The DFT Vice Presidents File
The DFT has about six vice presidents at any given time. Several of them have made their complaints public. I often reply.
When I was first elected I didn't anticipate the adversarial role that would be thrust upon me. Just before I was sworn in as a new board member some teaching friends told me what Frank Wanner had told several hundred teachers. He said, "Harry Welty will be no friend of teachers."
Some of the adversarial role we participate in is pure gamesmanship. Some of it is heartfelt. Many of the vice presidents are adept at it.
Jim Melander - Jim and I have fenced for years. We taught together at Washington Jr. High back in 1984. He's encouraged me in the past. He's written me off. We've made up and quarreled anew. After Frank, Jim is the most voluble of the DFT vice presidents.
Japanese Schools 1-3-94 - Jim had loaned me an interesting book comparing Japanese schools to American schools. I took a few minutes to comment on what I had learned from the book in a thank you letter to Jim.
Letter to the Editor regarding Tony Stauber 4-18-94 - I do not like chaos. Its bad for our children. Consequently, since the days of Reg Nolin, three superintendents ago, I have defended them. When I ran for the school board in 1993 I was critical of Tony Stauber for undermining Nolin. I probably cost Tony his reelection. We disagree to this day about whether Nolin was competent or not and this letter expresses my viewpoint. I'm sure we still disagree whether Nolin was responsible for the debt that was uncovered during his brief tenure. Jim Melander did not take kindly to my letter to the editor. Jim and Tony always seemed to parrot each other's suspicions regarding the poor guy.
Jim Melander's letter to me in answer to my criticism of Stauber 4-25-94 and his request that I return his book.
My Reply to Jim 5-2-94 (and yes, I did return his book while he was away from his house) This is a long letter - a very long letter. I felt it was important to address Jim's suspicions carefully. I blame Peter Willcoxon, the District's former Finance Director, for the mess we got into not Nolin. My letter charges that Peter was guilty of a number of criminal actions. I have ****ed them out in this reposting of that letter.
Looking back through my old files has reminded me how far we have come from the days when the Duluth police were called in to investigate reports of theft and when employees cowered in their offices for of fear of reprisal from their superiors. I have labored strenuously to change our District's ethos. I think the old paranoia is lifting.
Quality Steering Committee - a letter I wrote in reply to Jim during my brief tenure as School Board Chair.
A dyspeptic attack on Mark Myles - a column in the DFT Newsletter
Contradictions - another column Jim wrote in the DFT Newsletter
A recent letter-to-the-Editor (3-30-01) by Jim that I strongly agree with.
Judy Gillen Dahl and Jerry Cleveland I've known both Jerry and Judy for years. I went to an MFT state convention with Judy and Jim Melander back in 1986. I was preparing to run for one of the vice president positions myself. I lost.
Both Jerry and Judy took shots at me during 1999 reelection campaign.
Judy Gillen Dahl letter to the editor and my reply
Jerry Cleveland ( ) although recently retired Jerry took a few minutes to mail my campaign flyer back to me with an angry note on the back. It genuinely expresses years worth of frustration that militant union members feel about the school district. You can see that my reply was hardly apologetic.
Jim Falk I taught across the hallway from Jim in 1987 at Morgan Park. He later had my daughter in his math class at Woodland. Recently elected a VP he took a shot at Edison during the school closing crisis.