Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Giving Credit When Credit is Due: Supertintendent Mervilde Reverses Adminstrative Decision, Keeps Family Together in School

I spend a lot of time on my blog criticizing public officials for doing the wrong thing and sometimes omit mentioning when they do something right. A few months ago, I wrote a piece criticizing Washington Township School Superintendent James Mervilde for the proposed pay raise in his contract. That's standard fare for me - excessive school administrative salaries is one of my pet peeves. Dr. Mervilde is just one of many when it comes to being compensated handsomely and I'd say excessively.
Nonetheless, there are times when school administrators and superintendents like Dr. Mervilde do something that is right and should receive credit and often are not. Such a situation occurred today. Let me give the background.
My legal secretary, Briselda, had gone to Mexico for a couple years, and had returned recently. Her son, Irvyn is 7 years old and in second grade. Briselda moved in with her sister, Magaly, who live on the western side of Washington Township, about 5 minutes from Crooked Creek Elementary School.
Magaly has two children, Gabriel, 11 and Alexa, 6. When Harcourt Elementary closed, Washington Township School District gave her a choice of sending her kids to Spring Mill Elementary or the much closer Crooked Creek school. Magaly chose the Crooked Creek school.
When Briselda arrived, she went to enroll Irvyn in the Crooked Creek School At first the administrators at the school accepted Irvyn's application. Later though they changed their mind, saying since the house he lived in was technically in the Spring Mill district, Irvyn had to go there instead of Crooked Creek.
In short, the decision would divide up the household. Magaly's children would go to Crooked Creek, while a second bus would be sent to take Irvyn to Spring Mill.
Irvyn was very upset by the news. He had been excited about attending school with his cousins who had become like brother and sister to him. And now, because of a technicality, Washington Township was saying that he had to go to a school several miles away where he knew not a single person.
When he learned of the splitting up of the household, Superintendent Mervilde got involved and reversed the decision, exercising good judgment and more than a little bit of common sense. He realized that the decision of the Washington Township administration affected people's lives, and in the case of Irvyn, not favorably so. Thanks to Dr. Mervilde, Irvyn will be enrolled tomorrow in Crooked Creek. He and his mother are thrilled with the decision. Give credit when credit is due. Dr. Mervilde is deserving of credit on this one.

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