Letters – Teachers speak out for administrator

Editor:
Have you ever taken one of those tests that ask you to pick the one object or answer that doesn’t fit in with all the others?
Well here, give it a shot.
Recognized. Four math questions shy of Recognized. Recognized. Recognized. National Blue Ribbon.
Fired.
In case you are wondering, those are the last four years of Susan Brooks’ career as principal of Lockhart Junior High.
Have you figured out the right answer yet?
There are many words that I could use to describe the events at the school board meeting at the junior high on Dec. 20, but I do not believe many of them are allowed in print in this newspaper.
But I’ll give it a shot anyway…
As I sat in anticipation in the library while the school board was in Executive Session, two thoughts kept going through my mind.
First, why would the school board do this to such an accomplished principal at such a successful school?
And second, why do this to a principal who is set to retire in June anyways?
The junior high is the only place I have ever taught so I have no REAL perspective, but I know enough teachers in enough districts and in enough schools to realize how lucky I am to be teaching on such a great campus. Things just get done around here.
Do you want to know why?
(….drum roll please…..)
Great leadership!
As a teacher at the junior high, leadership comes from the front office, specifically from the tiny back office on the left labeled, “Susan Brooks, Principal”. She has held all who have walked through those front doors to high standards, teacher and student alike. The results speak for themselves. Good teachers work here, and we teach good kids, because we have a great principal and leader in Susan Brooks.
It’s scary that personal vendettas are more important to the school board than the education of the district’s children. It’s also scary to think they would do this to someone who has put in so much time and effort into this district. Not only to fire her, but to drag her name in the mud like that is just wrong. And why did this happen? She stepped up to do a job the school board asked her to do.
Get your resumes ready people! You might be next!
Recall the school board. I think enough wrongs have been done to justify that. You would think that these seven men would know something about the Fifth Amendment by now, which guarantees us all due process under the law.
And, while we’re on the subject, isn’t freedom of speech great?
As they say in the schoolyard, “there it is.”
Ramez Antoun
Disgruntled teacher
Lockhart Junior High

Dear Editor:
I would like to thank Susan Brooks for her tireless effort to help students succeed and for giving me the opportunity to teach/coach at Lockhart Junior High School. Ms. Brooks has been nothing but supportive and caring throughout my five year employment at LJHS. I will truly miss her leadership and dedication toward her staff and most importantly the students of LJHS!
Sincerely,
Alisha Homann
Lockhart Junior High School

Dear Editor:
I am astounded and incensed by the decision the school board made to terminate Susan Brooks’ contract at the meeting on Thursday, Dec. 20.
Isn’t this the same Susan Brooks who stepped up to the plate when the school board asked her to be interim superintendent? Isn’t this the same Susan Brooks who led the junior high to being the first recognized campus in the school district in 1999? Isn’t this the same Susan Brooks who meticulously and tirelessly took care of every detail of the junior high when a new campus was built and relocated in 2000? Since then, she has done nothing but devote her life to making our junior high school in Lockhart, Texas one of the best in the United States!
Not only did the school achieve recognized status three times during her leadership, but this year it attained the highest honor that can be bestowed upon any school- The No Child Left Behind Blue Ribbon Award. Not only that, but this year Lockhart Junior High won Education Trust’s “Dispelling the Myth” Award, an award that is given to only four campuses in the entire United States. During the conference in Washington, D.C., administrators and teachers from all over the country attended to pick her brain and seek her advice about ensuring success for the students at their schools.
What kind of thanks is this to her? What message does this send to the faculty and staff at the junior high and on other campuses in this district? What does this decision reveal about the school board’s intentions and goals for our community’s schools?
In this ALARMINGLY backward decision, Lockhart Junior High has been punched in the gut and punished for excellence. But most importantly, the children in our community have been hurt.
The students truly respect her and know that although she is tough, she truly has a heart for them. The school board should embrace dedicated, hard-working administrators who demand excellence from their staffs and from their students, instead of creating drama and making detrimental decisions based on their own bitter, personal vendettas.
Bonnie Salome
Eighth Grade Language Arts Teacher
Lockhart Junior High School

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