Friday, April 6, 2012

Should He Stay or Should He Go?

Ken O’Brien

A week ago I quite innocently acted on a tip from a friend about the fact that Southbridge School Superintendent Eric Ely had applied for a position elsewhere.

To my absolute shock and surprise the resulting article has become, in one week, the second most read article in the history of the O’Zone.

There was a flood of comments, many of which revealed a deeply-seated antipathy toward elements of the current school administration, particularly at Southbridge High School. 

In the course of those comments I was made aware of an arbitration case that involved the dismissal of a former math teacher at the high school.

I have admitted on many occasions that I do not consider myself any kind of expert on education matters. I do think, however, that I am a fair and open-minded individual (although I’m sure there are many who would say otherwise).

Whatever the case, I sought and received a copy of the arbitration report and made it available for all interested parties to read and formulate their own judgments.

It was clear that the reviews quickly broke down into two camps; those saying the principal should go and those who defended his actions.

Now, with the vast majority of comments being made anonymously, it is difficult to evaluate the true balance of sentiment among the general public. For all I know (and this is the honest truth) all the comments on one side or the other could have come from one person. The way the posting mechanism works on blogspot I have no indication whatsoever of the source of the post.

I do know, however, that the polling mechanism offered as a Google gadget is reasonably reliable in limiting responses to a single participant (although it is not entirely foolproof).

Consequently I am going to run a poll asking whether, in your opinion, the current Southbridge High School principal should stay or leave. I think that such a question is appropriate in light of recent developments as well as the upcoming launch of the new middle and high school.

I will leave the poll open for one week to allow for the widest possible participation. I want to stress that this is not a scientific survey and any results must be reviewed in light of that caveat.


As with comments, I have no idea of who is voting and how, and consequently you are guaranteed anonymity.




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71 comments:

  1. Bishop to Knighty-Knight 4.
    Pawn takes Bishop.

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  2. Let’s see who has the guts to show up at next weeks SM meeting and actually say something. I’ll bet the wimps lose again.

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  3. Theres a town sanctioned S&M meeting?

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  4. I meant to say SC meeting.

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  5. Oh. Now I'm not interested in going. It was more interesting the other way!

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  6. S&M /SC it is hard to tell the difference. This fab 4 group is in love with Bill Bishop and will circle the wagons even in the face of this truth. The old nothing to see move along discussion complete with dogs and ponies and perhaps a band performance.

    In Mr Lazo's words, "I HAVE NO FAITH IN THIS SCHOOL COMMITTEE!"

    A Diploma with Mr. Bishop's name on it is a sad return for 12 years of student work.

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    Replies
    1. Mr. Bishop should be at the next school committee and he should be questioned about this horrible situation. We need Transparency!!!

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    2. What would be the point? Do you think any of the people who post as "anonymous" would have the courage to come out in public?

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  7. Why are we not allowing Mr. Ely to make the decision on Mr. Bishop's future. The school committee hired him and they should allow him to do his job.
    Mr. Jovan, Dr. O'Leary, Ms.Dominko; If someone falsesified a report in your chosen profession, what would happen to them? Mr. Jovan, If a police officer falsefied a report and the person went to jail; what would happen to the officer?
    Ms. Dominko, If a researcher falsified research; what would happen to them? Dr.O'Leary, do I need to say more.
    It is not a procedural flaw that Mr Bishop has to worry about. It is his lies, and for that the superintendent should be allowed to do his job. Dr.O'Leary and Ms. Dominko, stop with the theatrics that you diplayed during the school committee meeting when you so visiously went after Mr Ely. Everyone knows what you are trying to do. No matter how hard you try to paint a rosy picture and say it was procedural, it won't work. Lies are lies.The sad part is that you are in so deep with Mr. Bishop that I think you can't make a sensible decision. So I say to you, let Mr. Ely do his job.
    Mr. Bishop acted as judge and jury and has sent Mr. Jacobson
    packing by stating falsehoods. The arbitrators words, not mine. Dr.O'Leary, you are a healer. DO you EVER wonder what Mr.Jacobson went through when he read all those vicious lies about himself? Do you Mr.Jovan and Ms. Dominko? He was sent to a jail. Not the county jail, but to Bishop's jail. Remember, we are all responsible for our own actions.Let him be responsible for his,and allow Mr. Ely to do his job. Dr. O'Leary, Mr. Jovan and Ms. Dominko,stop all this.This is not worth pitting teacher against teacher. What was done to Mr Jacobson was wrong.He may have been a little different, but he did not deserve what he got. All he did was question how some discipline issues were handled; and for that he paid the price of Bishop's wrath.Let's not forget the true victim, Mr Jacobson. Lets not forget that a pricipal should not cost the taxpayers money for his mistakes.Lets not forget that he tried to ruin another man's life just so he could utter those famous words of his,Bye-Bye.

