Criticism of Girard principal, Foley, not supported by facts
We would like the community of Girard to help us, the Girard Intermediate teachers, understand several comments made by Dr. Anthony D'Ambrosio, now superintendent of Trumbull County Schools. The comments were referred to in a written performance evaluation of our principal, Mr. Foley that appeared in The Vindicator on July 25
Our principal was removed from our school, in part, because of his "inability to control his teachers." We find the word "control" confusing and degrading. The dictionary defines control as "to restrain; to curb. To regulate, direct or guide, as a machine." We can not find the relationship between that definition and our professional behavior.
Was the principal supposed to "curb" our desire to write the first thematic units in the district, which aligned our course of study with the state model?
Was the principal expected to "restrain" the pursuit of grant money generated by this staff totaling over $70,000 which benefited this district?
Was the principal supposed to "regulate" the creative strategies implemented by team teachers to integrate technology in the classrooms?
How was the principal expected to "control" the various projects displayed on the district's first technology bulletin board?
Does "lack of control "refer to our acceptance of state modeled inclusive programs for our special education students? Who "directed" and "guided" the writing and implementation of the intermediate school's continuous improvement plans, which resulted in higher scores on the state proficiency tests?
Mr. Foley was also accused of "covering up for teachers who didn't perform." Again, we do not how that statement relates to our actions. Since the state considers student performance on the proficiency tests as a measure of the school's performance, we would like to look at our children's results. On the state proficiency and off-year tests, our 6th grade students passed four out of five tests, our 5th grade students passed five out of five, while the 4th grade again, scored high and passed all five tests. In fact, our 4th grade has consistently scored among the highest in Trumbull County for every year scores have been published.
In addition, the fifth grade scored above the national average in the Iowa Test of Basic Skills.
We do not consider these statistics indicative of low teacher performance. We believe our performance to be exemplary.
This performance has not been covered up -- the district report card is published for all of Trumbull County residents to view and make comparisons.
We have thought of some behavior and actions that Mr. Foley could not control. He could not control our enthusiasm for teaching.
He could not control our sense of loyalty and dedication to the job of educating the children of Girard.
He could not control our honesty in reporting to the parents and the superintendent that the new building was adversely affecting the health of students and staff.
We also know he did not want to "control" us. He was, in fact, proud of us!
CHRISTINE DAMIANO NOTARESCHI
X The writers are Girard Intermediate union building representatives), writing on behalf of the the Girard Intermediate School faculty.