School board should call reassigned teachers

Staff Writer
Geneseo Republic

Editor’s note: Below is a letter read to the Orion school board at its regular meeting on Wednesday, June 16.

Tonight I attended the visitation of Linda Saunders. As you may know, Linda was a member of this board of education for several years. In my 33 years of teaching, Linda did something that no other board member has ever done to me.

While she was on the board, she got on the phone and called me and asked, “What’s going on?” We weren’t personal friends or anything like that. She simply had been made aware of an incident in our building and wanted my opinion.

Now maybe, as board members, you take an oath, “Thou shalt not talk to the Orion school district staff, parents and students about the goings on in the Orion school district.”

Maybe Linda crossed a line by calling me. But that phone call showed me that she really did care about what was going on at C.R. Hanna.

It appears that after tonight, the staffing changes for the fall are pretty much in place.

So on Aug. 16, Reggie Larson will have his salary cut in half and will no longer be teaching elementary students; Laurel Schoon will be finishing her 34-year career by not teaching the high school students for whom she was trained; Andrea Kapusinski will have her salary cut in half;

Becky Nightingale will be teaching elementary students, half of the time in doubled classes with an aide; Natalie Weller will have doubled classes in the afternoons with an aide at the middle school; Dan Diamond will be teaching elementary students in the afternoons; Shelly Johnson will be teaching art; and Chris Zentic will not be teaching at all, but will be drawing unemployment.

I challenge you, even if it is breaking a rule, to pick up the phone, as Linda Saunders did with me several years ago, and call these teachers to ask how things are going once the school year begins. Your vote has changed their lives. A phone call from you would be nice.

Barb Schwarzentraub, music teacher, C.R. Hanna Elementary School