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  8. Zotos, wow sounds like mr jacobson amd i have a lot
    In common
    Bye bye bish

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  9. BB + BS = Skeletons in the closet

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  10. If a police officer falsified a report, and an innocent person went to jail, the police officer would be promoted in Southbridge.

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  11. I was told BB went home early yesterday claiming possible medical issues. Is that true?

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    Replies
    1. if he did he must be sitting in front of his computer voting for himself. His stay numbers increased dramatically over night.

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  12. Must see TV, tonite's school committee meeting.

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    1. LOL...With all the reality TV shows out there now; Southbridge should sell some of the classic tapes of town council and school committee meetings. We need to make money somehow to pay for all the lawyer fees spent due to decisions our illustrious elected officials made.

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    2. Stephen Sondheim's - "Send in the Clowns"

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  13. His stay vote went from 12 to 31 between 2pm and 2:30 pm today. What coincides with that timeline?

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  14. How many computers are in the high school?

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    1. Good question. I know once I voted my computer was locked out. Maybe somebody should check how many computers at the school are locked out.

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    2. Would it require an admin password to access this blog on a school system computer?

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    3. aka Jester

      What about Cell Phones?

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    4. There’s something fishy aabout a 200% increase in BBs favorable vote in one hour.

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    5. There was something fishy about the 71 that voted GO too

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    6. It's clear that theres an effort to rig this poll before tonights school committee meeting.

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    7. It took almost 4 days for 71 Go votes. It only took an hour to triple the Stay votes.
      What kind of maroon doesn't see something fishy in that comparison?

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    8. aka Jester

      Quickly, head down to the Local Library cause they have (8) Computers there.

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    9. maroon? moron?

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    10. Have you ever shopped on Ebay? Things move quicker towards the end.

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    11. maroon? moron?
      Are you the only maroon who never saw a Bugs Bunny cartoon?

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    12. Funny how so many people are so quick to jettison a 30 year veteran of a school system over the quite legal dismissal of a teacher that, by most accounts, was not serving our students well. Perhaps the high school's performance numbers are better than expected is because BB and the high school teachers are doing a good job. Shame on Southbridge once again for trying to derail a train headed in the right direction.

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    13. "Have you ever shopped on Ebay? Things move quicker towards the end."

      Yeah, but check again. The poll has over three days left to go.

      Or is the end tonight's meeting?

      This just goes to show what people will stoop to to cover Bishop's rear end.

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    14. I don't know where your certainty comes to draw a conclusion that describes my comment as something to cover someones' "rear end"? Apparently you are on a mission to uncover someones rear end, regardless if it's rightful or not. And also I don't quite understand why or how you see this poll as important in the wake of tonight's meeting.

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    15. If somebody could show that school computers were used to access this poll and it can be proved who did it, wouldn't that verge on criminal behavior?

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    16. School Committee's daughter posting it on Facebook....they are probably all in it together!

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    17. Why hasn't this info been in the paper yet? It really needs to go public. The more people who know the better.

