Educational Reflections

To the Editor:

As I am getting ready to leave this truly beautiful country to go back to "my tribe" I wanted to share some thoughts and insights with the inclined reader. I have lived and worked in the Northeast Kingdom for the past 20 years. I have raised three children here, mostly as a single parent, never receiving or relying on public assistance. In the past year, I enjoyed watching my oldest grandchild attending second grade at Lyndon Town School, as the school was my location of employment. Most of my years here were spent working in education, from residential to day treatment to public schools.

Lyndon Town School currently has an exceptionally good administration in my opinion. Nevertheless they experienced a "mass exodus" in staff at the end of the past school year. More than 40 percent of dedicated, well-educated and enthusiastic school staff at this one area school was either laid off or decided to move on to different venues. Both, lay-offs and moving on of staff, was prompted by a highly dysfunctional and incestuous administration in the Supervisory Union, in my view. The current CNSU administration, for reasons I could only speculate on, has elected to build their own little fiefdom, by firing and "pushing out" those who do not suit their "philosophies", and retaining those who simply nod and appear to agree mostly out of fear to be otherwise joining the ranks of the unemployed as well.

Aside from the CNSU's "philosophy" not being student and family-friendly there is also a movement into a direction that is very troubling and unsettling for various reasons. It came to my attention that recently the principal of Miller's Run School was "asked to take his hat" and his position was hastily filled with the former administrator of the Safe School/Healthy Students grant. The grant has come to an end on June 15 of this year. The former grant administrator has no qualifications to be working as a principal, no endorsements and a degree that does not qualify for licensing of any kind. She had led this federal grant with to me ethically and morally very questionable personnel methods, possibly in an attempt to align with the methods of CNSU. Perhaps this is just who she is. However, she is best friends with the CNSU superintendent. I am getting the strong and putrid smell of nepotism here that I personally have had throughout my past involvement with the CNSU. Unfortunately her appointment to be Interim Principal at Miller's Run School may lead to another "mass exodus" at another school in this district.

So, I believe it is high time that school boards and concerned citizens take a look behind the curtains, as all these doings greatly affect the delivery of quality services to area children and families. Children thrive on stability and continuity. Many area families are in need of more support than is often available or possible. The constant incestuous turmoil in the Supervisory Union has the famous trickle-down effect, influencing school staff morale, children and families alike. It is unconscionable to let these people continue what they are doing and how they are doing it and I wish and hope as I am looking back, that somebody will have the courage to intervene.

Gabriele Rebbe

St. Johnsbury, Vt.


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