Peter Bassano on Why He is Leaving Board of Education after 13 Years

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I have been on the school board for 13 years.   I have decided that it is time to step down for several reasons but primarily because of my increased responsibilities and time commitment at work.

In order to do be an effective school board member and to add value to the process, the time commitment is substantial.  In addition to the meetings and the various other events requiring School Board presence, the considerable “homework” that needs to be done in order to make informed decisions usually means working late into the night.   This is far too important a job to do in a desultory manner.

While I am proud of the work we have done, I am also immensely frustrated by the many impediments to effective public education that a local school board can never overcome.

The changes that are so desperately needed in public education, more and more, seem out of reach and the misguided, politically expedient and usually ineffective solutions proffered by politicians in Albany and Washington fail to address directly the true problems with public education.

Moreover, these poorly crafted and horribly implemented “solutions” not only fail to correct the target problems but usually create new problems that further distract educators from the tasks at hand.

In my years on the Board, have had the opportunity to work with some extraordinary educators and gifted leaders – both in our schools and in our community.  They are people of integrity, people of honor and people who are eager to give their precious time for the greater good.  Working with these exceptional people has made me a better person.

I have great faith in, and tremendous admiration and affection for, the School Board members who are continuing on.  They are some of the smartest, most dedicated and honorable people with whom I have ever worked.

I am also thrilled that Dr. Paul Fried (incoming Superintendent of Schools) will be captaining the ship and Michele Schoenfeld, Clerk to the Board of Education will be his first mate.  I am confident that he is the right person to lead our district and that Michele will continue to be the district’s font of wisdom and experience.

Mostly, I will miss the kids.  I have also been privileged to witness firsthand how our schools transform the lives of the beautiful youngsters in our charge.  I will be forever grateful for this marvelous opportunity.

While being on the Board has certainly enriched my life, it is time to move to the next chapter.

Thank you John for your hard work.  There is little more important in the operation of our community than the free flow of truth.




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