Letter: Bennington Elementary PTG member supports O'Connor

To the Editor:

I am writing this in support of Vice Principal Jerry O'Connor. As an active member of the Bennington Elementary PTG I've see firsthand how much Jerry does for the students at Benn El. His involvement in everything at the school during regular school hours, after hours and on weekends is nothing short of exemplary.

With Jerry's involvement, students do not feel left out of any activities within the school. At book fairs, he makes sure all students get a book if they want one, during the holiday season the school hosts the "Penguin Patch" which allows all students to purchase gifts for family members, if students don't have enough or even any money, Jerry will still allow them to get a gift. His involvement at assemblies ensures all students benefit by being there, he will be at band/chorus concerts, after school programs and clubs, as well as and various games. Vice Principal O'Connor's commitment to the school and all its students is, without a doubt, completely full.

I would like for the superintendent and the School Board members to spend at least a little time at Benn El and see firsthand what is going on in the school on any given day. Jerry is a fantastic level of support, as he is trusted and well liked by the students (and staff) at Benn El. Some would say as the school has a new principal, replacing yet another (very competent) administrator will not be good for the students and the school's continuity. With all Jerry does and is involved with, it is difficult to understand how successful the School Board can be in finding someone to fill the shoes of this individual we are lucky enough to have as the vice principal of Bennington Elementary.

I'm one of many that believe the school board is making a big mistake by not renewing Jerry O'Connor's contract, the students need someone they can talk to and feel safe with. Let's not have another poorly made and uninformed decision as was made with the MAUHS principal debacle a couple of years ago. The school board has given a very vague and what feels like a politically passive answer with their quote of, "A change in administration is necessary in order for the district to move forward and improve the school." I wish they would explain how they think Jerry couldn't be a part of that change.

Julia Goldsmith Leonetti



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