Thursday, October 4, 2001
Jessica Lyons'' article about Salinas High School Principal Dr. Joseph Pawlick, entitled "Principal to a Fault" (Sept. 27), reads more like soap opera than journalism. Ms. Lyon''s petty remarks about Dr. Pawlick''s physical appearance are beneath contempt.
Ms. Lyons admitted to me in a phone interview that she was approached to write this article by a group of yearbook parents, students and the former yearbook advisor, Cynthia Hess. This group has sued Dr. Pawlick and the District over last year''s yearbook. Is it any wonder that they are attempting to discredit Dr. Pawlick and the District?
Nina Russo, former principal of Salinas High, was quoted as saying that the parents and School Site Council supported the yearbook. Ms. Russo was removed from her position at Salinas High over two years ago. Any implication that she speaks for the majority of Salinas High parents or the School Site Council is erroneous. The School Site council has taken no action supporting the contents of last year''s yearbook.
Many, many parents, students and staff members appreciate and support the tremendous progress made under the leadership of Dr. Pawlick. They are proud of Salinas High and look forward to achieving recognition as a California Distinguished High School.
Jean Schott, Salinas High School Site Council Member
Note: For the record, Jessica Lyons was not approached about this article by anyone outside the paper. She was assigned to write the story by her editor, and she contacted dozens of teachers, parents and students.
Pawlick: Good Guy
Some of the Weekly''s investigative reporting pieces have provided readers with thoughtful analysis that is often lacking in our daily newspapers. Your recent story on the allegations made by a few Salinas High students, teachers and parents is not one of them.
Your negative coverage of Salinas High comes at a time when most of the parents and students feel relieved that they can go to a school in Salinas that is now much safer, responsive to student needs, and geared toward providing the education students need for the 21st century. Through Dr. Pawlick''s support, teachers, students, parents and administrators have worked long and hard to achieve some notable accomplishments.
My son is a sophomore, and in the year that I have worked with Dr. Pawlick as a parent, he has been an example of calm, focused, methodical leadership in a world where it''s hard to find leadership that can stay focused on "the main thing." The main thing, we must remember, is preparing thousands of teenagers to become employable adults and responsible citizens in three to four years. This is the 21st century, not the ''70s. We want all the students at Salinas High to qualify for jobs that pay well enough to support them. We want more students to go to college. Teaching a small group of students to sue their bosses because they make unpopular or autocratic or perhaps a wrong decision dilutes our sense of purpose and costs the taxpayers money.
Dr. Pawlick is only the second principal I have met who has publicly promoted a large vision of what the school should be. I have felt honored to be around him, to learn how he manages to maintain that ability to "stay focused on the main thing," as well as attending to the day-to-day activities of running a large high school in a diverse community like Salinas.
Jacqueline Rosen, Music Teacher, Salinas Elementary School District
911 Not That Simple
Why? The question is on everyone''s lips. President Bush tells us that it was because we are the "brightest beacon for freedom and opportunity in the world" and that "they" want to destroy "our way of life." That is a very simplistic explanation. These extremists did not commit suicide over our economic success or the social fabric of our lives. I believe that they saw our policies and military presence in the Middle East as a threat to their religion and their way of life. "Martyrs" die in the cause of religion and personal beliefs, not in the cause of global economics. I am not trying justify their damnable actions, I am only trying to answer a small part of the question "Why?"
Helen V. Ogden, Pacific Grove
The article "Peace, Work" (News Briefs, 9/27) stated that an ordinance in Marina would mandate union-only hotels. That''s incorrect. The agreement would protect the right of workers join unions.
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