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Carroll County teachers deserve support of school leaders, community; Mount Airy Mayor Larry Hushour is a proud veteran | READER COMMENTARY

Teachers deserve support of school leaders, community

In difficult times, we all need to keep our emotions in check, If our goal is to come together and move forward. As the elected president of the Carroll County Education Association (CCEA), I believe that it is safe to say that these last two pandemic school years have been the most challenging. Unfortunately, most of our members are feeling overwhelmed, deflated and betrayed by the elected officials who are responsible for overseeing the general well-being and health of Carroll County Public Schools.

On Nov. 17, CCEA leadership met with Superintendent Steven Lockard and the chiefs in one of our requested meetings. On this day, CCEA put forth a formal request for relief for educators to be taken to the Board of Education. This request was reiterated by CCEA vice president Celeste Jordan at the Dec. 8 school board meeting. Jordan pointed out that most of the surrounding counties have already taken this step, knowing that employees perform better when they feel valued and appreciated. She clearly requested the board consider one monthly, early-release day to allow educators at least one weekend per month when they didn’t have to work at home to prepare for the following week. This would result in five early release days for the remainder of the school year.

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This request was not only flatly ignored, but the board also decided instead to add fuel to an ongoing witch hunt. Backed by a vocal minority, the board spent nearly an hour discussing how they would create a better system to punish any teacher who “steps out of line.” There are already “politically neutral” policies in both Board of Education policies and in the Collective Bargaining Agreement and these policies should be enforced rather than creating something new. This is analogous to punishing an entire class for one student’s bad behavior. Worse, this puts more stress on an already exhausted, dedicated and fearful workforce.

Right now, your educators need your support and understanding rather than your suspicions, fear and anger. Carroll County Public Schools used to be a community-oriented, family-first, school system, but the pandemic has exposed many underlying issues that have only been exacerbated by an increasingly divided country. I love Carroll County and our educators, but I fear that we may never entirely recover. For the sake of our children and our community, we ask both the Board of Education and the larger community for relief and understanding.

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Teresa Basler McCulloh, Westminster

McCulloh is the president of the Carroll County Education Association

Mount Airy Mayor Larry Hushour presents Josh Marks with a personal donation for the WWI Bladensburg Peace Cross restoration project.
Mount Airy Mayor Larry Hushour presents Josh Marks with a personal donation for the WWI Bladensburg Peace Cross restoration project.

Mount Airy Mayor Larry Hushour is a proud veteran

I am an Independent Veteran Advocate and engage in Veteran Advocacy campaigns on my own volition and not on behalf of any Veterans Service Organization. I am also a Son of the American Legion at American Legion Francis Scott Key Post 11 in Frederick and a Life Associate Member of LCpl Robert Deane Marine Corps League Detachment 770 in Mount Airy, MD.

Mike Moore, Commander of American Legion Post 136 Greenbelt (and Maryland Veterans Commissioner) and I have been collaborating on raising funds for the WWI Bladensburg Peace Cross restoration project for about a year and a half. In April 2021, we conducted a fundraiser effort with the Mount Airy IHOP.

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The COVID-19 pandemic played havoc on our requests for tax deductible philanthropic donations due to a slowed economy and declining memberships of many Veteran Service Organizations. Despite this environment, our team has managed to make progress toward our $1 million target.

As we are coming up on year end, donations have slowed significantly and many pledges have not be honored. So imagine my surprise when last evening, I received an email from Mount Airy Mayor Larry Hushour asking to meet me at 10 a.m. on Dec. 14 at Town Hall in Mount Airy. I answered affirmatively and met with him at the prescribed time.

That morningy Hushour, who is a Naval Academy Graduate and Gulf War Aviator Veteran (Lt. Commander), presented me with a personal unsolicited donation for the Cross and told me that its “the right thing to do.”

I am writing this letter to the editor to apprise the Town of Mount Airy and Carroll County constituency that Mayor Hushour is a sincere, empathetic, compassionate, honorable and staunch veteran advocate and we commend him for stepping up to help us honor our fallen Maryland Veterans.

Josh Marks, Mount Airy

Thanks to Westminster

I’d like to commend the Town of Westminster for putting up signs on the parking meter that allow residents to park free in honor of the holidays. It’s a wonderful gesture to support shopping locally.

Linda Hylan, Westminster

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