Sunday February 7, 2016
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As some readers know, I have been very critical about the job performance of Superintendent O Brien over the last several years. However, now he is leaving. I want to acknowledge and express appreciation for the things that he has done well, such as his support for multiple student organizations. There are a number of things that I could list but the point is that Mr. O Brien has accomplished some things that are laudable. Very few, if any, persons are uni-faceted (all good or all bad) and Mr. O Brien is no exception. In conclusion, I stand by my past remarks in regard to things that were poorly done and now I think of things that were done well . Goodbye Mr. O Brien and Godspeed.
I don't think many are going to add to almost a thank you, but I will.
When Sue gave her notice and decided to leave as Superintendent, I was one very concerned about the person who would replace her. I wasn't directly involved, but I was involved none the less. There were several suggestions. Locals among them. Contributors on this site. I had interviewed and had discussions with them all. I respected them all.
What I saw in Casey, was a fresh face, a fresh approach, an attitude that said we can do it better.
I truly believe he did what he set out to do.
Mr. O'brien has given us a School district that does not cower. Has the strength to say, 'just because we did, doesn't mean we'll do'. The students, not anyone else, are the first priority of the system. And I hope our new superintendent has the courage to continue in those footsteps as Casy did. No easy job is easy. No job worth doing is done without pain.
Thanks men. Gracious of you. However, I see things a little differently. For example, in today's paper a little $210,000 oversight in Middle School hours. That would be two teachers per year over two years who could have been kept. Then there is the 1.4 million dollar tax mistake last year that caused people's taxes to be raised to make up for it. Then the, "RIFing" clean administrators in 2010 while retaining one with a drug offense in 2009 (this one is probably not over). Who knows what other "legacies" will jump out from under the rug.
Do you really think he left it better than when he took over ?
Please explain how it is better.
Are we the taxpayer suppose to keep teachers on the dole when there aren't enough students to teach? Just asking.
Is being a teacher, paid by the public, a more important job than the plumber with no work, the electrician with no work, the carpenter with no work or the drugist with no customers.....because noone has any money to,....fix the plumbing, fix the switch, fix the wall, buy the pills?
We can sit and look at the problems of a lack of funding in our school systems but in reality how much is the result of the superintendent?
Someone told me recently that 4000 young people have left the rim country to find work. I don't know if that's true but I can tell you that where I work business is down.
Did Casey give us a system better off than his predecessor? I don't know. If....the economy hadn't tanked....who knows.... did he ask for accountablility? Yes I believe he did. Did the 'employees step up' that's a question for the Board of Education.
In 1947, there were many who said 'This little man, the Vice president ,stepping into the shoes of Roosevelt, can't be a successful President of the United States. It turned out they were wrong.
Harry Truman was and is perhaps the most unsung hero of the political process. He didn't take sides because it was popular, he made decisions because it was the right thing to do.
It's my opinion, Casey did what he felt was the right thing to do. My Opinion.
Thanks for the answer Dan.
Dan; As Roy posted, I was attempting to be gracious. O Brien is gone and now we can repair and attempt to regain what PUSD has lost .However, I must disagree with your remarks for several reasons. "Know them by their deeds." Ethical behavior. Accountability. Leadership. Superior performance. Results. Relationships. These are words that I believe should be applicable to a chief executive's performance outcomes. They do not rely on the economy as an excuse for inferior decisions. They rely on the bottom line- doing the best possible job under the circumstances. I wish that you could have the opportunity to observe the work of a really good Superintendent of schools and compare.
John, I'll admit I've not been privy to the decisions of the School Board for the last couple of years.
I do believe I know each of them. I also know Casey. I'm not trying to make excuses for any of them.
In my heart, I don't believe there is an unethical person among them.
You can say that the economy shouldn't be used for excuse and I agree, but the reality of the situation is all too clear. There are fewer kids, fewer parents, fewer workers paying taxes which support the school. There are fewer dollars going for sports and other extra curricular activities because of all of the above.
Where does the little left get spent?
Close a school...Yes.
Fewer teachers, bigger classes...Yes.
These decisions were not needed 10 years ago. Everything was coming up roses, growing, and expected to continue growing....Didn't happen.
Goodbye Casey, Thanks. I for one believe you did your best.