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    18. “I don't know where your certainty comes to draw a conclusion that describes my comment as something to cover someones' "rear end"? Apparently you are on a mission to uncover someones rear end, regardless if it's rightful or not. And also I don't quite understand why or how you see this poll as important in the wake of tonight's meeting.”

      I invalidated your premise that “Have you ever shopped on Ebay? Things move quicker towards the end.”

      I showed that the only end you could have in mind is the fallout tonight.

      Despite the fact the premise that justified your conclusions has been invalidated you continue to stick to your subsequently unjustifiable conclusions.

      You need a course in basic logic.

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    19. You are too quick to jump into conclusions. You just have to wait for the end. So sit back, relax and enjoy the ride. If you think this is quick, then you are in for a real treat once the end approaches. Things will move even quicker. If votes tripled in one hour now, they will quadruple in 5 minutes towards the end. All you have to do is slow down and not jump into conclusions.

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    20. How could this be crimnal? Let's see if they can find who did it if it happened. If they can find that and can show an interest in advancing BB's fortunes that would be use of public property for personal gain. It needs to be investigated.

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    21. Private property for personal gain! Can't stop that one ;) I'll take the 5th.

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    22. Not private property - PUBLIC PROPERTY.

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    23. no, you're wrong. Private property will be, has been, and will continue to be used to support Bishop!

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    24. The only thing that should be investigated here is the fact that these low-lifes are resorting to hacking and creeping around on a private Facebook account from TEENAGER to try and justify why their little "movement" is failing.

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    25. We'll see. If school owned computers were used to vote on this blog that's a misuse of public property. It will be investigated.

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    26. You mean more money will be spent to investigate posts on a blog that has absolutely zero weight on town matters?! Great use of resources.

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    27. When you start your investigation, maybe you should start with the superintendent's tablet pc, laptop, and phone. All provided by the town.

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  15. The reason why the poll numbers are going up is because many teachers at SHS support the good things that are happening at the school. There were many discussions today about the negativity of people who are just out to get Mr. Bishop. And, in doing so, discount the dedicated professionals who show up every morning and put in long hours after school to see that our students get a quality educational experience.

    There is more to education than just the results of MCAS and the various sets of statistics that can be twisted to suit the intent of the individual. Take the science teacher who is hatching chicken eggs in his classroom. Or, English teacher who tries to give the students an appreciation for Shakespeare or Mark Twain. Then there are the Social Studies Teachers who make every effort to make the connection between the problems of the past and the stuff that is hitting the headlines today...

    How about the Music and Art teachers who get the students to tap into that hidden talent and allows the students to express themselves in ways not measured by MCAS. And then, the Special Education teachers who probably have the toughest job in the school. They have to find ways to help students learn as much as they can and celebrate those, at times infinitesimal achievements, as if they were world shattering.

    You may say what does that have to do with Mr. Bishop? Well, let us use a band metaphor: We the teachers are the band members; we each play our instruments at various levels of competence, but we must have the band director to be able to even play the simplest tune together. And, that is what Mr. Bishop is and does. And, I think most of the teachers at SHS Support him. They may not like him personally, but they do respect him. That is the reason his poll numbers are going up.

    Finally, I think most teachers will not weigh in publicly is not in fear of retaliation from Mr. Bishop, but in fear of retaliation of our sad union leadership who doesn't seem to care about us.

    Signed

    A Teacher At SHS

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    1. Yeah, a teacher at SHS. As long as your anonymous your claim is not worth believing.

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    2. Neither is your comment for that matter, Anonymous. Nor mine - hah, so we're all even. Ain't it fun to tear down people when you don't have to face them?

      Perhaps the anonymous SHS teacher still has to deal with the union and I'll bet that comprises you. It's understandable why he/she wishes to remain that way in the face of vindictive members.

      If anyone ever makes a decision that affects anyone's livelihood based on anonymous polls or comments, that would be the ultimate insult. How would you like it if we constructed an anonymous poll on the internet as to whether you should stay or go as a teacher; then lobbied the administration to fire you because anonymous voters said you should be.

