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Letter: Impressed by Windsor High

To the Editor:

After a two-week stint as a replacement French teacher, I have experienced the rekindling of an enormous respect for what good teachers do daily at Windsor High. Whatever fool came up with the “Tier-Two School” designation for Windsor High and spawned the ensuing negative stigma that echoed throughout the Upper Valley got it all wrong.

After just two weeks, I sense the same underlying educational fervor of the ’70s and ’80s that permeated the town among the present faculty. This is not flattery. I watched fully engaged teachers, serious students and real cooperation and collaboration among staff members — the list goes on. It’s my guess that the attitude of respect among faculty and students, along with the innate professionalism of the staff, is what helped the school endure when its reputation was under attack. In conversations with teachers, they alluded to a lack of integrity and leadership on the administrative level over the past however many years.

If that was the problem, the troubles are over. The school now has a principal that, with the cooperation of the staff, is going to make it all work. I have known Principal Fariel since her days as a student. I watched her career bloom as a teacher and, later, as an administrator in the Rivendell School District. In all those years, I never once heard an untruth issue from her. She will gain people’s trust, and she will never betray it. In the conversations she had with teachers that I witnessed, her message was clear: “I hear what you’re saying. I trust you as a professional. I’ll get out of your way, and let me know what I can do to help.” There is no better formula for success than that.

I observed the faculty’s care, compassion and expertise in providing a top-tier educational experience. There is no need to wish the staff good luck. They don’t need it. Everyone will soon begin to understand what they do and how well they do it. Windsor High will quickly shed the “Tier-Two” albatross.

Andy Lory

West Fairlee