To the Editor:
I commend the members of the Fillmore USD Board of Education for hiring the Cosca Group to search for the next superintendent. After two disastrous superintendents, it is time for proven leadership.
Having visited with and listened to the two representatives from the Cosca Group, I was impressed with their understanding of the problems in the district and the type of dedicated leadership needed to restore trust and faith in the school district.
This is money well spent. FUSD needs expert help; and from what I observed, I believe that the Cosca Group will indeed do a complete background check to insure the new superintendent has not been sued for harassment, had questionable financial dealings, or withheld or skewed information from his or her supervisors or previous school boards.
FUSD needs a superintendent who is experienced with all levels of education especially at the high school level. Most districts are judged by the quality of their high school(s). He or she needs to come with a framework how to improve FUSD, not a pre-determined plan. To create a plan for success, he or she must want to work with the staff at all schools.
It is imperative that the new superintendent is loyal to the community, and is someone who rejects cronyism recognizing that the Fillmore community has talented and caring potential staff members. New staff members can and should be hired from the community when they are equally or better prepared for a job.
Karen Ashim, Retired Head Counselor Fillmore High School
1991 MS Counseling & Guidance from California Lutheran University
2003 MA School Administration from Azusa Pacific University
To the Editor:
Many of you will remember in 1988 the big Centennial Celebration with Parade, BBQ, and Logo. That was for the establishment in 1888 of the town, named after Jerome A. Fillmore, regional General Superintendent of Southern Pacific Railroad.
The Centennial of 2014 is for Incorporation of the City in 1914. The incorporation was a greatly debated issue for varying town leaders and residents. But after 26 years, incorporation became a reality.
If you are interested in more early local history, you are encouraged to contact the Fillmore Historical Museum/Society, at 350 Main Street, Fillmore, CA, 93015, (805) 524-0948.
Former President, Fillmore Historical Society
And Chair, 1988 Centennial Coordination Committee for the Fillmore Historical Society
To the Editor:
Although weâ€™re a month into the new year (and since I was on vacation in January), Iâ€™d like to take a look back at last year and reflect on the good and the bad, the pluses and the minuses, that we saw in 2013.
On the plus side, we saw the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan winding down. Obviously, problems still remain in those countries, but far fewer American lives will be lost, and thatâ€™s good. On the minus side, we saw the administration open up combat roles in the military to women. Now we not only have the unseemly prospect of women leaving their children to go to war, but we have the equally unseemly prospect of women serving in Marine and Army infantry units. One wonders what the President and others in his administration are thinking about. But one doesnâ€™t have to wonder long. They have their agenda to force on our country, and the practical and moral ramifications of their actions evidently donâ€™t matter. On a moral level, itâ€™s a manâ€™s duty to defend his wife and his children and his country, not a womanâ€™s. On a practical level, where is a woman to find privacy when sheâ€™s on patrol with her unit? Or is a womanâ€™s privacy another one of those archaic, patriarchal ideas that we have to do away with?
On a related issue, on the plus side, voices were raised to address the rising number of sexual offenses occurring in our military. On the minus side, our President and others in Washington promote policies that encourage such offenses. They put 19 and 20 year old men and women on ships together, in land-based units together, and in military academies together and then wonder why there are sexual problems. One doesnâ€™t have to be a genius to figure it out. One has to wonder what world the President and others who support these policies live in. Certainly not the real one.
On the plus side, our country was more welcoming to returning veterans than at times in the past (Iâ€™m thinking specifically of Viet Nam, the war of my generation). Most of our citizens are more patriotic in this regard, honoring our veterans and the flag they served under. On the minus side, we still see fellow Americans showing disrespect for the flag. It happened in 2013 right here in Fillmore. Jennifer Fitzpatrick, an English teacher at our high school, dropped an American flag on the floor of her classroom and then stepped on it - evidently, to teach the students in her class. Teach them what? That itâ€™s OK to step on the flag that a number of Fillmore men died for? I still find it almost unbelievable that she wasnâ€™t at least officially reprimanded for what she did. But not a word. After all, there might be trouble with the teachersâ€™ union, or there might even be a lawsuit, and we certainly wouldnâ€™t want that. Who cares what the children learned from her actions. I thought that part of Fillmore High Schoolâ€™s mission is to help mold our young people into good American citizens. What good American citizen throws our countryâ€™s flag on the floor and steps on it? I think back to my days in grade school, junior high, and high school. Would any of my teachers have thrown our American flag on the floor and stepped on it? They wouldnâ€™t have even dreamed of doing such a thing. There are some things you just donâ€™t do. Teachers donâ€™t come to school drunk or high on drugs. Teachers donâ€™t curse or use vulgar language in their classrooms. Teachers donâ€™t moonlight as prostitutes. And teachers donâ€™t throw an American flag on the floor and step on it. Thatâ€™s what my teachers would have thought. Evidently, things have changed, and not for the better.
2013 is gone, and 2014 is ahead of us. Hopefully, weâ€™ll see some positive changes in the coming year - nationally and locally. We pray practically every Sunday in our church that we will.
Rev. Leslie R. Lanier, Pastor, Wayfarerâ€™s Chapel Lutheran Church