Categorized | Editorial

EDITORIAL: Determination

At the public portion of the 4/26/12 Board of Education Meeting. Dr. Joyce Richardson-Melech of the A.V. Ceres School addressed Dr. Rodriguez, Mr. Lebreault and the honorable members of the Board of Education. She is the proud recipient of several awards – A.V. Ceres School Teacher of the Year, Master Music Teacher (NJ), recipient of the NJ Governor’s Award for Arts Education, and Fulbright scholar.

Dr. Joyce Richardson-Melech

She became very emotional when she talked about how proud she was of her late father, Dr. Herbert N. Richardson. He was the first black teacher hired in Perth Amboy. She now teaches general music education at the Dr. Herbert N. Richardson 21st Century School.

The reason she became very emotional is because there is a proposal to make the Richardson School into a Magnet School for Math and Science. Her father was a Master Music Teacher and you could see all the awards, plaques and recital programs in the school lobby that were related to his passion for music. She also said, “You would not see beakers, slide rules, or protractors in my house when we were growing up. He was a very accomplished visual artist using charcoal drawings, pastels and sketching’s, including them in art instruction books.” Richardson-Melech felt it a slap in the face and dishonor to her father’s memory to have a Magnet School bearing his name for math and science, “When this is not what he was known for and the only choice should be a Magnet School in his honor for Visual, Fine and Performing Arts.”

This is only a small portion of the three page statement that she read. The full content will be posted on the Amboy Guardian Website.

The reason I am reporting on what Ms. Joyce Richardson-Melech said is to tie it into another group that has the same determination that she has and that group is the Perth Amboy High School Debate Team. I will admit that I have not personally seen the Debate Team perform. The only thing I know is that they have won major debates against very tough competition. They have been invited to debate at the U.N. amongst other venues. The reason I mention them is because of all of the drama involving the suspension of Dr. Janine Walker Caffrey.

We’ve all heard the people who support Dr. Caffrey and those who support the Board of Education’s decision. What I found most disturbing are those who are saying because of what happened to Dr. Caffrey means the end of a new High School being built.

This may upset some people but if that is what you believe maybe you think that the sky is falling and perhaps you should just go home, go to bed, put the sheets over your head and let those who are determined to get a new school built take over. I nominate the Perth Amboy High School Debate Team to meet with those who are in charge of determining if Perth Amboy should get a new High School built. This meeting should only be between the students and the representatives from the State Education System. Adults coming in with their own agenda who may try to influence the students are not needed. Just let the whole student body get a chance to say what is on their minds. They will be the best spokesmen to influence the state to build a new High School.

I wonder if Dr. Richardson-Melech was a debater growing up. After hearing her speak at the meeting I believe she won her argument hands down. I personally would not want to go against her because in this case she is spot on and there is no counter argument to be made.



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