This letter is from a former Housy student and was sent to Region 1 Board Of Education members
Dear Members of the Region One Board of Education,
My name is Joshua Prause; I graduated from HVRHS in 2012. The reason I am writing you this letter is because I am sickened and ashamed of how you are handling the situation of the budget for the upcoming school year; and the way you are failing your responsibilities to the taxpayers and most importantly the students of the Region One school district, especially the students of HVRHS.
On April 3, 2013, I sent an e-mail to chairman of the board, Phil Hart regarding the board’s plan to eliminate the teaching positions of Mrs. Leigh Connole and Mrs. Pam Aikman of the English and Math departments and how ridiculous and unnecessary of an idea that is. Due to the fact that Mr. Hart has not responded to my e-mail, I feel I should share with the whole board my opinions on these matters. In my e-mail to Mr. Hart, I expressed to him the importance of keeping Mrs. Connole and Mrs. Aikman as teachers at HVRHS. Clearly I am not the only person to believe that these teachers should be kept at HVRHS considering the fact that there were two (2) petitions signed by students demanding that these teachers not be eliminated from their jobs. The very sad part is that this board ignored the student petitions; even when the second petition had over 300 student signatures, which is over three-fourths (¾) of the HVRHS student population. Why would you ignore the vast majority of HVRHS students on an issue that affects the students more than anyone else? Your most important responsibility as board members is to the students and by ignoring them, you are failing them. If you cannot honor your responsibilities to the students, then why are you on this board? The taxpayers need board members who will do what is best for the students.
This board suggests eliminating these teaching positions as a budget cut because of the declining enrollment of students at HVRHS. I understand that if the number of students is declining then there should be some teaching positions cut, what I do not understand is why good teachers are being asked to leave. I do not understand why it must be the “hired last, so fired first” policy. Shouldn’t the teachers who have had the most complaints against them by students and parents be the ones to be asked to leave? What I also do not understand is why the Superintendent and the Assistant Superintendent are even eligible to be considered for a two (2) percent raise when there are so many issues regarding the budget. Is it really too difficult for them to not have a two percent raise to their salary? How can the board just ignore over 300 students? How can the board ignore the fact that the most recent referendum was rejected by the voters by the biggest margin ever?
The students obviously believe that it is in their best interest that these teachers be kept; why don’t you ask the students who they believe is not the best for them? Listen to and consider what the students have to say, after all, that is your most important responsibility and if you cannot or will not fulfill that responsibility then you should not be sitting on this board.
I hope that the decisions that will be made are what is best for the students. Not necessarily based on what you think is best or by what the Central Office thinks is best but by what the faculty, staff, high school administrators, AND most importantly, what the students feel is best.
I, Joshua Prause, would like to make it clear that all the opinions expressed in this letter are my own.
Thank you for your time and for listening.