It is 2:30 a.m., and AGAIN, I can't sleep. Posting on the blog seems to be therapy for me, and while there hasn't been much good news in my life lately, I finally have something fun to post - my dad's 80th birthday celebration.
I don't know about you, but I don't know many 80 year olds who sing karaoke...on a regular basis. My dad has EIGHT CD's with songs he sings at Karaoke Night at the VFW when he is in Florida.
So for his 80th birthday, we decided to give him something that he would LOVE. A place to sing... ALL...NIGHT...LONG.
His (and Donny's) birthday's are on May 31. We always celebrate together, so we told dad we were having a cookout at our house on that day (which also happened to be Memorial Day)and would be celebrating his 80th. He bought it. On Sunday the 30th we told him we were taking him to the Red Carpet Tavern to get a bite to eat and because they had karaoke. It was a great plan - he came over (CD's in hand) and Sue, Matt, Nick & Mere, me, Donny and John all left from our house - while everyone was waiting at the bar...he was VERY surprised - and loved EVERY minute of it.
(just a note - my cousins from Utah, Jan & Cathy, arrived on THURSDAY - four days before the party - we decided to surprise him with THEM on Saturday, didn't want to
surprise him TOO much all in one day...and it worked perfectly - he thought they were there for the cookout/party on Monday, and he got to spend a little bit of time with them BEFORE the party. Perfect.
Hope you enjoy the photos from the celebration!
SURPRISE!!!!!! (note the CD CASE in his hand!)
Dad singing one of MANY songs...
Dad with his lifelong, neighborhood best friend, Jim
Irv and his girls...Sue, Pam & Donna
Family Karaoke...complete this sentence...The family that sings together.....
(reminds me of something Fort use to say "The family that drinks together, gets drunk together"...I think that was because her dad always took her to Kramer's after his softball games, she and Nick thought it was a Day Care Center...(I don't know WHAT made me think of that, inappropriate as it is... BUT THAT WAS FORT - (NOT inappropriate - it's just how her brain worked i guess -this is ANOTHER Fortener "doesn't make sense moment"...if you know us you understand this...)
the boys (John, Nick and HAPPY BIRTHDAY DONNY! too!)
Tony & Nick sing one (kind of) for grandpa
Fort's friends - Bone & Angie - partying with Grandpa....AGAIN....
Irv's favorite "outlaws"...Mere & John!
Travelled the farthest for the party...my cousins Jan & Cathy all the way from Utah!
GIFTS (it says "a trash can you can get out of! (filled with first aid stuff!)
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MORAINE MEADOWS LAST HURRAH....
Deb, Josh, Jackie, Pam (the windows to the left WERE my library!)
Leaving our mark at the BEST SCHOOL EVER in Kettering!
a letter from Kindergartners!
THE most beautiful library in Kettering City Schools!
GREENMONT...HERE I COME!
After an AGONIZING TWO WHOLE DAYS (yep, they gave me TWO WHOLE DAYS to make this decision!)...I have decided to continue my career at Greenmont Elementary School, where I began with Kettering City Schools 24 years ago. Greenmont has around 350 students, same socio-economic background as MM, I know some of the teachers there, the MM preschool teacher (Erin, who was a classmate of Melissa's at Fairmont AND a student at Greenmont when I was there 24 years ago)and her aide will be there. Before making the decision, I wanted to call the principal, who just happened to be principal at Moraine Meadows 3 years ago. I was looking for a school directory in a "junk" drawer, and instead found FOUR thank you notes from Melissa, and upon FURTHER searching, a yellow sticky note pad that said "GO TO GREENMONT". (my handwriting - it was a note that I wrote to myself a few years back because I needed to stop there for something before I went to MM...just threw it back in the junk drawer, because that's how i clean!)...and just happened to find it when I was trying to decide where to go! Also, visited the school the next morning, and when we were walking out of the office, I looked over, and on the secretary's desk was a "FIREBIRDS for FORT" cup. I knew that was where I had to be.
SO. Ready or not...HERE I COME GREENMONT!
...and to end this post, I have revised the letter that I am hoping someone will read at the board meeting next week (I won't be able to make the meeting, unfortuately). I had to make changes, because in their INFINITE wisdom, our administration and school board changed their mind, and decided to send all our kids to the same school...making the grand total of students in an ELEMENTARY SCHOOL (drum roll please.....) 600!!!!!!!!!! Unbelievable.
Another night I cannot sleep (last 14 days). Although I am very comfortable with my decision to go to Greenmont, I am far from happy about HAVING to make this decision.
I need for this administration to know what MY life has been like since the decision to close Moraine Meadows was made TWO WEEKS ago... TWO WEEKS. I would LOVE to know what you were doing in the last two weeks. This was MY life for the last 14 days:
NO SLEEP. I was awake EVERY night (around 3 a.m.) AGONIZING over where/who I was about to "bump" out of a job. I have cried every night over the loss of not just a "building", but a family. I have packed up a room with 20 years of accumulation. In LESS THAN 2 weeks. Most of which was during the last week of school (with students AND lots of year end activities going on!). It would have been nice if someone from the board or administration would have checked in to see how things were going, maybe even help? They sure spent a lot of time at MM BEFORE the closing!
I still have questions that I believe the public are entitled to know:
*Exactly HOW is $500,000 being saved on closing this building? An itemized list would be nice. As a citizen of Kettering, I am entitled to know.
*Moraine Meadows qualified for Title 1 Funds and MANY of our students received Title 1services (in reading). Because they are blending with such a HUGE school and more than likely won't qualify for Title 1 funds, what will happen to those students who need those services?
*Why wasn't the community of Moraine (or the voters of Kettering for that matte given the courtesy of a forewarning of the closure of Moraine Meadows? It might have made a difference in the outcome of the levy.
*There are unused classrooms in other buildings in the district. Why would you put 600 students into an elementary building and not redistrict when there are classrooms sitting empty in other buildings?
*Is the BOTTOM LINE what is BEST for STUDENTS or is the BOTTOM LINE money?
*When are administrative cuts going to be made? The only to job losses at Moraine Meadows were two aide positions. The combined salaries of these two aides was LESS THAN $30,000. For $30,000, these TWO AIDES made a DIRECT IMPACT on all 150 students!!!! (What a bang for your buck!)
*There are administrative positions that have NO DIRECT IMPACT on students with salaries at least double that of the these two aides. They impact ZERO students.
How can these positions be justified?
*Have there been any discussions about a possibility of some type of insurance buyout for teachers with over 35 years who are hanging on because of insurance costs?
I don't know if it is feasible, but could it be looked at? Retirements from those teachers could save the district a lot of money. New hires would be making a lot less money.
*What kind of planning was done BEFORE the decision to close Moraine Meadows? Any?
Your decision devastated an ALREADY devastated community, a staff that was SECOND to NONE and has literally put many students at risk in an already overflowing building.
How will you ever repair the damage that has been done in just two weeks time?
I am asking that you be willing to take responsibility for this decision if test scores go down at Southdale (which they most likely will if students who have qualified in the past for Title services don't receive them this coming year),
and IF the levy fails.
Are you willing to take that responsibility?
Ok. I am DONE with this. I know I have to move on, but these things need to be addressed....anyone willing to read it at the board meeting for me?
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p.s. In light of EVERYTHING that is going on...I STILL MISS YOU MELISSA.
EVERY. SINGLE. DAY. Love you pretty girl...