Having had the privilege of serving as a high school social studies for three years at Western Reserve High School and having the opportunity to live in and get to know a resilient and amazing community, I know that the recently announced layoffs and structural adjustments have created a tense situation amongst the Western Reserve family.
In working in Cleveland, Harlem, N.Y., and Columbus, I know that financial distress and budget cuts are not new phenomena in wonderful communities. However, knowing the professional accolades and qualifications of Delores Conklin, while having worked with her during my stay at WRHS, her announced layoff was especially troubling.
During a presentation at Princeton University in New Jersey, I was honored to detail the wonders of Conklin's classroom to a jam packed audience. As Conklin was the first one in and one of the last teachers out of school everyday, her hard worked paid off as students found relevance and excitement in her language arts classroom.
Thousands of students, all of the WR faculty and staff and an amazing community are better off for her six years of dedicated service, and I know that I have been personally touched by her passion and commitment to helping her students.