Editor, Townsman:

I, like most parents of students who are graduates of South Elementary School, am bewildered and sad to hear of the current issues affecting its teachers.

The teachers at South deserve this community’s support. I spent 11 years as a South School parent and was grateful every day that my children were there. Every teacher was dedicated not only to the school and to teaching, but also to the children. From the moment my children entered kindergarten, they were embraced and by the warmth of these amazing teachers. It is well established that this group of professionals are incredible educators – the MCAS scores and other data-driven indicators show that. But this group of teachers does so much more than that, during school and on their own time.

It would be impossible to find a student who does not have a story of how one or more of these teachers went above and beyond – from visiting sick students at home and at the hospital, attending a drama performance or little league game, offering comfort and hugs whenever needed -- the list goes on and on. The vast majority of South teachers who taught my college-age son are still there, and are just as dedicated to the school and its current students.

I do not know what has happened over the last few years since I left, and I do not know the specific nature of the issue at hand because it is (justifiably) a confidential matter, but I do know this: If the administration does not support this phenomenal group of teachers in every way that it can, the current and future students of South School will be the losers. It makes me sad to think that these young children may not have access to the same community of dedicated educators that my children had. It is a special, unique community that is one of the treasures of our town.

I urge the administration to support these teachers. We all know that there are no good schools – there are only good teachers. And these teachers are good.

SUSAN HOFFMAN

Andover

 

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