Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Advice and Dissent

Photo by Evan Brandt
Now on display in the main hall of Pottstown High School.

Monday's Pottstown School Board meeting was a quick one.

But because I waited around for my son to be done with marching band, I had the opportunity to wander the halls of the high school a bit with my tour guide, the estimable John Armato.

Some advice from the high school's new principal
Danielle McCoy.
And he showed me something that I thought was pretty cool. Allow me to share it with you before we get into the particulars of the meeting.

Ask yourself this question: How many times have you wished you could go back in time and give your high school self advice? The romance never pursued, the class you wish you had taken, you get the idea.

Well until any of us bump into Doctor Who, time travel continues to elude us.

But a handful of Pottstown High School educators have done the next best thing at the request of the school's guidance department: coughing up their year-book photos from when they were students, they have offered up what they would tell their younger selves in the hopes of having a positive influence on those who actually are in high school right now.

Have a look.

Some more advice from teacher Michaela Johnson
Now, to the meeting.

As I said it was swift and although the board unanimously but regretfully accepted board President Judy Zahora's resignation, effective Sept. 30, there was some dissent on other matters, most specifically -- hiring.

Board member Thomas Hylton pointed out how much effort it has required to raise just $72,000 to "save the lights" at Grigg Memorial stadium. While praising the effort, he said it is an indication of how hard it is to come by money in the Pottstown community.

And he used that observation to pivot into a discussion about why he voted against the hiring of three new aides and a replacement school psychologist for the high school.

"There are 8,400 properties in Pottstown and 1,200 of them are in foreclosure," said Hylton. "We can't keep doing business as usual."

Zahora, who participated in the meeting by speaker phone, said while she understood Hylton's concerns, "it's not the children's fault where they were born and we need to provide them with the best education we can."

Vice President Andrew Kefer noted that it is the by-product of the borough's economic malaise that requires additional educational aides.

But why read it here, when you can read it in the Tweets below?

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