Editor, Townsman:

As a former Andover teacher, I am likely beyond the reach of the superintendent’s retaliation, so I will say what the teachers of Andover dare not. Given Sheldon Berman’s apparent penchant for the punitive, theirs is a sensible precaution.

I have never seen a building thrive like West Middle School. Its team structure is a model for others, and academic excellence is the norm. Art, music and statements affirming people’s faith, heritage and identity are championed.

As we headed into the summer, Principal Timothy Corkery, a good man and capable administrator, told the West Middle School staff that “this was a hard year, but I think we haven’t experienced the hardest part yet."

Sadly he was right. Incredibly, the cause of the hardship isn’t COVID-19 but is instead the toxic environment being caused by his superior, who rarely listens to teachers and recently punished his community for advocating for their students.

If Berman’s goal was to cause the town's most caring educators to leave, what better actions could one take than what he's said to have done?

Andover’s educators worked outside on Aug. 31 to draw attention to safety concerns. After completing their work, they were informed their pay would be docked. It’s reported that Berman also removed the portable toilets teachers brought, and locked the school’s doors so that teachers couldn’t use those restrooms either.

What type of man does something like this? If true, it is cruel, petty and brutish.

Would you have confidence working under this man?

Adam DeSimone

Watertown

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