Gazette Ceases Publication: Donates Archives to LHS

In 2010, the Larchmont Gazette ceased publication. In 2011 the publishers donated all contents to the Larchmont Historical Society, which will continue to make the Gazette archives available online.

All inquiries should be addressed to the Larchmont Historical Society.

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In A Challenging Climate for Supt. Search, Board Picks Consultants

The Mamaroneck Board of Education announced its selection this week of Hazard, Young, Attea & Associates, Ltd (HYA) to help lead a nationwide search for a new superintendent to replace Dr. Paul Fried, who is retiring at the end of the school year. (See: Mam’k Schools Superintendent Will Retire Next Year.)

Although Dr. Fried’s current salary is $260,901 plus benefits, finding a replacement may not be easy.

“It is definitely harder now than it was five years ago, seven years ago or ten years ago,” said Linnet Tse, president of the school board, who recalled the process the district underwent in 2005 to find Dr. Fried. “From what we’ve heard, the trend is that there are fewer people wanting to go into the ranks of public school administration – it’s become such a demanding position.” (See: 2005 Mamaroneck Schools Search for New Superintendent.)

“It will take a lot of work to get a high quality candidate, but we are confident we will get there,” said Ms. Tse.

Dr. Fried’s early announcement, required by his contract, is giving the board double the time for its search. Ms. Tse listed other advantages, including: the district’s history of achievement; its diversity and size – “not too small, not too large” – and a supportive community.

The process will involve both a nationwide search for candidates and the gathering of local input via interviews, focus groups, open meetings and questionnaires on what attributes the community is looking for in its new superintendent.

HYA: National Network, Local Experience

According to Ms. Tse, HYA was the board’s unanimous choice out of 5 firms responding to 13 requests for proposals.

“We are eager to begin our partnership with HYA, a premier school superintendent search firm,” said Ms. Tse. “Choosing a superintendent is one of the Board of Education’s most critical responsibilities, and we’re confident that HYA – with its extensive network of consultants around the country and considerable experience with Westchester districts – will help us find the right candidate to lead Mamaroneck Schools into the next decade.”

Heading the Mamaroneck search for HYA, an Illlinois-based firm, are two senior associates Debbie Raizes and Dr. Bruce Dennis. Both live in Westchester and have years of personal and professional experience with Westchester schools. Debbie Raizes has participated in over 50 superintendent searches,  including 11 in the area. She grew up in Larchmont, graduating  from Mamaroneck High School, and was president of Scarsdale’s PT Council and a member of the Scarsdale School Board before joining HYA 12 years ago. Bruce Dennis, recently completed superintendent searches in Croton and Eastchester. He spent over three decades in school leadership positions, including twelve as superintendent in Bedford, before retiring in 2004.

Asked to comment on the current climate for superintendent searches, Dr. Dennis noted “it has become a sellers’ market.” A search in this area “typically elicits 30 to 50 candidates,” he said, whereas “twenty years ago you might have gotten 200.”

The nature of school administration has changed, he said. The environment has become more acrimonious; the job has become more confrontational and, in a difficult economic climate, there are heightened concerns about school funding. “Fewer people are drawn to the work, even as compensation has gone up,” he said. In addition, candidates are increasingly reluctant to move.

Nevertheless, the consultants are optimistic.

Timing is in Mamaroneck’s favor, indicated Dr. Dennis. “At the moment, there aren’t a lot of districts looking for a superintendent – it’s still early.”

“Mamaroneck is primed to attract the highest quality candidates for this position,” said Ms. Raizes. “We look forward to partnering with the district to ensure a successful conclusion,”

Ms. Raizes and Dr. Dennis will be at the next board meeting, on October 20, to answer questions from members of the community.

For regular updates on the search, visit and look for Frequently Asked Questions.

