: $168,798 (plus $12,000 budgeted for tuition reimbursement); assistant superintendent: $151,746; director of pupil services: $143,070; business manager $136,107. All are working fewer days than in 2009-2010 for more pay and benefits.

These items and others of a crucial and important nature both at HVRHS and Central Office need to be addressed. So far the majority has refused to do so on the advice of the superintendent and board chairman. Keep that in mind when you vote.

Patricia Allyn Mechare