The Carlisle Mosquito Online

Friday, June 22, 2007

Teachers' character and caring has been impressive

To the Editor:

Character and care trump almost any challenge. We should be hopeful, then, that something good will come of the present challenge facing teachers at the Carlisle Public School. We should be hopeful because the history of that school has been a history of having teachers with good character who really care. When my boys were students there, all of the teachers knew how to teach, but it was their character and care that impressed most. Who wouldn't be impressed by finding Mrs. Walker and Mrs. Greenwood at family recitals and soccer games? Who wouldn't be impressed by Mr. O's comical ways of instilling pride in his musicians ("Play it right, or I'll send you all to Concord")? Who wouldn't be impressed by Mrs. Gray's spirited but horrible basketball? Who wouldn't be impressed to learn that Mr. Gale had encouraged their child to re-design Fenway Park? And who wouldn't be impressed to find Mr. Zuckerman as the star in their child's film - of him feigning a tantrum over finding his snack stolen. The Carlisle teachers have not, then, been simply about good teaching. They have also been about good living. They know how to create a community. So, we should give the teachers all the support they need to find a way out of this present predicament and make our school and Carlisle community even better than before.

W. George Scarlett
Partridge Lane

Public letter to the School Committee

The following letter was sent to the School Committee on June 15, 2007 and is printed here at the writer's request:

To the School Committee:

Given the systematic disregard of the concerns of the CTA by Marie Doyle over the past three years, as defined by the CTA in their recently publicized press release in the Mosquito, how could you possibly express regret that the CTA did not first address these concerns directly to the administration (Marie Doyle)? Their position, articulately expressed, seems to be one in which they describe that many of their concerns over the past three years expressed to the Administration have been consistently ignored. To express regret that the CTA did not once again go to the administration with their concerns comes across as disingenuous political correctness. It is clear to me as a citizen that the lines of communication and understanding are broken between the administration (represented by Marie Doyle) and the CTA. Given your responsibility in this matter, specifically the hiring and continued support of the superintendent, this is not a time to publicly express politically correct platitudes. Our children deserve a School Committee that is committed to resolving the broken down relationship between the administration and the CTA. It is a time for the School Committee to ensure that entrenched positions are not defensively and stubbornly adhered to at the expense of the students. The situation requires an honest, critical, open minded approach to actively manage and resolve the differences of the Administration and the CTA. Given the recent new additions to the School Committee, I would like to extend a message of hope that the difficult decisions that lie ahead will be made with wisdom.

Jeffrey S. Bloomfield
Aberdeen Drive

Ed. note: Those who wish to reach members of the School Committee can do so at

Center Park perks up

To the Editor:

This week the perennials were planted in the two flower beds so that each day Center Park is closer to completion. We are delighted that the four growers in Carlisle have been generous and are represented in the park: Bob and Love Seawright, Bedford Road; Leo and Pam Blanchette of Blanchette Gardens, Rutland Street; Marty Schafer and Jan Sacks, gardens on Acton Street; and Mark and Kathy Phillippo, Phillippo Gardens opening July 15 (aka Rainbow Mums) on East Street. Additionally, Carlisle residents, Peter and Terri Mahoney of Mahoney's Garden Centers, and Gerard's on Route 2 near 128 have been generous in their gifts to the Park.

We are also grateful for the special donations toward our fundraising goal. There are naming opportunities: the two classic teak benches which will weather to grey in the center flower bed are available to honor a loved one. There is still time before the June 30 dedication on Old Home Day to make a tax deductible gift to this lovely, peaceful park. For more information, call 781-259-9104 or

Sabrina Perry
Chair, Carlisle Center Park Project

Address the school situation now

To the Editor:

I felt great sadness and also hope when I read the letter from the Carlisle Teacher's Association in this past Friday's Mosquito. I am sad that the teachers had to resort to this method of communication after so many other attempts had been ignored, and it is with hope that this will finally be the impetus that is needed to recognize that there is a problem. I empathize with the teachers and I believe that this is not just a case of a "whiny few" — 54 to 3 is not a close vote but instead practically unanimous.

How could we have gone, in such a short time, from a top school in the state where parents and teachers were happy and where teachers wanted to work, to one that is in dysfunction, teachers are leaving and we are the subject of media coverage both locally and in the Boston Globe? How many more teachers do we need to lose? With this current climate covered in the media, how are you going to recruit to replace them? I doubt top candidates will apply.

As was suggested in last week's e-mail from the School Committee to the parents, I hope these clearly articulated concerns are taken seriously this time. My question is how do the opinions of parents and all taxpayers get heard? The School Committee is the elected body and is supposed to vote the opinions of the electorate. We can write, we can attend meetings, but how are we heard?

