My Goal in Blogging

I started this blog in May of 2008, shortly after my election to the School Committee, because I believed it was very important to both provide the community with an opportunity to share their thoughts with me about our schools and to provide me with an opportunity for me to ask questions and share my thoughts and reasoning. I have found the conversation generated on my blog to be extremely helpful to me in learning community views on many issues. I appreciate the many people who have taken the time to share their views. I believe it is critical to the quality of our public schools to have a public discussion of our community priorities, concerns and aspirations.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Leverett's Hajir to resign from Regional School Committee

Here's an article regarding Farshid Hajir's decision to resign from the Regional School Committee ( I share his hope that under new leadership, this committee can return to focusing on how to provide the best education possible for students in our regional schools. It has been striking to me over the last few months the differences between Amherst SC meetings and Regional SC meetings. The Amherst SC meetings, under Irv Rhodes' leadership, are productive, efficient, collaborative, and entirely focused on education (watch the one from July 20th, which was possibly our best meeting). The Regional SC meetings get bogged down in personality, and rumors, and accusations -- and spend almost no time focusing on education. The chair of the SC clearly makes a huge difference in the quality of the meeting, and, most importantly, the progress that can get made in our schools. I look forward to our reorganization at tonight's meeting, and hope that we can all join together to focus on creating truly excellent schools for all kids.


Anonymous said...

Hajir who now???

Anonymous said...

There's some optimal level of talking that an effective Chair should do in any meeting, and, time after time, Mr. Hajir was over it.

And his claims notwithstanding, he liked to fight.

Anonymous said...


Are you really going to let this be a Farshid bashing section on your blog?

Whatever anyone feels about him, he volunteered several hours of time to the Regional schools, and will continue to volunteer his time to the Leverett school system.

This is really inappropriate, Catherine, to allow these bashing comments. It is beneath you and what this blog could and should be. Please rethink your decision to allow these comments through.

On my part, I want to thank Farshid for his tirelss work on behalf of the Regional schools. Whether we agree with him or not, he has earned and he deserves our thanks for his volunteerism.

Everett Freeman said...

I, too, want to thank Mr. Hajir. I find him to be a stabilizing force amid the mayhem that Rhodes, Sanderson and Rivkin bring to the table.

Mr. Hajir did not strike me as having a grand plan to completely re-shape the schools that have been so successful for so long. I find that a calming voice on a school committee that had one of the rockiest years ever.

The 3 mentioned above appear to me to be pushing hard for their agenda, denigrating programs they don't like.

Thanks again, Mr Hajir for the hundreds of hours of your volunteer service to the community. It will be missed.

Anonymous said...

If Ms. Geryk were to make a similar pronouncement, that she is out of the running for the permanent Super's job, she would find people of many different viewpoints rallying around her, and her effectiveness would immediately increase several-fold.

But she would have to put her career second. It would be hard, but she could help things immensely. And we could move toward reconciliation.

Like Al Gore in 2000, Mr. Hajir has done the region a huge favor in the way he has bowed out.

Anonymous said...

To Annon. July 22, 2010 1:40 PM

Reading the blog is optional. If you think it's bashing, don't read it, or read it and let it go. You DO NOT control what other people say or think. If you don't like what they say, then don't read the blog. Pretty easy, no?

Anonymous said...

Good riddance.

Curious observer said...

Is saying the chair of a regional school committee talked too long and was contentious bashing?

This is a public official that, I assume, ran for office, chose to sit in this position, made many remarks on a record, and tried to lead the regional school committee. No comment on any of this or else it's bashing?

What remarks would you allow to be said about public officials?

Anonymous said...

We are all better off with Mr. Hajir far from the Regional committee. His legacy speaks for itself.

Catherine A. Sanderson said...

I'll just make one comment here -- I think elected officials, including myself, are fair game for criticism. I've posted negative things about me consistently (as well as members of the Amherst SC) ... so it hardly seems fair to not publish criticism of other colleagues on the SC.

I do believe that Farshid's departure was the right call ... and I am hopeful that we will make great progress under Rick's leadership.