Email 2011-05-30 10:15

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  1. MT email2011-10-05-16-39.pdf
From: Rhoades Alderson
To: Megan Turnbull, Jocelyn O'Quinn, Henry Brackett
Subject: Re: Draft letter responding to Oyster River Student Senate

Hi Megan, Jocelyn and Henry,

I think this letter is excellent and will go a long way to calming the rhetoric and
taking th focus off of you -- this as part of a strategic goal to change the narrative
from "school board takes on ______ fight" to "school board takes steps to preserve
tradition of excellence in times of change."  Below I drafter an alternative version of
the letter that seeks to portray you a little bit less as an official body and more as a
group of caring adults who volunteer their time because this stuff is what they care
about.  It's true, of course, and softens some fo the battle lines when you can be seen
this way.

Dear Oyster River Senios Class,

Congratulations to each of you on the eve of your graduation.  You have so much to be
proud of as you mark one of life's great milestones, and as Board members, community
members and parents, we are proud of you, too.

Our school community is experiencing a period of change that it has been very difficult
at times.  We are fortunate that so many in our community care so deeply about our schools,
but sometimes that passion can spill over into frustration.  While the focus of the school
community should always be on what's best for current and future students, it has too
often appeared to be otherwise in recent weeks.  Your letter to us regarding participation
at graduation underscored that point.

This is your time, and graduation is your day.  To make absolutely certain the focus of
the ceremony is where it belongs, we agree that it is best to do as you have asked and put
a pause on the current tradition of having a board member pass out diplomas to students.
Insteaqd, we will be among the loudest voices in the audience cheering you on.

Each of you represents a tradition of excellence at Oyster River High School and in our
district as a whole.  It's a tradition that we volunteer our time as Board members to
preciously preserve and update for the opportunities and challenges of a new time.  It's a
tradition to which all of us in the community are devoted, and which will keep our
district strong through the turbulence that comes with change.

Class of 2012, we slaute you!  See you on graduation day.

the ORCSD School Board