Comments by cspeake

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Posted on February 23 at 8:54 p.m.

As a Harding parent, I am saddened to see Sally leave. She has done amazing things for the Harding community. I do not resent her decision, and would hope that those who view her decision with criticism would remain respectful. The programs and vision she has brought will have long-lasting effects - International Baccalaureate, a UCSB Partnership, Zero-Waste and In-House kitchen, Westside THRIVE, and the list goes on. I know my children will miss her, and one of mine recently said "She is the best principal I ever could have." Blessings on the new hire, as that person has a challenge, a worthwhile and wonderful one, but a challenge nonetheless. Thank you Sally!

On Sally Kingston Leaves Harding

Posted on June 4 at 9:13 p.m.

As a parent of a Harding student, I can say that the article greatly saddened me. There are a range of levels of academic achievement in any classroom, all across the schools of our city. The best teachers are able to differentiate their instruction to meet the needs of each student, each ability level, which is exactly what I see happening on a daily basis at Harding.

My son is learning, growing, and accomplishing much as a Harding student, and has peers who are doing the same. Are all the "above grade level" students from the same demographic? No. What a bonus.

Other bonuses: we walk to school, we interact with our neighbors, we support a school on the move, the first zero-waste campus in the state, a school qualifying for an internationally acclaimed curriculum program, the International Baccaulareate. Our son receives art education, music education, science instruction in the science lab, PE from a credentialed PE teacher, technology is integrated into his learning, food is cooked and served on campus with local produce. We are happy.

Sally Kingston is a strong leader. Seems to me the leaders who make tough decisions are often targets of criticism. She has the credentials and experience to make many critical decisions on her own for the school, yet she consults many (UCSB's Gevirtz Grad School of Education, parents, site council, Harding School Foundation Board, other principal mentors, district officials). Differences of opinion on the decisions made should be discussed, but inflammatory language and unsupported personal accusations from anonymous employees seem like irresponsible reporting.

As a parent and former educator, I have hope that our community will rise above the test scores and hearsay and support our local neighborhood schools. Harding continues to be worthy of our family's support.

On Mission Impossible?

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