"Rise to the Occasion!" Words that
echoed at a Freeport high school PTA meeting during 1999/2000 school
year, the Northover year. The teachers were telling the parents, the
students, the board members and the administrators that many students were
going to fail, especially math. The board and the administration left
their response to the Assistant Superintendent of Curriculum, Dr. Tony
Ciaglia, who told the teachers, "Rise to the Occasion." My
question has always been, when will the board and the administrators take
their own advice?
Mr. Cattano, allow me to introduce myself. I am a parent of a graduating
Freeport High School (FHS) student. This is an accomplishment beyond
belief. Why? She will graduate within 4 years. She could have graduated a
year earlier. She never had to attend summer school. She is in the top 100
of her graduating class. She will be attending a 4 year college. This is
just the start of her long journey through life. A journey that will be
Mr. Cattano, I am: The current treasure of
the Freeport Sports Booster Club. The current corresponding secretary of
the FHS PTA. The past FHS PTA CO-president, during the Northover year. A
former Freeport Girl Scout leader.
I am an "involved parent" with
an involvement list that goes on and on, beginning when my daughter was in
Mr. Cattano, I am sorry to say, unless you
have lived in Freeport High School during the last three years, you know
The parents have not destroyed the
children of this district. Politics and Revenge destroyed this district!
In order for a child to make it through
this district, they must be a survivor. A few quotes from my daughter may
enlighten you: "Mom, you must be friends with everyone, otherwise you
have to waste your time watching you back. Mom, you have no idea what goes
on every day at that school. Mom, they can suspend me, I will not sit in
that cafeteria." "Mom, do something. You are the PTA
CO-president. Get Mr. Campbell back before we all die." "Mom,
get me out of here, I will go anywhere." "Mom, it is over they
took Mr. Kight. I can go on." "Mom, I am going to study English
and be a journalist. Mom, get me out of this journalism class. This school
doesn't want a newspaper. Mom, we don't have a computer or a room to work
in. We don't have anyone that wants to print the paper for us. The
district canceled the contract."
During 2001/2002 my daughter got two paid
full page ads for Flashings, the student paper. To date, the checks have
not been cashed. My daughter quit her Journalism class, with my
permission. She was not the only one.
This district has lost much: Many good
teachers, especially the 4-7 year teachers that we need to replace the
veteran teachers. Many good students, who moved or went to private school
and many good administrators.
I am an involved parent whose child
struggled to make it through the last three years at the High School. I am
offended. How dare anyone place blame on the parents of this district?
This district knows what it has to work with and the teachers and many
administrators get little to no support from the top. The top only wants
the people who keep their mouths shut and agree with them to be involved.
They teach our children that there is not such thing as
"democracy," at least not in Freeport.
This district should be ashamed of itself.
This district has an excellent bunch of teachers, administrators, parents,
students and community residents, who are not supported and who fail due
to their complete lack of support.
There are Board of Education members and
top district officials who have destroyed this district. They should take
a good look in the mirror. Maybe then they will stop wasting time passing
blame and instead, use their energy to help secure the future of our
Mr. Cattano, I suggest a few questions for
you to answer before you go to sleep at night. How much more suffering
will the children of Freeport have to endure? How many wounds will heal
without festering? How many scares will the children of this district
have? What does the future hold for my child and the children of this
With all due respect, Mr. Cattano, you
don't have a clue!