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Monrovia School Link ~ Number 43 ~ June 26, 2002

Well, Wild Rose School has a new principal (reaction from a Wild Rose person I know is positive); a reader came up with a great fundraising idea; we didn't get arrested (yet); and, Oh, yeah! You too can make big money!
~ Brad Haugaard (

NO FEDS ~ Though we blatently pledged allegiance to the flag at the beginning of the school board meeting, and even included the part about "one nation under God," the sirens didn't wail and the Feds didn't storm in and arrest us. I don't know if the board was being brave or if it just hadn't heard about today's appellate court decision. Don't tell what we did! Okay?

PRINCIPAL ~ Wild Rose School has a new principal, Audrey Lambert, whom Superintendent Louise Taylor said said comes to the district after seven years at an Orange County school. Taylor said Lambert is a Monrovian, and I understand one of her children recently graduated from Mayflower School. The Supe also said that during her interview, Audrey clearly articulated the district's tone and culture. Too bad, but I'm not going to hold one little slip of the tongue against her.

HIP ~ Speaking of principals, Taylor said Byron Greer, principal of Clifton Middle School, is recovering from hip surgery. She said everyone will say, "Hip, hip, hooray!" when he returns. Hey! Bad jokes are my department.

READERS ~ Congratulations to Bradoaks, Monroe, Plymouth and Wild Rose schools, which were named winners of the Governor's Reading Program. Superintendent Louise Taylor said the students managed to read somewhere between 1.2 and 1.6 million pages during the competition period. Bruce Carter said that would work out to about 10 pages per school day for each student. (Or, 7.142857 per day if you throw in weekends.)

A STEP ~ Board President Bruce Carter said the board will begin announcing at the regular meetings what members discussed in study sessions. I applaud this, although the board could go a lot further (or is it "farther?") Whatever. Anyway, these study sessions are held before the regular meetings in a little hidey-hole back room of the district office, down hallways and around corners. Though it's open to the public, you'd never guess it was there. Why can't study sessions be held in the regular meeting room? Also, Lord knows what the topics of these meetings are, so why should anybody come? It wouldn't hurt one little bit to announce at the current meeting what's on the agenda for the next meeting. Still, it's a step.

MORE, OR LESS ~ Cyrus Kemp told the board he was concerned about the teacher (last issue) who was not allowed to rescind her retirement. He said if the district can't take on more teachers, he didn't know how it could take on more students. He urged the board to work with the city to come up with more funding. Taylor said if the district gets more students, it'll get more money from the state, so it could hire more teachers. Of course, if the number of students drops...

NO LEAVE ~ Pleading a tight budget, the board denied a request for a maternity leave-of-absence. Assistant Superintendent of Personnel Debbie Collins said such leaves have been easy to grant until this year, but this position, which requires a registered nurse with a teaching credential, would be hard to fill under the best of circumstances. To find a good person who would be willing to fill it temporarily would be very difficult.

MAKE BIG MONEY! ~ Hidden away in the consent agenda is a little update on how much money board members make for attending the meetings. $240 per month. Figure there are usually around three meetings per month and that's (wait, let me calculate this), um, okay, $80 per meeting, and let's guesstimate about four hours per meeting. Just a sec. Uh... $20 an hour. Wow! Infinitely more than I make from this newsletter! Get elected to the school board and this magnificent sum (plus a tidy amount for "mileage") can be yours.

GYM LIGHTS ~ Monrovia High's gymnasium is going to get new lighting. The board voted to accept a bid by Fielding Electric to do the job, which should be done by August 23. Huh? Oh, 2002.

GUIDING ~ Speaking of lights, the board honored Probation Officer Auria Vogt, who wasn't able to make the meeting, for working at the schools on the Gang Abatement and Prevention Program. She (I think it's a she) will not be continuing the job because the program is losing its funding. To honor her, the board is giving her a lamp, because she's a "guiding light." Get it? Lamp? Light? Quite the night for puns.

YUCK! ~ Last of all, I got a great letter from Clare Chesley, who wrote about the article on fundraisers in the last issue. You're on, Clare: "I absolutely detest the typical fundraisers - you know, high calorie candy bars or knick knacks that clutter and serve no meaningful purpose, or wrapping paper, which I have a ton of already. I don't need or want this stuff and buying/selling it bugs me because 99 percent of the time it falls on the parents to bring the order forms to their offices and peddle it to co-workers. I've often thought it would be neat if instead of food or junk, the kids had to do something for the money. Like clean a park or visit a nursing home. I'd be much more willing to sponsor a child to do something for the community or school, e.g. clean or paint.

AMEN ~ I think that's one of the best ideas I've heard in a month of Sundays! I need more candy like a hole in the head. Yeah! Have the kids clean or paint. Watch out, Clare, someone may nominate you for school board.

NEXT BOARD MEETING ~ The next regular board meeting is on Wednesday, July 2, 2002 at 7:30 p.m. at the administration office at 325 E. Huntington Drive.

Copyright (c) 2002, Brad Haugaard. Also on the Web at: