Letters                                                                 Page 4


Reader Reply

Optimistic Outlook
In reading Nicholas Clement’s My View column (“My Stroke of Luck,” February 2012) about his dealing with a serious personal health issue, it is clear he is a wonderful optimist with so much to share. I’m glad that he has chosen to be a stroke patient and not a victim.

Clement’s column provides a sudden reality check to readers — yet the way he put the experience into words was so upbeat and even, at points, hilarious.

Administrative Assistant,
Educational Leadership Office,
Northern Arizona University,
Flagstaff, Ariz.

A shout-out to Nic Clement. His reflections and heedings in his My View column are sage advice. Thank you, Nic, for sharing the personal journey to help us all learn.

Clinical Assistant Professor of Educational Administration and Supervision,
Arizona State University,
 Tempe, Ariz.

Gifted Education
I concur completely with what Jane Clarenbach espoused in her article “All Gifted Is Local” (February 2007), which I recently found on your magazine’s website. I have been saying these sorts of things about serving special-needs students for years in my school district and have duly noted that all students deserve to be taught where they are rather than what is prescribed.

I have written an article for the winter edition of Teaching for High Potential that describes my experiences with my son Alex. He is now 23 and just received all A’s in his seven college classes, yet he was bullied and misunderstood in public school, even at the high school where I taught!

Alex initially was diagnosed with ADHD and “acute” giftedness, but then I discovered Asperger’s syndrome on a website that provided a checklist of characteristics. I then collaborated with his doctor to enable his teachers to complete it. He was the first diagnosed student with Asperger’s syndrome in the Hall County, Ga., Public Schools. Had I not advocated for him, Alex would not be the successful young man he is today.

Assistant Principal,
West Hall High School,
Oakwood, Ga.

Jane Clarenbach’s article is excellent. Now how can we go about finding funding to support what we say we need to be doing? Teachers want to provide for all their students, but with the pressure of making sure 100 percent of their students are proficient, our high-achieving students are left to study on their own or help other, low-achieving students become proficient.

If we want our nation to be No. 1 again, we need to focus at least the same amount of effort and resources on helping our advanced students grow and perform at a level that is above that of the average student. High expectations reap advanced growth.

Learner Facilitator,
Papillion-La Vista Schools,
Papillion, Neb.

Superintendent Evaluation
I enjoyed reading Tom Owczarek’s article “Revamping Our Evaluation” (December 2011) regarding the changes in the process of evaluating the superintendent in the Fitzgerald School District in Warren, Mich.

I found his writing especially useful because I serve as a new member on the superintendent evaluation committee of the board in the Sault Ste. Marie Area Public Schools in Michigan. As we look to improve our process and to address student achievement in the evaluation process, I look forward to reviewing additional materials shared by Owczarek about his process.

It sounds like he and his colleagues took a thoughtful and data-informed approach, and I would like to see our board move in that direction.

Vice President of Enrollment Services,
Lake Superior State University,
Sault Ste. Marie, Mich.

Letters should be addressed to:
School Administrator
1615 Duke St.
Alexandria, VA 22314
Fax: 703-841-1543


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