Letters to the Editor, Oct. 27 - 30

Justin-Siena High School in Napa. Several students walked out of class Monday in protest of the firing of Principal John Bordelon.


Editor’s note: The Index-Tribune received more than a dozen letters regarding Lorna Sheridan’s story, “Justin-Siena Ousts Principal,” from Oct. 24 and below are a few of the first to come in. We’ll run more in coming issues, as appropriate.

Biggest mistake in Justin-Siena history

EDITOR: It is day two of “The Judgement” and I do not know where to start (“Justin-Siena Ousts Principal,” Oct. 24).

Let’s just start by saying that someone made a horrible decision and let’s see how we can work to move forward, and reverse what could be the biggest mistake in Justin-Siena history.

As I look at the Board of Trustees, you all carry job titles of what most of us would consider successful people. Whether you are a president of a community bank, a CEO of a medical clinic, an attorney, a founder, or a brother or sister serving the people of a faith-based community, you will completely understand what I am going to say.

John Bordelon is the “glue” that keeps the Justin-Siena community together, growing and, most of all, striving to be the best we can be. He has come into a community that dearly needed help for its students, but also for the teachers, staff and administration. We all know that if the very glue (that has made the difference) is removed from a product or so-called group, the cohesiveness goes away and we are left with something that is dysfunctional.

My son Jack Breen is a senior at Justin. He has thrived beyond belief under the advice from John Bordelon. He took my son and taught him to have his own beliefs, power, leadership and, most of all, how to be the best person he could be. He encouraged Jack to be a part of LSL (Leadership), and also included him in the rebranding of the schools motto, which we all know as “All Heart.” John Bordelon reminds me of my dad who taught at a school 40 miles away called Marin Catholic. He taught there for 32 years and was one of the legacies of that school. He passed in 1998. There is not a day that I don’t run into a past student, teacher, or friend of his that has a great story of “how Mr. Breen changed my life.” This is what John is doing for these kids. He is mentoring them for the day to day, college, and their futures.

It is beyond belief, that the person who is responsible for all of the uprise in the last three years, can get fired in a moment’s notice for not rolling over to be the current President’s “yes man.” That is not what the parents of Justin-Siena want. We want change for the better, and this one was the exact opposite.

I say this with the utmost seriousness. As the Board of Trustees of Justin-Siena, you each are responsible to the community and the future of the school. That being said, do you want to be known for the Board that was responsible for the demise of this institution?

I suggest this. Have a board meeting and listen to John Bordelon, and the community to which supports the school. Without great leaders, teachers, administration, kids, and parents who fund all this, Justin-Siena is no more.

John Bordelon makes us all better people. Please revisit this decision before permanent damage is done.

Mickey Breen


Mr. Jordan has my support

EDITOR: It is unfortunate for Justin-Siena students to experience leadership change on top of an already stressful semester. Students, parents, faculty and staff should remain focused on student success and rebuilding our community. We should support Mrs. Harrison and Mr. Bailey in their new roles.

I attended Justin-Siena for four years. During this time, I came to know Mr. Jordan as leader dedicated to the students of our school and motivated to do what is best for the Justin-Siena community. He has my support.

Calvin Sanders

Justin-Siena, Class of 2014

Hearts are crushed

EDITOR: It’s difficult to know how to start a letter like this, especially being a school parent who has been left in the dark on such an important matter. Our hearts are crushed with the school’s decision to fire John Bordelon. As much as I stand behind our school and its community, this decision and especially the timing of it, is inexcusable.

As far as I’m concerned, Justin Siena’s motto of being “All Heart” begins and ends with John. He has brought the tenderness of love to a school that was lacking it and has fully given himself to our children. He is the most capable person to lead and love our kids while performing his principal duties. He has a vision of academic success for all students and cultivates leadership in them. He provides a school climate where kids feel challenged but safe to fail. He knows and accepts the differences in every child and pushes each in his or her own way to a comfortable level of success. He is willing to personally get to know a child and nurture and discover together, that child’s purpose. He is All Heart!

Part of our mission states that the school will provide educational excellence in a loving Christ-cultured community. How in any way is this a Christ-like action? You blind-sided the staff, students and parents. On a day that should have been a true homecoming, kids are feeling lost, lied to, unimportant and truly devastated. You took the heart of their school away at a most crucial time. These kids need John in the school community. He is stability and hope for them. He is the most respected and loved person at our school, and rightfully so.

For the betterment of our school, the decision in firing John Bordelon needs to be overturned and the true problem of the administration needs to be addressed.

Jeanine Parlett

Sonoma and Napa

Strong, resilient… and sincere

EDITOR: I know Sonoma is pretty shell-shocked.

We’ve been hugging friends, strangers; asking everyone how they are, did they survive it.

We’re taking deep breaths, feeling deeply.

We are feeling pain and heartache for our neighboring communities that were hit harder than we were.

We’re feeling gratitude that we weren’t in the worst of it.

Sonoma is strong and we’re resilient.

I think the best part of this horror is that we’re looking each other in the eyes now and really meaning it when we say, “How is everything?”

Gretchen Gardner


Free market always needs a leash

In Jason Walsh’s story on the City Council considering a downtown tasting-room moratorium (“Should City Put Stopper on Tasting Rooms?” Sept. 21), it is troubling that some Council members argue that the Council just needs to step back and let the “free market” decide on local issues. Council members Gary Edwards and David Cook both argued for this approach, with Cook stating that, “business can regulate itself... It creates problems when government gets involved.”

In “Saving Capitalism: For the Many, Not for the Few” (2015), Robert Reich emphasizes that “Few ideas have more profoundly poisoned the minds of more people than the notion of a “free market” existing somewhere in the universe, into which government “intrudes.” Government does not “intrude” on the “free market.” It creates the market… A market — any market — requires that government make and enforce the rules of the game.”

One wonders why anyone would want to serve on the City Council if he or she merely sees governing and rule-making as only a matter of deferring to the “free market” — a market free of rules.

Why stop with the abandonment of Council rule-making for tasting rooms and tourist development? Should the Tuesday farmers market, cannabis dispensaries, a “livable wage,” affordable housing, climate action plans, etc. also be left up to the “free market” devoid of any local rules or “government intrusions”?

Hopefully, the Council will continue to study and then develop rules that will democratically embody our evolving citizen values for a more sustainable Sonoma.

John Donnelly


Altamira for residents, not homeless!

EDITOR: The Altamira Family Apartments project is not for the City of Sonoma but for the advancement of the County CDC agenda for supplying housing for the homeless as a priority. This project needs to be reconsidered to fulfill the needs of our residents. It is the responsibility of the Planning Commission and the City Council to correct this mistake being forced on the voters of Sonoma.

Anthony Germano


File under: Aw, shucks

EDITOR: In addition to our family’s heartfelt gratitude to all of the men and women who have responded to and fought the fires we want to recognize the remarkable efforts of the Index Tribune staff. Using every electronic medium imaginable you provided a constant flow of accurate up to date information – invaluable to those of us who needed to know. I can’t imagine how you managed the first horrifying days, it seemed that none of your staff were sleeping.

Thank you for doing such a great job keeping us informed, we are grateful to have such an excellent local news source.

Penny Eardley

Boyes Hot Springs