Farrell beyond reproach
March 4, 2002
It was with dismay that I learned recently of the polemic surrounding Aspen School District Superintendent Tom Farrell and his management of Aspen’s public schools.
I write now, not with the intention of discrediting his critics, but rather to offer a different perspective.
Obviously open dialog between students, parents, teachers, administrators, and the school board is vitally important. I only hope that the issues underlying this current turbulence can be discussed in a civilized and rational manner.
The success or failure of Aspen’s public schools cannot be attributed to one person – nor can the minute rise and fall of such arbitrary measures as ACT score averages.
I am not qualified to judge Farrell as an administrator. However, I do feel qualified and compelled to describe him in this public forum as an individual: from this AHS graduate’s experience, Farrell is compassionate, firm and personable – and unfailingly treats students as adults worthy of his personal attention.
As a supporter of students and as a positive role model for young people, he is beyond reproach.
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Any educator in a small community such as Aspen must walk a fine line between the roles of friend, mentor, advocate and disciplinarian to his or her students. For me, at least, Farrell performed this task with grace.
In my (ongoing) career as a student I have met very few educators of Tom Farrell’s high caliber.