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Fair and Balanced Discussion from Southern Oregon
Wednesday, May 23, 2007
Trib Misses the Point...
Paris Achen missed last week with this article about leadership at North Medford High. Achen's first sentence sets the tone and is about as far from reality as someone could hope to get.
After a year without steadfast leadership, North Medford High School is slated to get a new principal next school year.So yes, we are looking for a principal, but not, as Ms Achen asserts, becasue the one we have is somehow lacking... It is because the one we have isn't an option. Ron Williams took an interim post in June following the departure of Doug Mackenzie. Some would phrase that departure as a loss, some would not, so part of Achen premise of a sudden void of steadfast leadership is already a debatable point. But as the body of the article unfolds, we see Achen isn't perhaps going to the most reliable source. Not that talking to students isn't a valid way yot get a read on a school, but when the quotes come from sophomores and freshmen, the ability to present valid comparisons and contrasts of a previous administration and a current one is seriously in doubt.
I've only been there only two years myself, but I get a very sound sense that the current staff would NOT object to the continued service of Mr. Williams. But such a committment was never in the cards and a job search was fated from the get go.
But the leadership point aside, the remainder of the article seems to be a have/have not comparison between North and South Medford High and shines the light pretty soundly on South as a success and North as not. The 1st and 2nd year students interviewed point to school spirit and sports success, though seem to have not noticed the comaprative success of North's soccer, girls' hoops, baseball, tennis, track, and football teams, leaving the Panther state hoops title as the be-all and end-all.
Achen fails to point out the tremendous success of North's performing arts - district band and choir triumphs, a huge surge in interest in drama and triumphant performances in SIX full length productions on North's two stages this year. Achen fails to address much. I could go on. And on. One of our students did, and since her letter is likely too long to appear in the Trib as a rebuttal, I will ask permission to post it here.
North has much in need of addressing and it will be part of the new principal's job to do so. But it had much MORE in need of addressing in the year that is wrapping up and much of it has been dealt with by a very well-regarded interim principal and an energized team of deputies in the form of our trio of vice principals.
I suppose that Achen didn't approach teachers because she didn't think we'd really talk frankly - sugar coating the bad, spinning, etc... because that's what everyone does, right? Maybe this is one more case of only reporting the bad things and not getting the good news out there. Whatever it is, it missed the mark, and the opening sentence is a unjust and unwarranted blow aimed at a man who stepped into an unexpected void and filled it quite capably and to the appreciation on nearly everyone involved.
Wednesday, May 09, 2007
Help raise funds - thru May 31