Parents support school, superintendent
Laurie Michaels and Carrie Morgridge seem intent on publicly discrediting some very valuable members of our school community, including Tom Farrell. During our six years of active involvement as parents of Mark and Ellen (AHS Class of 2001), we have had a multitude of experiences with Tom. Although we could write a long and detailed article in praise of Tom, we will summarize our praise by stating, unequivocally and without exaggeration, that he (as teacher, mentor and friend) made profound, meaningful, lasting, positive contributions to the development of our children. We, as parents, will always be grateful to him.While Michaels and Morgridge clearly want personnel changes at the school district, their public statements have not made clear what substantive changes they desire that will positively affect the education of our children. There is an appropriate procedure to effect change within the school, that starts by talking with individual teachers and eventually could lead to an appeal to the school board. If Michaels and Morgridge have taken the appropriate path, and change has not occurred, perhaps it is because their views are not widely accepted. Michaels’ and Morgridge’s latest letter to the newspapers, which includes numerous innuendos and insinuations disparaging Tom Farrell, also implies that our school board is disingenuous. While we have not agreed with every action taken by the school board over the past six years, we know President Augie Reno to be an outstanding public servant – thoughtful, honest, insightful and fully committed to serving the best interests of the students. Under his leadership we trust that the school board has carefully evaluated the issues before it (including any “concerns” about Tom’s performance such as those listed in the Michaels-Morgridge letter), and that, after a careful evaluation of issues, could reasonably, candidly, dispassionately, independently, and unanimously (100 percent) decide to support Tom.We also note that several weeks ago, Ms. Michaels wrote a letter stating ludicrous criticisms of AHS history teacher George Burson. When we read her comments, we wondered how anyone could know George or George’s reputation as one of the best teachers in the high school, and yet make such outrageous statements. We wondered if one of her children or their friends had ever had the privilege of earning a grade in one of George’s classes. Now, we continue to wonder if Ms. Michaels’ comments and concerns about other faculty and administrators are lacking real, first-hand knowledge.All of us have the right to provide individual opinions to the school system, but in exercising that right, we also have an obligation to gather as much knowledge and perspective as possible, and to be respectful of the appropriate forums that exist to hear our views.Perhaps Michaels and Morgridge should talk to some of the members of the class of 2001 who might share their many accomplishments as college freshmen – dean’s lists, honors programs, advanced placement credit, intercollegiate athletics, school plays, etc. They and the graduates before them reflect the successes of the Aspen School District and the successes of people like Tom, George and the many other dedicated teachers, administrators, staff and board of the Aspen School District.Steve & Debbi Aspen
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