April 15,1998



At 3:00PM this afternoon, Superintendent of Schools, Dr. Anthony Cavanna, School Board Attorney Greg Guercio and I shook hands on an understanding that provides for Eric Brooks to receive tenure. Thus ends an unfortunate incident that has had a distinguished teacher and our school district on edge.

It would serve no useful purpose to critique the process by which this understanding came to be. What is useful, I believe, is to recognize that unlike similar events in the not so distant past, this issue was resolved peacefully, with no lasting damage to any of the parties to it. Throughout the development of this issue, the PCT was never out of touch with the Board of Education and the Superintendent. The excellent lines of communication developed in recent years held in spite of stresses that once would have broken them badly. This was no mean accomplishment and is a credit to all who worked diligently to make it happen. In the end, responsible people worked to produce a just outcome. In the end, we added another experience to a developing pattern of trust and understanding and withstood a challenging test of our resolve to do things differently than we used to. We sure have come a long way.

While I'm proud of all who helped create the conditions for Eric Brooks to have a career in our district, I can't say enough about the extraordinary leadership of Board of Education President Ginger Lieberman. No School Board member has worked harder over the years to bring us together - none so determined to find ways to resolve conflicts in ways that better us all. Her cool head and tactful leadership were once again of enormous help in resolving this issue. I'm proud of my opportunity to work with her.

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