Welcome to the new challenge Mr. (oh my G.. I didn't look up the name before I began)
Your challenge will be to prove that those naysayers were right and you have the answers and all will be well, hereafter. Good luck.
Closing a school and firing teachers? Larger classes do not make better students.
Less personal help, more work for teachers, more discipline problems.
Driving school buses more and kids having to get up earlier and get home later do not make for better students.
Is it any wonder there are more kids being home taught or going to charter or private schools in Payson?
If all the kids of school age were attending regular school, education in Payson wouldn't be in such a mess.
Now they want to sell a school building and probably will need to build a new one in less than 3 yrs.
55 children in a one room classroom in Olathe, Kansas in 1880 learned more in one year than most college grads know today. If you have doubt, look up the eight grade final exam and see if you or anyone you know can pass it.
It's not about learning anymore, it's about convenience. I watched my teachers sacrifice and struggle and never complain. I saw the love in their hearts when there were successes and the pain of failures but there were both. As a result of that education, all that we now know, including this ability to communicate happened. They created calculators, then the personal computers, the LCD and LED TV's, Cd's, Dvr's. Sattelites to map and watch the world with global positioning technology so they can find you if your lost and then packed it all into the Cell phone. There is so much more I don't know what to list next.
Go to any high school in America today, take away the technology that the previous generation gave them and see what's going to happen next.
I don't think we've given them the abilitiy to learn, think or reason. And most importantly a reason why. My opinion.
In 1880 there wasn't near as much to learn and remember. How many presidents names did they have to know? How many countries, capitals, wars did they have to name?
Eisenhower was elected the year I left school. He was the 34th. There have been 10 since and I probably can't name them.
But the students now can't name them either without a computer.
Okay Pat, I understand but fathom this. It wasn't Olathe it was Salinas and this was the first part.
Grammar (Time, one hour)
1. Give nine rules for the use of Capital Letters.
a.) Capitalize the first word in a sentence.
b.) Capitalize the pronoun I and the interjection O.
c.) Capitalize the first word in a quotation.
d.) Capitalize the first word in a direct question falling within a sentence.
e.) Capitalize all nouns referring to the deity and to the Bible and other sacred books.
f.) Use a capital letter for President and Presidency when these refer to the office of President of the United States.
g.) Use a capital letter for official titles before the names of officials.
h.) Capitalize proper nouns and adjectives formed from proper nouns.
i.) Capitalize every word, except conjunctions, articles and short prepositions in the titles of works of literature, music, art, books, etc. The first word of a title is always capitalized.
2. Name the Parts of Speech and define those that have no modifications.
There is a lot more.
I think we agree about the education the kids are getting now.
How to run computers and sports.
Kids don't need to think, just push buttons on a computer.
I have a granddaughter about 30 that doesn't know how to multiply except by ones and nines. Is that sick or what? She attended grade school in Mesa and HS in Payson.
Another granddaugter about 25 that knows them thru 15. She went to a charter school in Mesa in grade school and attended HS in Payson. I know they use calculators now to get the answers. Thier educations are so different.
Take away the first graders calculators which are required here in Payson and they would be lost.
Listen to a group of kids talk or try to read something they wrote by hand.
I attended school in Payson and was taught everything you mentioned above. That was in the 40's and 50's. I know the way I write on here you would never believe I had a grammer class.
I also learned to multiply up twelve.
How many people working in retail can count change? A friend of mine went thru one of the fast food places the other day and the kid trying to give her change didn't know the difference in a nickle, dime or penny. The cash register told him how much money she was supossed to receive.
I may have mentioned this before but the Teacher I hated most in High School was my English teacher, Mr. Reed. Reed seemed to want to pick on me. Me, okay so maybe I was a bit of a clown, sharpwitted and eloquent, but he drew out of me the ability to recognize and reason. He constantly made me come to the blackboard and diagram a sentence. Then ask the class if I was right. I wasn't always at first, but by the end of the year I was. I thought he hated me.
It wasn't until sometime later I realized how much he cared. As I made my way through life one of the gifts I was granted was the ability to communicate. Mr. Reed must have seen that because he made an effort to make sure I did it correctly and along the way others did as well.
I don't know if he ever knew how I despised him at the time, but I don't think he cared. He was a teacher, endowed with a heart greater then himself. I admire him greatly today and thank him as often as I can.
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