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    3. Oh Where to start -
      The negativity of people: People who just happen to speak the truth isn't negative. If the Truth happens to be negative so be it. Speaking the truth is the beginning for a better educational system without Bishop and the Flab 4.
      In no way shape or form is that putting dedicated classroom professionals down. Bishop and the Flab 4 are not professional. This is about putting an end to how the top of the totum pole mistreats those professionals who put in long hours after school so students can get a quality education and for bettering our school system.
      Of course your angst against the union leaders could be because a football coach who got these chairmen to negotiate a sweat heart deal for himself without going through the union was discovered and exposed.
      A union negotiates the rules for everyone where everyone is treated the same. Your special treatment by your football buddies will cost the tax payers a lot more in legal fees because you and yours went rogue and broke a negotitated contract. Read the first paragraph of your own contact you can't do what you did! You're going to lose the next arbitration too which means the tax payer also looses. You're just crying sour grapes at the expense of your peers and the tax payer. So go ahead stick to defending your buddies and exposing how much they continue to cost this town by their heavy handed tactics.

      I think the entire town is getting a quality educational experience in your BB & Flab 4 defense. Go ahead and respond it will keep the classroom lively!

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    4. Must confess ignorance about football coach issue. But, aren't those hires made by the superintendent?

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  16. can someone please explain to me how someone using school computers to vote on a "blogspot" poll could be considered criminal behavior?

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  17. The internet is open to the world. And some folks in the community might have a different point of view than the one of small minded people with a political axe to grind, like the ones who started this movement.

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    1. I may have been born at night but; it wasn't last night. Small minded people??? BB + Cronies + Fab 4 = Small Minded
      As for the "Movement" the people writing on this blog about the travesties BB and the Fab 4 have created over the years want an end to the "Bowel Movement".

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    2. Interesting definition of travesties: increases in student performance and college attendance from SHS, installation of state of art technology in education, increases in funding for textbook & curriculum revisions & professional development, new MS/HS school complex. Some heavy lifting was done to make all this happen. Indeed Fab 4 and the whole school committee on occasion was responsible. Your divisive attitude labeling a subset of school committee members is the problem. I bet your one of those who likes to burn rather than build. We builders have a voice too. I'd be interested to hear what other travesties these people have caused. BTW, Jacobson issue was not one.

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    3. Bottom line JJ...improved performance that falls short of Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP)is nothing to brag about. Under the leadership of BB, SHS did not achieve AYP for 2 CONSECUTIVE years thus; putting SHS into a restructuring status by the state - NOT GOOD. Average SAT scores: Critical Reading - high 300's out of 800, Writing - high 300's out of 800, Math - low 400's out of 800. Not even a median score.
      Bob the Builder - NOT.

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    4. Travesties - follow the money.
      I'm talking legal fees.

      An 8 year old case is still weaving it's way through court all these years later. $$$$$$$$$
      Another wronged teacher / same school committee.
      When you try to get rid of someone because you don't like them you best pick on someone who doesn't keep a daily journal of your tactics.
      Sadly there are more cases and legal fees to come. Like I said - follow the money
      That alone is a Travestity.

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    5. Wronged teacher from 8 years ago? Wasn't BB in the band then? Same school committee? Prencipe, Tarantino, Couture, Laliberte, Newell, Digegorio - almost the same SC. Those were the days. Maybe BB beat the Principal with a drum stick to get him to wrong that teacher.

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    6. To Anonymous Apr 11,2012 04:14 AM

      It wasn't quite 8 years ago. Dale Hanley was superintendent, and the school committee was the same as it is now except for O'Leary.

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  18. Wow, I missed quite a bit today!

    FIrst off, it's not criminal behavior to vote in a poll on a blog.

    Second, let's give the person who says that they are a teacher the benefit of the doubt. It is very possible that a group of people did get together. I doubt anyone has that many cellphones, tablets and computers with unique IP addresses that they could rig the poll.

