Letters to the Editor

Time for rest of board to get along with Hoff

I am very dismayed to see the conflicts arising within the Federal Way School Board, as reported in the Mirror (Sept. 18, “School Board quarrels over leader”). All five members have the ability to serve as board president. We have certainly had much worse to choose from in past boards.

Regarding the negative statements directed at board member Charles Hoff: I am a parent who strongly supports Charlie’s efforts. He has proven himself time and again to be knowledgeable in local, national and global education related issues. He has developed a reputation for shaking the tree of education bureaucracies. For that, I applaud him. Yes, there are many good things happening in the Federal Way school district, but there are still a lot of ineffective practices that need to be altered.

As a parent, I do not take issue with Charlie not attending a high school graduation ceremony. I take more issue with board member Earl VanDorien’s grandstanding, by bringing a private, confidential conversation to the public spotlight.

There were, in fact, several students who graduated last spring who did not possess the skills to be viable members of society. Some of this is the result of the disjointed curriculum and experimentation at all levels of K-12 education. Much more is attributed to lack of solid parental support. This is a reality of our present-day Federal Way community. It is not an indictment of an individual on the School Board.

As an aside, I would be surprised if more than 5 percent of the graduating class even knew the names of the board members, let alone cared if they attended.

Another statement in the Mirror indicated that some staff members might resign if Charlie were selected as the next board president. For this, I say that it is unfortunate that some individuals may not have the gumption to work through disassociated ideas. After all, the board president’s tenure and influence is limited, being one of five members.In the past several years, I have not seen any great strokes of genius coming from any recent board presidents that resulted in turning the tide of our educational failures. Why not give someone else an opportunity? It is fair and right that Charles Hoff be given full consideration by his co-board members to serve a term as board president.

Larry Paterson

Federal Way

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