Saving Mt. Gap: Wardynski is to Blame, Not the PTA

Mt. Gap Elementary

I just received a comment on an early post that greatly concerns me, and so I want to make sure that my position concerning the Mt. Gap Elementary School PTA is crystal clear: I greatly appreciate and support the work that our PTA leadership team has done this year. It is in no way my intention to criticize the organization, the leadership, nor it’s members in any of the posts that I have made about the plan to merge/close Mt. Gap Elementary School.

Here was the reader’s comment:

At least three emails were sent out to all parents in the middle school about the meeting. It was also posted on the sign in front of the school. There are only so many things they can do to notify parents. If they send home papers they end up left in the kids lockers. No need to blast the PTA. We don’t need to turn against each other. The elementary PTA president planned the meeting. That was when he said he could come. All three schools were invited. I have three kids at 3 different schools. My husband and I have to split up all the time got meetings and such. It’s a way of life when your kids get to a certain age.

I really appreciate it when readers take the time to comment, or send me private emails. It helps me understand when I haven’t made my self clear enough in my writing.

Clarity in thought and word is the single most important part of being a writer, and it is what I strive for above all else.

Since it seems that I may have been misunderstood, let me make my opinion as clear as I can.

I greatly appreciate the endless and tireless work that the PTA leadership, and in particular our president, has done this year. It has been an extremely difficult year for everyone connected to the school system (including the superintendent and the board even though I believe them to be the cause of most of the difficulty).

Our teachers and administrators have operated under more stress, pressure, and both overt and covert threats from the state and the city leadership than in any year in recent history. Our PTA has been under a similar stress. While their “jobs” and livelihood are not on the line, clearly these are concerned parents, each and every one of them. And when our teachers are stressed, good parents become concerned and stressed as well.

I know for a fact that this is true of our PTA leadership, and it is certainly true of our president. Gwen Lindsey is an excellent parent and a caring leader for our PTA.

It has not been my intention to be critical of the PTA’s attempts to schedule the meeting with Dr. Wardynski. All of my criticism for the delays in scheduling the meeting are directed toward Dr. Wardynski and Dr. Robinson.

I am convinced that Dr. Wardynski intentionally delayed having a meeting with parents in order to be able to approach the meeting as if it was a completed deal.

And that is exactly what happened.

The reason that attendance at the Merger Meeting (it’s difficult to call it that since the vast majority of the meeting was spent talking about everything but the merger) was low was because Dr. Wardynski with the support of Dr. Robinson designed it so.

Why would busy parents whom, as the reader stated, have to “split up” to attend meetings bother to attend a meeting to discuss a plan that was introduced six months earlier, and approved and implemented four months earlier?

Truthfully, as Tuesday is “date night” for my little girl and me, I nearly talked myself into not attending the meeting as well. If I hadn’t been able to reschedule our typical dinner together until after the meeting, I probably wouldn’t have gone.

But you see, that was exactly what Dr. Wardynski intended when he finally agreed to meet with parents. He was counting on people staying away.

So, no, I do not believe that there was anything else that the PTA leadership teams could have or should have done to promote attendance at the meeting.

I am not attempting to “blast the PTA.”

I consider our PTA president to be a friend, and I am not attempting to criticize her or her actions in any way. While I have not had the opportunity to discuss the merger meeting with her since Tuesday, I believe that she, in principal, supports the idea of the merger. She sees it as a way of keeping Mt. Gap open. While we may disagree on the merger, I do not hold any ill will toward her for viewing things differently than I. It is not my intention to “turn against each other” in this discussion.

To the contrary: the only persons that I am attempting to blast here are Dr. Wardynski and Dr. Robinson for pushing through this decision without, as Dr. Wardynski promised, discussing it with parents first. I think doing so was a blatant attempt to disenfranchise anyone who opposes his ideas.

How we do a thing is just as important as what we do. One cannot make a good decision in a bad way. The ends never justify the means.

How Dr. Wardynski is running our system is wrong. It is rife with opportunities for fraud, and I believe that is reason enough to oppose the decisions he is ramming through.

I think he is destroying our school system with his methods, and I am doing what I can to oppose his attempts to hurt my, our, kids’ education.

So, just so we’re clear, I oppose Dr. Wardynski’s plan to harm Mt. Gap Elementary School. I oppose his refusal to answer questions or discuss reasons for the merger.

I do not oppose the Mt. Gap Elementary PTA. These dedicated women and men are the reason that we’re celebrating my daughter’s Reflection video. They are a crucial part of the reason that Mt. Gap Elementary is such as wonderful school, and they have my thanks.

"Children see magic because they look for it." --Christopher Moore, Lamb: The Gospel according to Biff, Jesus' childhood pal.


  1. Sometimes print can be misunderstood and thank you for being humble to clarify. Conquer and divide are the tools of a dictator. We must continue to work as a team in order to defeat what is currently attempting to destroy our schools under the pretence of significant improvements. We will prevail once it is known we will not be moved. You are doing an excellent job of exposing the truth. Keep writing, our children need you and all of us.

    1. Thanks. I appreciate it. You’re right, our children absolutely need us. All of us.

  2. One thing you always have in your favor is a desire to be clear and understood. Thanks for the clarification. I wish our school administrators had the same desire for clear communication and understanding.

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