Tuesday, November 15, 2011

An Open Letter from Oshkosh Area School District board member Steve Dedow to district staff

[Eye on Oshkosh has received the following letter, sent earlier this evening to district staff (administration), and we are pleased to share it with our readers/viewers. We also thank Mr. Dedow for providing us with this letter.]

An Open Letter to Staff:


This afternoon I feel strongly compelled to write this mini-manifesto and to also, more importantly, say - thank you for all the work that you do.

I, as well as many others, fully realize the heavy burden that you all share. I wanted you to know that I think of you often throughout the course of my day and am proud that we have, what I feel, is a great working relationship between us. I truly wish the rest of this community could see the sacrifices that you make through the filter of my eyes.

I have lived in Oshkosh for 52 of my 56 years. During that time I have seen a very vocal minority of this community continue to use various tactics to blunt any type of progressive reform which would be beneficial to our families, friends and neighbors. These attacks are concentrated and have been effective along the entire local governing body front. County, City, School District, the Arts, Non-Profits, all have been affected over the years. The “drama” created has driven many, many outstanding people out from what is actually an outstanding community within itself. In regards to the OASD…4 Business Managers, 3 Superintendents, and many other magnificent administrators and educators have left us within the past 8 years primarily because of the distorted priorities of a few.

The tools they use are typical: “one up-man ship,” “got-cha” manifesto’s at open board meetings, excessive information requests, and verbal assaults via public media, diversionary priorities, divisional topics, and factional fertilizer. The tools to rebuff these attacks, again in my opinion, are to ignore the divisionary, to dig in and defend the priority (children) and to check the credibility of the aggressor with overwhelming and undeniable information within the “Coliseum” itself ……the televised board meetings.

If we break now, “they” will succeed yet once again in stopping long overdue advances in which our children, your children, their children, my children, all the little kids in this community can advance through opportunity to a life of enrichment, which quite frankly they deserve. A legacy from one generation to the next if you will.

I understand that is probably not your “typical” BOE Member to Administration/Staff letter, and as I hem and haw about hitting the send button I am focused on one and only one thought…….we must stand our ground.

Respectfully, Stephen Dedow


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