The Carlisle Mosquito Online

Friday, February 16, 2007

Teacher tells her side

To the Editor:

I don't know what the Mosquito's standards are for the veracity of charges lobbed by letter writers, but Liam McNeill's recent diatribe was so full of falsehoods, I feel compelled to set the record straight. I don't think most of my students would agree with Mr. McNeill's portrayal of me as an evil Svengali bending their weak little minds to my will. In fact, I think they would laugh out loud at that depiction. First, Mr. McNeill implies that all major papers in my course were about Democratic presidents. The biggest paper of my course requires the students to read and analyze a presidential biography. The year Mr. McNeill took my course, the students had five choices of books, three of which were actually about Republicans, although Mr. McNeill, for whatever reason, voluntarily chose to read about a Democratic president. The students' favorite assignment involves researching potential presidential candidates in the next election and predicting who will win the nominations. Mr. McNeill took my course in the fall of 2001. It was clear President Bush would be the Republican candidate in 2004, so we focused on the Democratic challengers. This year, the students discussed the viability of McCain, Giuliani and Romney as well as some of the Democratic possibilities. If a Democrat takes the White House in 2008, we will focus on Republicans for a few years. The assignment varies each year according to the political realities at the time.

Regarding the trip some of my students and I made to New Hampshire to attend a meet and greet with Democratic Senator Evan Bayh, we received a personal invitation to attend this event as a result of some of my students posting comments on the Senator's web site. To their credit, about 15 students trekked to Manchester on a Saturday night, thrilled at the prospect of experiencing the retail politics of New Hampshire, firsthand. It was an amazing educational opportunity and the kids and some parents got the chance to evaluate the role of New Hampshire in the primary process and meet a United States Senator. Rest assured, if we get an invitation to meet any top Republican contender, my students will leap at the opportunity, as will I. Perhaps since Mr. McNeill had absolutely no firsthand knowledge of this event, he should have restrained himself from leaping to rash and erroneous conclusions. After all, he wouldn't want to appear biased.

Tracy A. Davies
Concord-Carlisle High School

Center Park update

To the Editor:

The Friends of Carlisle Center Park are grateful for the community enthusiasm and support that have brought us to 87% of our goal! To date, all gifts — from $10 to $10,000 — indicate a generous community that will assure completion of this project.We are finalizing estimates, ordering benches, and eagerly anticipating the transformation of our six tenths of an acre into Carlisle Center Park in early April. Magnificent designs for the extended flower bed around the oak tree and a larger flower bed near the fence have been created by landscape designer Maria von Brincken APLD. Bob and Love Seawright have generously offered to donate lilies for the park.With less than $10,000 needed to reach our goal, if you haven't sent in your check or gift of securities, we hope you will do so now. We would like to hear from 100 more donors by March 1; it is not too late to participate in "growing our park." Center Park is everyone's park, and we hope you will make your gift soon.April is only two months away — then Spring! Send donations to Friends of Carlisle Center Park, PO Box 55, Carlisle, MA 01741-0055.

Susan Pepple and Sabrina Perry
Campaign Co-Chairs

2007 The Carlisle Mosquito