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October 31, 2012

News and Tribune letters: Oct. 31, 2012



Former teacher says ‘thank you’ to Sexton

After 40 years of school teaching, I retired in 2011. In my last year, James Sexton, the recently removed principal of Jeffersonville High School was my boss.

I have no doubt Sexton was hand-picked by the former superintendent, Stephen Daeschner, to shake up things at JHS. Business as usual was at an end. Complacency and accommodation of failure were not to be tolerated. As a result, toes were going to be stepped on. Enemies made.

Sexton demanded professionalism. He wanted respect. Friendship could come later. Though he certainly wasn’t perfect, he was perfect for the job.

He came to the job indebted to one person, the superintendent, an outsider like himself. In a unique situation, he was given free rein to make the decisions he felt would get at what was holding back JHS. Said differently, he operated completely outside of the “good old boy network.”

Sexton did the job he was hired to do. It’s unfortunate that he wasn’t allowed to finish it. No doubt his replacement will get off to a faster start due to the progress now in place. Hopefully now that the bloodletting is over, a new foundation exists but, I wonder.

With the exception of board member Nancy Kraft’s comments, the rest of our school board elected leadership have remained silent on the matter. Some questions must be asked. What does our local educational community really want from our schools? What were the new superintendent’s marching orders? Why haven’t any of the new candidates for school board voiced their opinions about what happened to Daeschner? Why haven’t those running for re-election made their views known on these matters?

Lastly, Mr. Sexton. For a man so deep in his career to take on the job you did, our community owes you a collective thank you and an apology. You were the right man for the job. You left the school in much better condition than you found it

Can this decision be reversed?

— Ken Miller, Charlestown

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