Dave S | Seven Days | Vermont's Independent Voice

Dave S 
Member since Oct 19, 2016



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Re: “Burlington High School Guidance Director Has His Say at Hearing

I feel sorry for Mr Macias because he was hired for a position he was clearly not qualified for, as described in the BHS Register last week:

In 2016 Macias applied for a middle school assistant principal position. Instead, Nikki Fuller, the Burlington School District Director of Human Resources, recommended him for the position of Director of Guidance at BHS.

She thought I was a good candidate to be the director of school counseling, Macias said. I did such a good job in the other interview in which they wanted to bring more diversity to the school as well as to the [guidance] departmentI got hired.

It seems to me this is the missing piece from this story. This poor guy's life is ruined because of overreach on the part of BSD Administration. Did he do a bad job? Yes. Would he (and BHS students) have ended up in this position if the BSD Administration had hired a qualified candidate? No.

Link to the Register Story: https://bhsregister.com/markley-and-macias…

27 likes, 2 dislikes
Posted by Dave S on 12/17/2018 at 8:26 AM

Re: “Despite Controversy, Burlington Principal Plans to Vet Student Newspaper Stories

Dear 7D, VTDigger and BFP: Some sort of in-depth reporting on the crisis at BSD, and specifically BHS, is long overdue. I would start with the hiring of superintendent Obeng by Stephanie Seguino, followed by the punch-to-the-stomach demotion of Amy Mellencamp, followed by the rise and fall of Tracey Raicott, followed by the surprise appointment of Noel Green as Principal this summer, followed by the complete incompetence at so many levels with Mario Macias. And I'm sure this is just the tip of the iceberg at BHS. In addition to the guidance team, how many other teachers have left in the past few years?

And what about musical chairs at BHS Central Office? District-wide, how has the district administration changed during Obeng's tenure? How many administrative positions have been added or deleted? How many people have "retired" or left, and how have their replacements been chosen? How much turnover has their been among leadership positions at individual schools?

The turmoil facing Burlington schools is not normal. While we all focus on the latest crisis, it would be extremely useful to take a long-term view of what got us into this mess in the first place. This is the kind of quality reporting that only Vermont news outlets can provide.

35 likes, 1 dislike
Posted by Dave S on 09/15/2018 at 10:26 AM

Re: “Censorship of Burlington School Newspaper May Have Violated Law

With the article still censored as of 9:30 Thurdsday, it gave me some time to read some of the other excellent articles by Register staff. Everyone should take a look at this op-ed by one of the editors, which begins like this:

With senior year comes newfound freedom, fun traditions, and the ever-present excitement of graduation. In addition to these exciting aspects of being in 12th grade, there is one thing that most students at Burlington High School (BHS) tend to like the most about their senior year: the lack of academic responsibility. While not having to worry too much about the pressures of academic life has been a large gift of my senior year, I can not help but wonder: will I be prepared for the academic rigor of college?

Read the full article here:

Leadership at BHS is seriously lacking. My kids' experience at Burlington's elementary and middle schools was fantastic from start to finish. AT BHS, all I have is a slim hope that they get through to graduation without too much damage to their future academic careers. Sad!

16 likes, 0 dislikes
Posted by Dave S on 09/13/2018 at 9:42 AM

Re: “Burlington Considers Upgrading Its High School — for $70 Million

Is the BSD bumbling their way through this process, like most things? Yes. Does Burlington need a new high school? Absolutely.

My kids worked their way through Burlington's elementary and middle schools, and, although the buildings had their issues, the facilities were adequate. I assumed the high school would be the same. Boy was I wrong.

Once you get past the gym and auditorium, which are in OK shape, the buildings on the hill --where most of the learning takes place--are absolute dumps. My son would talk about how they had to have the windows open during class because it was 90 degrees in the classroom...and this is in February. My daughter would talk about how no one in high school uses lockers, not because they are suddenly uncool, but because they are all broken and unusable. Tour the school's science labs, and it is like stepping back in time with all 1960s-era equipment. Everything from the posters on the wall to the specimens in cases is decades old.

I totally get the lack of trust between the district and city residents, but in this case the district has it right. Burlington needs a new high school.

19 likes, 11 dislikes
Posted by Dave S on 08/02/2018 at 8:45 AM

Re: “South Burlington Motel Residents Worry About Its Planned Demolition

Is Mr Vallee aware that the proposed station lies within the imperiled Potash Brook watershed? As a concerned environmentalist who has successfully stalled the opening of Costco's gas station in Colchester for the past decade because of environmental concerns,, I know water quality is a top concern of his. Oh, and traffic too. The new gas station might require a widening of I-189 to accommodate the additional traffic it will generate. I hope this project gets the full scrutiny from community members and regulatory agencies that it so rightly deserves.

31 likes, 3 dislikes
Posted by Dave S on 06/20/2018 at 9:04 AM

Re: “Some Councilors Cry Foul As Obeng Gets Residency Exemption

The residency requirement is outdated and should be dropped for all non-elected Burlington officials. By limiting applicants to Burlington residents, the pool of qualified applicants shrinks to near zero for these leadership positions. When the applicant pool is tiny, then the city ends up with less qualified employees, which benefits neither the city nor its residents. It's time to drop the rule.

8 likes, 12 dislikes
Posted by Dave S on 05/16/2018 at 8:19 AM

Re: “Muslim Teen Poets Invited to Elks Club — Which Called the Cops

It seems to me there are three things going on here, and all you need to do is read the headline to capture all of them. The first is that these girls were invited to speak at the Elks Club. Invited. So that suggests that the Elks Club saw this as an opportunity to be inclusive and welcoming to everyone in our community. Thank you for trying, Elks Club.

The second thing is that some sexagenarian called the cops. Would he have done the same thing to a group of blonde white girls (or boys)? Maybe. We'll never know. I imagine it was a combination of both racisism and agism. Something we are all guilty of to some degree, whether we admit it or not.

The third thing is that maybe the girls were being disruptive while a meeting was going on inside. Is it OK for kids of any race/gender/age to carry on as they like, no matter what the circumstances? Is it possible the girls could have behaved better? What would you expect of your own children? I am only referring to behavior before Mr Decelles called the cops, not after. Then the rules change.

In the end I just wish we could all just see things as they are: complicated. There is a lot of gray area between black and white.

11 likes, 2 dislikes
Posted by Dave S on 05/10/2018 at 9:26 PM

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