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28 comments to In A Challenging Climate for Supt. Search, Board Picks Consultants

  • It would be great to know the amount of money paid to the consulting firm, and if they are going to suggest hiring someone that has previously worked for them. It is hard to believe that it is hard to find a superintendent with unemployment over 10% in NYC. It is very easy to find highly qualified professionals in every other profession. After all this is not brain surgery. Does the starting salary have to be $260,000 to get qualified applicants? Maybe this is a time to cut costs to prepare next years budget. Has the Mamaroneck Board of Education ever been able to hire a duperintendant without hiring an outside firm?

  • Anon E Mous

    Ralph, you’ve started an interesting set of questions, including whether the Mamaroneck District needs a replacement school superintendent. Perhaps it could be combined with another good district in Westchester, share a superintendent and other resources, savings some real money and improving education further.

    Perhaps some will be interested in a presentation –
    Quality in Education: Defining A World Class School District, A Community Dialogue – scheduled to be presented and moderated by Dr. Edward R. Fuhrman, Jr., Superintendent of Schools in the village of Croton-on- Hudson on October 7th at 7:30 PM in the Carrie E. Tompkins Elementary School.

    • Linnet Tse

      In response to Mr. Petrillo’s question, the cost of the search firm will be a little over $20,000. Why use a search firm? As per the “Superintendent Search FAQs” on our website:

      “The position of superintendent is a highly specialized position that requires special certification and qualifications. Successful firms that specialize in filling these positions have a thorough understanding of the position requirements, have networks and connections in the education industry and have access to qualified candidates.”

      In fact, most qualified candidates do not respond to ads, but must be actively recruited instead. By hiring a search firm, there will be a significant savings in advertising costs.

      For more information on the Superintendent Search, please see the FAQs and latest news on our website: .

  • PJ

    Call me crazy but why don’t they bump up an asst. superintendent. Somebody that already has the knowledge of what the job is about and knows the players. I find it funny to go over the head of someone so close to the top already,and to hire another consulting firm for a nationwide search when hopefully the talent is right under our noses…

  • Anon E Mous

    PJ – ‘succession planning’ – not learned yet, as you suggest. Perhaps also not learned yet, effective financial management.

  • I really love reading articles that have lots of knowledge to impart. Thank you for writing about this issue. It’s very crucial to know about this issue. Keep up the good work and continue inspiring readers.Thank you so much.

  • Toute Suite

    There is always a big gap between the qualifications of an Ass’t Superintendent vs. a Superintendant level. A huge disparity that does not allow for “succession planning”. Personally, I do not think that is good “best practice”.

    Think about it: Why would any Superintendent want their underling breathing down their backs when they have enough to contend with? There is much to be said about grooming someone for your position in Corporate America. But in Academia, it’s not exactly the same thing. A Superintendent position crosses over between a Management and Academic role. I think the School district is doing the right thing by casting a wide net and finding the best possible person for the role. It’s a critical post and there should be a nationwide search for his replacement. If they can do this for the Chief of Police postings in New York, Los Angeles and elsewhere, well then, don’t our children and tax payers deserve the same high quality selectiveness for our school system? Take your time, find the right fit. This way, you don’t have to do it all over again for a long time.

  • Comparing the chief of police in NYC to a superintendent is the current problem. One is dealing with tremendous challenges in times of crime and terrorism, and the other as superintendent has a budget where the majority of the costs are fixed, with approximately 10% to 20% of the costs that vary. If assistant superintendents are not qualified maybe that position should be eliminated. However in most organizations assistants are qualified and undergo training to improve their skills. Superintendents want the education system to succeed, so why wouldn’t they want their assistants to improve their skills? It is the exact opposite of what Toute Suite is saying. By and large principals communicate with teachers and parents. So it would be interesting to actually see the actual complexities of a superintendent’s job.

  • Anon E Mous

    Huh Toute Suite?

    You would claim that those running our schools are unable or unwilling to teach others, helping them to learn the skills for advancement? And just how does someone develop the skills for school leadership, by magic? Do our schools stop running when a leader takes a vacation or is otherwise absent?

    You can try to buy leadership or develop it. And what is the function of schools?

    Okay, I’ve thought about it. I hope others will too, and I hope you will think about it again.

