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Letters to the Editor: Summer/Fall 2019

Treat Your Teachers Well

I would like to comment on the article [“Teachers Wanted”] in your Spring 2019 issue. I think it’s a wonderful idea to address the teacher shortage with this grant to attract and train students and mentor those graduating to retain them for our Pennsylvania schools.

I come from a multigenerational family of teachers. My mother was a music teacher in New Jersey back in the 1960s. She taught in the Alexandria Township public school in Everittstown and in Milford Public School. I taught elementary classes in the Pennsauken public school system in New Jersey for over 30 years. My daughter taught elementary school in the Marion County public school system in Florida for over 10 years. She was the most gifted teacher among all three generations of us. She recently had her first baby and does not wish to return to teaching in the public school setting. She is seriously considering home schooling her own child.

The fact is, public school teachers are not regarded as highly as when my mother and I taught. Everyone blames them when a parent complains that his or her student has academic problems. Support is given to the student, and the teacher is thrown under the bus. As I said, my daughter  was exceptional with classroom control and academic performance, and both the parents and her students loved her. But, she said, there were many times when she called to make parents aware their child was in need of extra help or tutoring, for example, and no follow-through occurred, or when she called because there was a discipline issue, and she got very little support from either the parent or the administrators. She complained to me of the constant pressure from administration to teach to standardized tests rather than to follow a feasible curriculum that was appropriate to the developmental stage of the child. She asked rhetorically, “If we are taught Piaget’s developmental model for child development, why are we being urged to teach skills far beyond what should be expected for a third grader?”

I hope your efforts will be fruitful. Much success to the developers in the task before them.

Janet Huber
Rossiter, PA

Refreshing View of Debt

I couldn’t have been prouder of IUP than when I read President Driscoll’s message in the spring issue. I nodded my head and said Amen aloud after reading, “We at IUP think it’s unethical to admit you and ask you to assume debt for a program you might not complete.” Then, he paid tribute to the value of community college, trades, and military service. Dr. Driscoll’s moral clarity on the burden of debt was refreshing.

Samuel J. Richards ’04
Shanghai, China

Mystery Sparks Memories

My IUP Magazine this last issue was a memory from the past. In the late ’40s and ’50s, I knew Wayne Hawxhurst [’53, M’70, from “Mystery at the Library,” Spring 2019] quite well.

He dated, then married, Rose Jane McCardle [’53] from Indiana. Her sister Helen was a classmate of mine in the Art Department at IUP.

Rose Jane at that time was the floral designer at Indiana Floral. After graduation from IUP, Rose Jane moved to Key West. Wayne followed her there.

Val Ley Skinner ’50
New Bethlehem, PA

’80s Flashback

I’m a 1983 journalism grad, and I believe I can identify a few students in this picture [“The Sky’s the Limit,” Spring 2019]. One of them is me! My maiden name is Loniero. One of them is my boyfriend at the time, Dave Rovnan [’84]. Sadly Dave passed away a few years after graduation. The other person I think I can identify is Bette Garmon—another ’83 journalism grad. Thanks for the trip down memory lane!

Anita Loniero Doncaster ’83
Charlotte, NC

Editor’s Note: Established in 1989, the David J. Rovnan Memorial Journalism Scholarship is awarded each year to a staff member of the Penn, IUP’s student newspaper. A former Penn editor, Rovnan died in a boating accident in 1987.

Hands-Down Favorite

The undated picture in the spring issue of IUP Magazine was taken in 1982. I am sitting on the steps, farthest to the right. Professor DeGeorge was hands down my favorite teacher.

Spencer Harper ’83
Bear, DE