    My reason? If that's the case, the same could happen on the other side.

    I don't know what to read into it, but perhaps he has more support than anyone knows.

    One thing I agree with: without anyone coming forward on either side, it's hard to know what to believe.

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    1. I would not put to much faith in internet polls. The polls are browsers based. If you have more then one browsers you can vote multiple times. You also can delete your cookie and re-vote. I think it would very interesting to see the times that the vote came in. I think that would be a better predictor of fraud. Plus the number of anonymous comment is very suspicious.

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  19. I think its so funny with what is going on with the vote...BB has at least a few friends. I wonder if they are at the Mill Street office

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  20. aka Jester

    Did the Jacobson Decision expose Bishop to a Civil Lawsuit?

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    1. Jester, i'm an attorney, yes it does.

      MC

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    2. aka Jester

      @ MC

      Thank you for taking the time to respond. Much appreciated!

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  21. All the talk of the "good old boys" on this site makes me crazy. Lazo, Bishop and others are nothing compared to Mr. Ely. Look for him tonight on match.com searching for his next wife. Isn't he still married? Its obvious what he really thinks about women.

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    1. With all the problems at SHS, why would SL worry about wether there are 1 or 2 lunch lines. Where did he get this infomation? Does he have a crony in the kitchen who wants to get paid more and work less? I will find out!!

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  22. Mr. Ely and School Committee,
    As you can see, this issue has gotten out of hand. You need to stop this insanity and you need to stop it immediately.
    Mr. Bishop will retire this year or next. Either way, he will receive a very lucrative pension and he will be off to where ever. The citizens of Southbridge and the students will be left behind to pick up the pieces. Mr. Ely and Mr. Jovan; you are the leaders of the school system at this time. Please show some leadership and put an end to this insanity. Let me help you with the facts:
    Mr. Bishop fired Mr. Jacobson. Mr. Jacobson did not agree with Mr. Bishop's summative evaluation, so he grieved it. An arbitrator was agreed upon by both Mr. Jacobson and the school district. Hearings were conducted and the arbitrator found that The Southbridge School District violated the parties collective bargaining agreement in the manner in which Mr. Bishop evaluated Mr. Jacobson.
    Then the question arises as to how did Mr Bishop violate the agreement? The arbitrator goes on to say: Principal William Bishop included statements that do not accurately reflect Mr. Jacobson's performance as it was "observed,evaluated,and documented".He also made statements about Mr. Jacobson's performance that are not based on any documentation, and made statements about Mr. Jacobson that are DEMONSTRABLY FALSE.The majority of the evaluation comes directly and accurately from classroom observations. But,the scattering of INACCURATE,MISLEADING,AND DEMONSTRABLY FALSE STATEMENTS, contaminates the entire report, creating an overall picture of Mr, Jacobson that does not reflect his actual perfomance as it was observed,evaluated,and documented.
    Mr. Ely and Mr. Jovan, this is the only information you should be paying attention to. You can't pay attention to unscientific polls, whether he is a bully, or his love life. It does not matter whether you like him or not.
    Stick to the facts, and then make a decision. You make the decision, not the public. You have to make the decision of whether Mr. Bishop has broken the trust a pricipal must have from teachers,students,and the citizens of Southbridge,not just the school committee.
    When all the smoke clears, will his decision about Mr. Jacobson have a positive or negative image on Southbridge High School?

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  23. Once this white elephant of a school is finished, let me suggest a name for it. The George Donner Memorial High School.
    Google “the Donner party”. It’s right on.

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  24. Wow... I guess more townies know about those "skeletons" that I had originally thought... interesting. I wonder what the BS has to say about all of this...

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  25. I believe Supt. Eric Ely should stay in Southbridge and do his job properly, and not get any re percussions from any member of the school committee. He was hired for the job so let him do it.I think he is by far the best Supt. we have had in the last 8 years

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