  • Toute Suite

    What Toute Suite is saying is nothing of the sort. Sorry for talking in the 3rd person here but I am using a handle so obviously my real name is other than “Toute Suite” ;-)

    You did not understand what my point was. Not at all. I was NOT saying (as Anon E Mous states) that ‘those running our schools are unable or unwilling to help others” for that’s exactly the OPPOSITE point I was trying/hoping (unsuccessfully here I guess…) to make. The interpretation was lost in the translation somehow. Of course helping others (to help themselves?) is a very big part of the job. But I don’t think “grooming:” someone for that job should be. It then gets too political in choosing the right person to fill the Super’s role or that of the Ass’t. All the ‘helping’ going on should be directed at the children and only the children in the classrooms. That is the goal, the focus and the priority. We all know this.

    Ok, real simple and I’ll try it once again. A Superintendent has typically been FAR more qualified and his (all male thus far) qualification FAR superior in the Mam’k Public School District than ANY Ass’t Superintendent that has served in their post.

    Does any one remember a guy named Dr. Otty Norwood?? The longstanding Superintendent for Mam’k Public Schools back in the 1970′s?? He was an amazing guy, really smart (a Canadian by birthright!) and well liked in the Larch/Mam’k community. Now, does anyone remember who the Ass’t Super was back then? Personally, I didn’t even know there was one – but obviously it makes sense to have one. My point is that they are usually not seen and not heard from. It’s never been much of an important role and generally speaking there was no reason to “groom them” for the Superintendent position. Considering these posts usually last a long time, there would most likely be no need to replace a sitting Superintendent (one would hope). So casting a wide net improves the “gene pool”.

  • In the Journal News today on salary expenses:

    3 maintenance workers make big bucks at area schools
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    A top maintenance man in New Rochelle schools took home $143,521 in a single year.

    A plumber in the district was paid $137,197.

    And in Rye, the head custodian made $142,104.

    Lower Hudson Valley’s top earners
    New York’s top 100 earners

    The three men are among the top paid nonprofessional public school employees in the state, according to figures released Thursday by an independent research organization in Albany.

    They appear on a list published by the Empire Center for New York State Policy of the 100 highest paid employees for 2008-2009.

    The list includes business managers, custodians, bus drivers and aides, among others.

    New Rochelle’s assistant superintendent of business, John B. Quinn, defended the pay for both men in his district – Vincent J. Bonanno, the maintenance supervisor, and Anthony N. Raffa, the plumber. The figures include salary, overtime and longevity pay.

    “He’s on call, districtwide, 24 hours a day, seven days a week for any emergencies that we might have,” he said of Bonanno. As for Raffa, he was filling in for a long-term absence in addition to his own job, an unusual circumstance, Quinn said.

    The Empire Center compiled payroll records for more than 385,000 school district employees from two sources: the 12-month period ending March 31 as reported to the New York State Employees Retirement System and the 2007-08 school year as reported to the New York State Teachers Retirement System.

    Among the top 10 on the most recent list: Kathleen Ryan, the business manager of the Rye City School District, at $192,284. She comes in at No. 3 of the 100 highest paid, and is the highest in Westchester County.

    “Kathleen Ryan is an experienced business official who is exceptionally competent,” said Rye’s schools superintendent, Edward J. Shine. She functions as an assistant superintendent without the title only because she does not have educational certification.

    Clearly expenses can be cut !

  • Anon E Mous

    Toute Suite too, the ‘third person’, do you really believe yourself?

    You think that helping others advance is not a fundamental part of management’s job, and in a school no less? Just what are we teaching in our schools? And what are those teacher teams supposed to be doing? When you help the staff of a school to develop more competence you help the children in the school to learn.

    Politics, well that’s part of life and thus part of education; as is dealing with it. But if you’re concerned that ‘politics’, etc. will interfere with school leaders ‘grooming’ successors then you’ve clearly looking for the wrong leaders. Actually, in that case your not choosing ‘leaders’ at all.

    Does anyone remember the assistant superintendent? Does it matter whether one’s name is remembered in history; perhaps there names are remembered by colleagues and students who were helped by someone who didn’t become or want to become famous.