I hope that in the near future we can learn about both sides of this issue and find some common ground based on the best interests of the students, faculty, administration and parents. I look forward to moving beyond this current situation and getting some resolution to the current environment that cannot be healthy for anyone. I have been a spectator to this situation up until now, but can do so no longer. We need to address this situation and do it now.

I am a mother of three school-aged children and a proud graduate of the Carlisle Public Schools.

Heidi Harring
Acton Street

Writers urge School Committee action

To the Editor:

Our family has lived in Carlisle for 14 years. Both of our sons attended the Carlisle Public Schools; one for six years and one for nine years. Throughout that time the school provided an array of wonderful experiences. From field trips and Outdoor Ed. to the Spaghetti Supper and the seventh grade play to the spectacular Carlisle music program, there were always incredible opportunities for the boys to get involved. But much more importantly, there were wonderfully committed teachers and administrators who prepared them superbly for high school and beyond while supporting their growth and development throughout elementary and middle school. Move-Up Day was always greeted with anticipation and excitement, as we were secure in the knowledge that next year's teachers would be just as dedicated and supportive while posing exciting new challenges. It was common knowledge that the seventh grade teaching team not only guided their students through this difficult year, but taught every one of them how to write well and think creatively. The Carlisle Public Schools may not have had the best facilities or the best technology, but there was a clear investment in staff members. These people made the school a phenomenal experience for both of our boys.

The number of veteran teachers and administrators who have left in the past two years is an ominous sign. The vote of no confidence from the ones still here confirms, in an overwhelmingly declarative way, that there must be a change in the administration. School administration and strategic direction are critical. We urge the School Committee to take action now before an excellent school becomes a mediocre one.

Rick Daniels, Paula von Kleydorff
Chris Daniels CPS '01,
Alex Daniels CPS '06
School Street

Correction to ConsCom report

To the Editor:

In the June 15 article about ConsCom's approval of two projects at the state park, a comment citing the downstream location of the Billerica town water supply from the project site was misattributed to me. The reporter's sentence connoted that I believed this project, if constructed with CCA (chromated copper arsenate treated) wood, could have impacted Billerica's supply. First, I did not make the comment regarding Billerica's supply, and second, I certainly do not believe that the originally proposed project could have had any impact on Billerica's water supply. I did suggest that the state use ACQ (alkaline copper quarterary) wood for the entire project. While CCA woods may still have some appropriate industrial and commercial applications when they can be properly sealed and maintained, ConsCom has long supported use of ACQ for residential and recreational applications as a good means of avoiding introduction of arsenic into the immediately local wetlands environment.

The Commissioners deliberate to make careful assessments of likely project impacts. I wouldn't want the public to think that this misreported sentence represents what we think good science and engineering are.

Tricia Smith
Indian Hill Road
ConsCom member

COA grateful to the Concord -Carlisle Community Chest

To the Editor:

The Carlisle Council on Aging (COA) would like to acknowledge and give our heartfelt appreciation to the Concord-Carlisle Community Chest for awarding us a very generous grant again this year. This grant assists us in supporting several specific programs of the COA, and this year will support a new initiative and collaborative effort with the Gleason Public Library to take library books, tapes, movies and other materials from the Library to homebound and frail elders. This grant will enable the COA to ensure that we meet our mission statement "To continually improve the quality of life for the seniors living in Carlisle." If not for grants such as this from the Concord-Carlisle Community Chest, we would not be able to provide some of these programs and services that are so crucial to our seniors. We are grateful for all your hard work and commitment to the town of Carlisle.

Kathy Mull
Carlisle COA

Thanks for a successful garden tour

To the Editor:

On behalf of the Carlisle Garden Club, I am writing to thank the citizens of Carlisle for their hospitality to our visitors during last weekend's Country Gardens Tour.Three hundred tour goers from area towns and neighboring states shared the pleasant experience of a summer day in our pretty town.

It is wonderful to see how the community came forward — homeowners offered their beautiful gardens, dozens of businesses paid to advertise in the tour guide, and Gleason Public Library hosted the "Carlisle Gardens and Beyond" art exhibit featuring the works of seven garden club members (the exhibit continues through Old Home Day). We were pleased to see Stewart Design Group hold an open house during the tour and refresh many with their lemonade and cookies.And a special thank you to Larry and Robin at Ferns Country Store for their free panel of gardening experts on the piazza each day of the tour.

The Tour is the single largest fund raising activity of the Garden Club.Nearly 40 volunteers worked for two years to make the tour run smoothly.The funds raised will support the many civic beautification and education activities of the Garden Club. For the next few months, Garden Club members will be in their gardens but will return in September with a full year of educational programs on plants, ecology, cooking and garden design.We welcome new members.

For more information on the Garden Club and our many activities, please visit us at

Susan Pepple
Chair, Carlisle Country Gardens Tour
Cecile Sandwen
Immediate Past President,
Carlisle Garden Club
Judy Lane
President, Carlisle Garden Club

2007 The Carlisle Mosquito