In response to Paul DiPerna and Colyn Ritter’s opinion piece on crashing teacher morale, I offer the following reply (this, of course, is personal): I was fortunate to spend close to 35 years teaching at Thornton Academy in Saco. One of the amazing things about Thornton was its leadership structure – a private school, self-perpetuating board of trustees, along with public school constituents. This protected us from having to pursue every new educational reform that came along – and in those days, new ones came along every week, or so it seemed. Because of our enlightened administration, we were able to adopt those that suited us and leave the other ones alone. This occasionally put us at odds with some of our educational partners – like the Southern Maine Partnership. Also, we had only three heads of school since 1973. Compare that to any surrounding public schools!

Now that I’ve been retired for almost 20 years, I have many fond memories to look back upon and a few that make me want to duck and cover. But the best end-of-class evaluation I ever received was from a student who said: “This was a great class Mr. Queally, but that’s not your fault!”

Chris Queally

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