    Oh, BTW, 10 years ago how many knew the name of the most recent winner of the Noble Peace Prize. If you don’t know the name, perhaps someone will help you find it. Hint, it was announced today.

    And on another topic, congratulations and best wishes to the newest winner of the Noble Peace Prize.

  • Elizabeth

    The Assistant Superintendent under Notty Norwood was Cal Schlick. He is remembered and fondly by many.

    Editor’s Note: see correction below: Otty Norwood

  • Anon E Mous

    Thank you Elizabeth.

    Point made!

    Now why don’t we have succession plans and professional development plans and programs for the senior leadership of our schools?

    And why don’t those in the leadership of our school system have “a thorough understanding of the position requirements, have networks and connections in the education industry and have access to qualified candidates.” … including candidates in our own schools system?

  • Toute Suite

    FYI Elizabeth Dear….it was Otty Norwood. Not Notty Norwood!! So your point was not correct. Otty Norwood was never referred to as Notty or Knotty for that matter.

    LOL – and the only reason people knew Cal Schlick was because he had several kids in the school system at the same time he was the Ass’t Superintendent. But unfortunately, some of us, present company included, forgot him already – present company included – ..alas…it’s been a while!

    Anon E Mous – once again, you did not understand my point. I strongly suggest you keep re-reading it over and over until it sinks in for you. I did NOT SAY it was not important to ‘mentor’ someone below you but the purpose of the Superintendent’s job is NOT to mentor the Ass’t Super or groom him or her for the job. You DO LIKE to split hairs here and elsewhere I’ve noticed. I suspect you are one of the editors of this Larchmont Gazette – because several times when I’ve tried to post,to reply on other topics to you – it has not gone through. Is that the same sort of Censorship you seem to despise? If so then I am surprised at you. Perhaps you are not an Editor here – but you certainly post w/ a level of authority as if you were one. Confidence is great but there is a thin line btwn that and arrogance. Something to ponder there too.

    Here’s something else to ponder:

    Most superintendents are members on the board of education (school board) of their school district, but they usually cannot vote as members of the board.

    While there are exceptions, many school districts now require, or desire, that their superintendent hold a doctorate degree.

    Depending on the state in which they serve, a public school superintendent might also be referred to as “chief education officer”, or “chief executive officer”.

    And then there’s this:

    Many school superintendents began their careers as teachers in the classroom, then served as a building principal, and sometimes in a subordinate role in the central district office, before becoming a superintendent. However some local school boards select school superintendents from totally different backgrounds, usually from the military or business sectors, though this is not a common practice.

    Mamaroneck Public Schools have always been excellent and have turned out some of the highest achieving students in the nation, from both private and public schools. That said, why shouldn’t the people who send their kids to these schools, along w/ the students themselves, be afforded the continuity of this outstanding academic environment by allowing the School Board to conduct a nationwide search for the best possible School Superintendent to meet the specific needs of this school district?? The high taxes that are paid in this community certainly warrant the best possible choices for the position of CEO as we have learned the Superintendents are often referred to – hiring internally can certainly be done if all other searches have been exhausted and it the Ass’t Superintendent is truly the best candidate. But I don’t know if that is always the case – past and present. I stand by my original point – Cast a Wide Net when fishing and you will have a more bountiful and successful catch!!

    Sidenote to Anon E Mous – ever hear of the Peter Principle? I suggest you read up on it and let me know what you think. Personally, I believe that certain roles and positions are NOT promotable – and that although one may be good at Job A, they are not necessarily the right candidate for a promotion just because they have Seniority. That theory holds true here too.

  • Toute Suite

    PS: Anon E Mous – I went thru the Mam’k public schools myself and turned out alright. Yes, helping colleauges as in Teachers and underlings such as the Ass’t Super is important but it’s not the end all be all role of the SuperIntendant of Schools. The kids, the Children, the STUDENTS are what it’s all about!!!! The teachers are paid to do their jobs – they are the employees – on the other hand, the Parents and the Students are the “customers” PER SE (please don’t freak out at this statement…yet I am sure you are horrified at the very notion of this idea! If you ever went to Private Schools you would know that this is even more of well known fact).

