October 30th , 2012 9:21 am Leave a comment

School superintendent responds to letter writer’s comments

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To the editor:

After reading Friday’s “Letter to the Editor,” it is absolutely essential that I respond with a rebuttal to the comment by Susan Peters.

I am first amazed that Ms. Peters knows so much about our school system when she has never once approached a system or school administrator and attempted to address any of the long list of concerns to which she alluded. I certainly wonder from whom she obtained such a clear and negative view of our system.

She made so many ugly assertions: first, our administration is not honest and we do not treat teachers with respect. She needs to provide specific occasions where this is true.

Secondly, we have lost many excellent teachers and support personnel. Who are they? We have, in fact, added 53 certified and non-certified positions (that are still in existence) since 2007.

Thirdly, teachers are afraid of our administration? Certainly not those who work hard and keep the faith with other public educators.

Fourthly, schools are overcrowded? Not by State Department of Education standards! We would be fined enormous sums if this were true; and truthfully, the additional 507 students we have added since 2007 have provided the additional money and opportunity for all our students; and these numbers have actually reduced our teacher-pupil ratio! Her statement that bringing in so many students “…can be a potentially negative factor…’’ This tells me that she does not feel that county students should be allowed to pursue an education within the city.

Fifth, she specifically listed individuals for whom the citizens should vote. One of whom, Chuck Madgett, actually missed 28 of 86 County School Board meetings. Why would this individual be a sound choice?

Sixth, we, as educators, do not value art, music, and other non-tested subjects? She should have asked those individuals if we are unsupportive of them!

Seventh, she said that the current administration is pushing for a new sports complex and ball fields. That is a major part of the plan, but so is the addition of sorely needed classrooms (8), bathrooms, and ADA compliance at T.A. Dugger Junior High! It should be noted that athletics are an integral part of a child’s education, just as band and other extracurricular involvements are! If we had not had strong physical education courses and sports in the ’30s and early ’40s, we would be speaking German or Japanese! She apparently isn’t acquainted with the Greek philosophy of sound body, sound mind!

As an educator and life-long resident of Elizabethton, I cannot help but resent the comments of a person who has moved into our area and has had such an apparent limited exposure to the truth.

Ed Alexander, Elizabethton

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