Pat Mechare Letter To The Editor Lakeville Journal 3

Let’s look at what this year’s HVRHS graduates may have taken away as examples of adult leadership from the Regional School District #1 Board of Education and the Regional Schools Services Center (RSSC-Central Office) administrators. Here’s how I see it:

That you can, apparently, deliberately ignore written, approved and in force
procedures and policies and do whatever you want with no
accountability or accepted standards. An example would be the lack of proper monitoring and review by the Board regarding expenditures at the high school and central office.Another would be failing to address the appropriate annual goals and objectives for the superintendent to pass on for consideration to the All Boards Committee of Regional School District # 1.

That you can, apparently, ignore parliamentary law and state statutes thereby
stripping a board member’s right and those of the citizens he/she
represents sabotaging self-governance. For instance, the representative of one town whose member acts as the chairman, can without the knowledge or consent of the rest of the Board decide what will be referred to the Board’s attorney, who will be “allowed” access to the information/opinion and spend, apparently unchecked,taxpayer dollars for any issue he sees fit.

That, apparently, it’s perfectly all right to be intolerant of board members and openly lack common courtesy to the expression of ideas and opinion which may differ from you own.Note the actions of Board members, particularly in February/March. Isn’t that called bullying?

That apparently, it’s acceptable, after a graduating senior raises concerns to a local school board regarding bullying,for the Superintendent of Schools to appear to dismiss the student’s experience by saying in response to that concern: “Not all incidents are bullying, some are bad behavior”.

That regardless of plenty of evidence to the contrary, it’s seems acceptable to pretend that there are no concerns to be addressed thereby evading your responsibility and ignoring the school and Board’s mission, while obvious problems fester and grow. Inaction by the Board on what has become known as “The Pinkpank Report” is an example.

That, apparently, certain employees and/or board members are not held to the same standard as the rest and are excused from being accountable for their actions. Note the “Aeron Watson”/FCC incidents.

That apparently, the Board is inclined to dismiss contradictory evidence
and apparent irregularities in procedure in a statutorily required non-renewal
hearing and render a decision in what seemed to be planned support for the


Fortunately, a majority of what our students internalize lies within the confines of the classroom. If the words of the 2012 valedictorian, salutatorian and class president are examples of the depth of good teaching, learning and life-skills taught then there arepositive adult role models and routine examples of integrity and civic duty in our students’ school life. The Board and RSSC administratorsneed to follow that lead and act like responsible adults.

Patricia Allyn Mechare







From The Republican-American today Reply

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Region 1 residents will conduct forum on school issues



KENT — A group of con­cerned residents has decided to hold its own forum for pub­lic discussion on Region 1 issues, feeling thwarted by the Region 1 Board of Education.

A meeting is planned Sept. 28 at 7 p.m. at the Cornwall Library at 30 Pine St., Corn­wall.

One of the organizers is Edward Epstein, a resident of Kent and a former longtime principal of Kent Center School. He wanted to get the word out ear­ly about the planned meeting.

“It is important to discuss issues and share information and it can’t be done at a Region 1 board meeting,” Epstein said.

One of the topics will be a full disclo­sure of the Pingpank Report, which was created in the fall of 2010, after both the principal and vice principal abruptly resigned weeks before school was to start.

The report was presented to the board in January 2011 and Superintendent Patricia Chamberlain was charged, according to the meeting min­utes, to “create plans of action to address the issues cited in the Independent Report,” which was written by Jeffrey C. Pingpank. She has reported verbally about improved rela­tionships within the Central Office, but has not submitted any written reports.

Numerous parents have tried to discuss the report at subsequent Board of Educa­tion meetings, but the educa­tion board has not taken any action on it.

“The Pingpank report needs be shared with the pub­lic,” Epstein said. The 13-page report contains a number of recommendations.

The school district is unique in that it has individ­ual educational boards to gov­ern each of the six elementary schools and a regional board for Housatonic Valley Region­al High School. It was the first regional high school estab­lished in the state, set up in 1939. The Region 1 Board of Education is composed of a representative from each of the towns, Canaan, Cornwall, Falls Vil­lage, Kent, Salisbury and Sharon. The vote of each member is weighted by the pop­ulation of students at the school.

Epstein will serve as moderator of the forum. As someone who has 44 years of connection to the school district he feels well informed about it. He was at Kent Center School for 34 years and 25 of those were as principal. He has been an interim principal in both North Canaan and Falls Village, and he’s worked as a substitute teacher in all seven schools. He hopes to see a number of residents, board of education members and school personnel at the meet­ing.

They chose to have the meeting in Cornwall because it is a central location. Addi­tional meetings will be held at other locations.

“Some people view the high school as a Falls Village issue. It is much more than that,” he said. “There is concern in all the towns of the way the board and the central office person­nel are operating.”

The Falls Village Board of Finance will discuss how the Region 1 Board of Education has treated Falls Village’s representative to see whether legal steps should be taken Reply

From this mornings Republican-American

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FALLS VILLAGE — Responding to a letter from member Louis Timolat, the Board of Finance will discuss how the Region 1 Board of Education has treated Falls Village’s representative to see whether legal steps should be taken.

Timolat, who was unable to attend Monday’s meeting of the board, wrote that he is concerned about the board’s conduct, “especially with regard to the pre-emption of the full and equal participa­tion of our representative Gale C. Toensing. I would be in favor of the cost of legal means to correct this unac­ceptable situation.”

In Timolat’s absence, First Selectman Patricia A. Mechare explained his posi­tion. She said he is concerned that the Region 1 chairman contacted the board’s attor­ney without the knowledge or consent of the other mem­bers.

Mechare said Timolat is also concerned that the board has conceded it is not abiding by its own policies and “when our representative asks for the policies to be abided by, she has been shut down. I think Louie is frustrated that her rights and the rights of her constituents are being compromised. He feels maybe you should move for­ward in a more formal way and is asking you to legally continue.”

Mechare said if the Board of Finance feels it is impor­tant and this behavior by the school board continues, a town meeting can be held to approve funding for that pur­pose.

Member Tom Grayson said after finance board members review the minutes of the Region 1 board meetings, they may want to compel the school board to comply with its own policies and proce­dures.
The finance board will discuss the issue at the August meeting after reviewing the Region 1 board minutes

As my mom used to say…just because Terry’s mom lets him do that does not mean you can do it!! 1

In England they drive on the other side of the road…..

In Germany there is no speed limit on parts of the Autobahn…

Not all fire trucks are red…..

Not everybody has to do everything like everybody else……

Just because other school districts do it, DOES NOT MEAN WE HAVE TO…..


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It’s not about what goes on in Cheshire, or any place else…it’s about what goes on here!