    The Nobel Peace Prize winner for 2009? You must take the readers of the Larchmont Gazette to be borderline illiterate or uncultured slobs if you question anyone not knowing that our wonderful 44th President of the United States, Barack H. Obama is the receipient of this outstanding honor and achievement. Yet – it came as quite a surprise to many as he has just begun his Presidency and has yet to accomplish the type of world wide peace efforts that previous receipients have done.

    10 Years ago? The winner was not an person but an organization – 1999 – Médecins Sans Frontières – translation: Doctors w/out Borders

    Prior to yesterday’s announcement, The Nobel Peace Prize has been awarded 89 times to 119 Nobel Laureates between 1901 and 2008 – 96 times to individuals and 23 times to organizations.

    Personally, I voted for Obama but I do not think he has earned nor deserved to be this year’s receipient. Politically, I think it’s an odd choice given his work has only just begun.

  • Elizabeth

    Toute Suite

    Sorry to have upset the cart with the misspelling of Otty Norwood’s name. Cal Schlick needs no defense from me, but you show your lack of research when you dismiss his contributions to the district and to his profession so easily. No need, either, to distract the discussion from the issue at hand. I just wanted to pay homage to a man who made a significant difference in the lives of many, many teachers.

  • Toute Suite

    I have nothing against Mr. Schlick. I was an exemplary student and quite frankly never had any involvement with him nor with the Principle of MHS – who’s name escapes me now too. It was not Joe Downey, but his successor I believe. Truth be told, I needed very little intervention and pretty much did as I was told, got good grades and graduated on time. Do I think MHS was a good school – yes if the kids are self motivated. But not all of them were or are unfortunately.

    Mr. Schlick, I am sure you would have made a great replacement for Otty Norwood. My point here was to do a nationwide search, cast the net wide, see if there’s some other candidate that might be best for the job as Superintendent. If not, then promote from within. But I stand firm on my belief that searching on the outside while continuing to cultivate internally, is not a bad approach.

    Lizzy – don’t worry about the spell check stuff. I type so fast that I too make many typos before sending. But I am under the belief that you thought the guy’s name was Notty Norwood – which by the way, is very cute! I’m not even sure what Otty was nick named after…not sure what his real name was – Otto perhaps??

  • Eleanor

    Give me a break…hard to find a competent Superintendent of Schools when we are paying them $260,000 a year? Who is kidding whom? Has anyone noticed the unemployment rate? Maybe this is an excuse to “jack up the Superintendent’s salary some more.” This is pathetic.

    We have highly educated unemployed corporate executives in our own community who can’t find work. What is wrong with our thinking? I am sure some Westchester cronies will be in line for the job. There is something wrong with the thought process going on here.

  • Patehtic

    Having observed the District staffing and promotion policy for more than 10 years, here are my 2c.

    1. Most of the asst/supers in the M’neck school district were nobodies only able to smile and wave, and sign checks or organize useless meetings with faculty, while all the heavy lifting was done by the head honcho. After decades of stagnation, the Asst Super population showed rapid turnover, probably because the work was too hard. We now are back to sedate super-assistants (as opposed to assistant-supers). Heavy lifting a la King consisting in building equality between buildings and schools in a diversity and spending frenzy, and a la Fried in trying to soft-land a district gone crazy with the previous policy and not succeeding too well.
    2. M’neck motto is “excellence for all” (at any cost – the latter implied). For this you need an EdDr, so forget any other background. Especially business or management (they might focus too much on the implied part of the motto). Besides, consultants know where they get the business from, and being themselves former educators, they will only oblige back.

  • Anon E Mous

    Ah-Ha, Toute Suite, The Peter Principle. Yes know it! So you argue that we should hire someone who has already been promoted to their level of incompetence :-)

    As you said, some school districts develop their leadership. It is a method to have quality at all levels, to encourage our best to stay, and have a well qualified ‘bench’ to fill vacancies when needed. A sound and inexpensive practice it would appear. Unless one believes that it can’t be done or that they/we can’t do it.

