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Letters to the Editor, Oct. 31 - Nov. 3

Sentiments from Delano

EDITOR: Hello, California. Could you please give this piece of art to the community which has been so damaged by fires? I enjoy wine, especially California wine. I don’t know much wine-tasting jargon, but hopefully I’ve been able to illustrate what wine means to me. I appreciate all the hard work and hope that your community is able to recover and move on quickly.

Ken Ingle

Delano, Minnesota

Test scores only viable measurement

EDITOR: Regarding educator Matt Metzler’s recent Valley Forum, “Testing Is Not an Accurate Assessment” (Oct. 10).

Mr. Metzler claims that the use of test scores is not an accurate assessment and misleading in terms of rating our students and schools. While I agree with his statement of what other factors should be used to evaluate the quality of our schools, as an educator he should know that the overall best indicator of whether taxpayer dollars are achieving the results intended is in terms of some measurable criteria.

His copout for low ratings of local schools is the typical position of teachers unions – “spending more for public education.” Yes, spending could be more. But until the unions recognize that schools need the ability to easily terminate poor teachers; that tenure should not be granted for three or four years and should not be effectively for life; that districts need to be able to set up charter schools and avoid the constraints that unions impose; that teachers need to have more flexibility in how they teach their subjects, while still being held accountable to measurable results – standardized test scores are the one universal measurement that allow parents and the public to help determine whether the education they are paying for is the best that can be provided.

Bill Jasper

Sonoma

The circus is in town

EDITOR: I’m writing to express my complete astonishment in the sudden ousting of John Bordelon from Justin-Siena (“Justin-Siena Schocked by Principal’s Sudden Firing,” Oct. 27). I have two sons, one a 2016 graduate of Justin-Siena and his brother is currently a sophomore. John has been a hugely positive influence on each of my kids. His presence at the school is what made us decide to continue our relationship with Justin-Siena with my younger son.

While we parents have cryptically been told the decision was based on “nothing scandalous,” there have been no other communications outlining the reasoning.

We deserve better than this. Our students have been blindsided and feel at a loss. At a time when they need nurturing and comfort from the recent devastation in the Valley, the timing of this circus is, to say the least, ridiculous.

Justin-Siena, we see you. This will not get swept under any rug. This is not going away. But your supporters just might.

Shame on you.

Tiffany Baumann

Sonoma

Bordelon made us proud

EDITOR: Mr. Bordelon is an outstanding man and leader. Although I only had the pleasure of having him as my principal during my senior year at Justin-Siena, he was able to turn around all of the negative stigmas that outsiders and students themselves had about Justin. He turned our school into a place that students were proud to be a part of. Mr. Bordelon made every student feel special, smart and powerful and inspired everyone who was around him. He attended every event to support all students, whether they be a part of a sports team, club or arts program. I had three principals throughout my time at Justin-Siena, and I am proud that I received my diploma from him.

Pia von Strasser

Class of 2016

Devastated over firing

EDITOR: We are Heath and Reyna Whittemore, we have a daughter, Ashlee, who is a junior and a son, Jack, who graduated in 2016. This is a statement about how Mr. Bordelon positively affected our daughter’s and our lives. This last summer, our daughter Ashlee decided to transfer to Vintage High School, partly due to missing her brother and her childhood friends (her plan was to attend high school with her brother for at least a year). When we notified Justin-Siena of her transfer to Vintage High School, the one person who reached out immediately to us was John Bordelon. He had us in his office for several meetings, always very supportive of Ashlee and her decision to transfer. However, he always made her feel special, and that he would make it his personal responsibility to make her remaining years at Justin successful if she decided to stay. Even though she completely enrolled, transferred and committed to Vintage High School, she believed Mr. Bordelon because he had always come through for her in the past. So she re-enrolled in Justin for this year and just as Mr. Borderlon had promised her, this has been the best school year of her life…until now.

When she woke up the morning he was fired, all she could say was: “This can’t be happening.” She was, is, will always be… devastated over this.

The Whittemore Family

Sonoma