    Perhaps we need first look first under our collective noses. Perhaps the next great superintendent is there, and should have already been identified. Or will we pay to find a superintendent from elsewhere, and elsewhere they do the same and then we pay again to find an assistant superintendent to replace one who has moved on elsewhere?

    Oh, censorship is abhorrent. Similarly are closed minds.

    And the ‘customers’, they are ALL the residents, as they pay for the school district – your turn to check the dictionary. But look at it another way, it is only our nation and its future that has a stake in the education of all its people.

  • Anon E Mous

    The web, something with a long memory, and a provider of fuel for discussion.

    ‘Our coach was Dr. Schlick, the overly flamboyant Assistant Superintendent of the school system. He could have been the Superintendent, but he had too much flair for the school board; they would never promote him, even after the previous superintendent, Otty Norwood, left. I think the final straw came when Dr. Schlick redecorated his office for a rather extravagant amount of money. I only saw his office once, but I will say this: he had taste.’

  • Gorgeous gal

    GG here to throw in my 2 pennies.

    I went to MHS and all the way up the ranks from K – 12 in Mam’k Public Schools. Never once did I meet or greet the man named Dr. Schlick. From what I understood, he only dealt with the “mischief makers” and I use that term loosely.

    I don’t know if he should have been promoted but he was the status quo as I recall in the schools back in the 1970s. The principal did not know my name either. I don’t even think my guidance counselor knew who I was until I was applying to colleges. At that time I was applying to a bunch of private colleges that were all Catholic schools including Holy Cross, Boston College, Georgetown and Fairfield University. His comment to me was “Oh, you will get accepted to all of them if you are Catholic, they’ll take you there.” Little did I know that he was dead on wrong and it was the worst advice any guidance counselor could give their students. His name shall be withheld because I don’t believe in saying things about someone that can’t defend themselves. But All of those colleges were extremely competitive to get into and they are today, and I did not get into any one of them. Instead I had to stay home and go to a local college within commuting distance to my home for two years until I could transfer. Seriously missing out on some of the best experiences of college life: Freshman dorm living.

    I think there have been a lot of bad teachers, guidance counselors and maybe even senior administrators such as superintendents over the years. I was not impressed with Mamaroneck High School’s ability to include all students and adjust their needs to that of the curriculum. It was status quo and only the superior students or the delinquent ones received the right type of support. The middle of the road, which made up the majority of the students, just coasted with little or no intervention, support or mentor figures.

    I think the solutions were simple and yet the administration misses the mark again and again. It seems the middle class is literally and figuratively underserved in this school district as it is in real life. Yet, we make up the bulk of Americans.

  • Anon E Mous

    GG perhaps you got an excellent education, perhaps the hard way. You learned that you are most responsible for your education. What needs to be learned can’t always be taught.

    That said, you raise another very important point. While many continue to believe that the education methods and needs in each small district of the County are unique, education is not such a mystery. If as a community we learn that, perhaps we can concentrate on the efficient performance of our schools rather than their status. And we may not need a nationwide search to find answers that are in our own backyards.

  • Gorgeous gal

    LOL – Anon E Mous, any chance you are a local Larchmonter vying for the job as Superintendent of the Mamaroneck Public Schools? You seem very steadfast in finding a local replacement vs. a nationwide search….just curious…but inquiring minds would like to know :)

    When you say “perhaps you got an excellent education, perhaps the hard way.” I would perhaps have to disagree. It was not an excellent education – far from it. In fact, I didn’t even get no stinkin’ Tee Shirt either!!!

    Truth be told, the best “education” that Larchmont/Mamaroneck kids get (at least in my days) was the cultural experience, if you can call it that, of being raised in a great town/village/village (depending upon which area you grew up in). I believe I learned a lot of coping, survival skills that helped me a great deal in the real world. I also feel that many kids did not have the greatest home life but they had either friends or neighbors in Larchmont that cared a lot about them as if they were family and therefore gave them a connection and a great life that they would not have otherwise experienced. Through these friendships I have become a much better person today than I would have, had I been raised with less supportive friends and neighbors. For this I will be forever thankful. Even if they do not realize this today. But the education system? It was mediocre at best. I did not think that the teachers were very good. I have about 3 or 4 maybe that I have any warm feelings about today. The rest were mentally absent and teaching in a rote or “fright/flight manner”.

    GG ;-)

  • Anon E Mous

    GG, some information, for an inquiring mind, valuable commodities.

    To your first paragraph, no.

    Your second paragraph made me question whether you use the education I expected you got.

    But your third paragraph made the important point. You, with the help of many others, got educated, with skills which hopefully you use well. The school system should contribute to education, but it is a mistake to expect it to be the education system. A good school leader makes a difference but is not something that one needs to search the world to find; limited resources might be better utilized. Perhaps combining with another school district and its superintendent. Inquiring minds interested in learning make a real difference.


  • Eleanor

    GG-I am so pleased to read your response and realized that you overcame obstacles with the education system that strengthened you as an adult. You did learn coping skills that students who didn’t have to struggle to get good grades didn’t learn at that point of life.

    In life, we all face struggles…even the smart kids. They just learn it later on in life. I go back to my high school in the Bronx, and speak to the most disenfranchised students.
    I tell them about being on the bottom of the academic ladder, but what I discovered was “if they don’t let you in the front door…there is the back door.”

    I share that I had an undiagnosed learning disability that held me back. At age 27, through the help of my friends and tutors, I took responsibility and got remediation. We all have to hold ourselves responsible for our destiny. It is “never too late” to learn.

    From a child who had reading & math difficulties, I went on to be a published author, patent holder, and successful business owner. I let my “failures in life” teach me something…never fear failure. Failures are small glitches in life’s road. As an inventor, I never let my failures stop me. They just taught me that I had to continue my search for solutions. I am still pretty bad in paper and pencil math. I use calculators instead. There are always methods of finding solutions to lifes inconveniences.

  • G.G.

    Well, yes, Eleanor, and having older siblings that were very “accelerated” (i.e. smart), was also an obstacle for me.

    For example, the teachers at MHS certainly let me know how “disappointed” they were in not getting the next Rhodes Scholar in the family. Comments like “you’re certainly not him or her” would hound me day and night. How to create an underachiever in the classroom? See above example for specifics.

    No, they got just good ol’ mediocre GG who has always had a lot of spunk, spirit and sprite which today translates into creativity and innovation as a successful entrepreneur. The others? Well, they were fabulous test takers, both standardized and advanced placement. Got into the right schools, hung out with the right crowd, dotted their I’s and crossed their T’s. Yeah, and that will get you only so far in life after the college acceptances are in the mail and you start your first day behind the walls of the prestigious Ivy League institutions. Walls where all the other students are just as smart if not better than you are and certainly more competition than you ever imagined.. Then what do you do?? Mediocrity is a foreign object to these types so in essence I presume they learn the brutal reality over the next four years that you’re only as good as your last test score and that there are only so many (few) spots at the top of the class. Just one Valedictorian, one Salutatorian and 8 other spots in the top ten. From there on in, it’s irrelevant what number you are holding. Nothing else matters in that world.

    Me? I am doing JUST fine today. I found a niche market for myself where I have excelled far beyond the dreams of others who knew me as a kid. Yet not nearly far enough for my own dreams. For I will never ever never stop believing in myself or dreaming of what adventures my future may one day contain………zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz (don’t wake me up!)

    Eleanor, I think YOU should be very proud of yourself. You’ve done an outstanding job in overcoming your hurdles in life. Interestingly, I have seen so many situations where the more “challenged” an individual is, the further they go in life as both kids and adults. I have to believe that somehow or other, it’s a gift to have more ‘handicaps” or obstacles in the way. It brings out certain motivations, drives and attributes that would never have seen the light of day had we been handed life on silver platter. Struggles create greater men and women. I am a firm believer in that. I applaud your perseverance and your successes!! Keep up the great work you do for all of us in life :-)