By Harry Welty
When I stepped down from the
Duluth School Board we were wrestling with school closings and
Not long ago a reporter who misses my big mouth and who was casting about for Board members to comment on these reheated headlines discovered that my successor’s phone had been disconnected. Since my house is protected by four East High Hockey wreaths I’ll go ahead and shoot my mouth off – just for old time’s sake.
First the important stuff – school closings:
Last week the
Like U.S. Marines who risk
life and limb to save the bodies of fallen comrades Denfeld voters rushed to the
aid of Central High last year when
it seemed that a high school was about to close. Denfelders threatened to vote
against an excess levy if a high school was closed and promised to vote for a
levy if the School Board promised to keep three high schools open. Since no
We were reluctant because keeping three small high schools put more pressure on the District to close elementary schools. For my part I urged voters to pass the levy and argued that without its passage elementary schools would be in even greater jeopardy.
Clouding the issue as the Board headed into last Tuesday’s meeting was a little dust up between Superintendent Almanza and some UMD researchers who had done a “sophisticated” population projection for him. Since Almanza couldn’t make sense of the projections he didn’t share the study with Board members. This was risky for Almanza because Board members usually insist on seeing all the cards in the Administration’s hand. Almanza, however, got some support from an unexpected source, his predecessor, Mark Myles. Myles wrote a scorching letter to the Trib discrediting the study’s enrollment projections. The study was no longer an issue by the time the School Board met.
the time consuming stuff: East High Hockey
At any rate it was hockey, not enrollment projections that preoccupied the School Board as they headed into Tuesday’s School Board meeting.
Before they could discuss
school closings they had to have a closed meeting to discuss East High Hockey.
There was so much to discuss that they had to adjourn the closed meeting
temporarily to begin the official School Board meeting. After the Board meeting
was over they reconvened the closed meeting and continued talking about hockey
late into the night. The closed meeting took two-and-a-half hours far more than
was required to save
As I said my house is
wearing a protective talisman courtesy of East Hockey this
The departure of that senior just meant more attention for East’s transfer students as did the departure of the teammate who got a swift little kick after being called off the ice for his mediocre performance. Insults added to injury can be motivational.
Unfortunately, it turned out that the transfers weren’t eligible to play for the first half of East’s hockey season and the team had to forfeit four wins. But never fear! As with the hinky wreath sales of the past there was someone else other than the coach available to take the blame. In this case it was an obliging, and genuinely remorseful, Activities Director. He’d confused the rules governing in-state and out-of-state transfer students. Of course, it might be logical to assume that a storied high school coach should have learned the rules of player-eligibility after two decades of coaching. But that’s probably too much to expect of a team that lives by the slogan: “winning isn’t everything, it’s the only thing.”
is a small time politician who lets it all hang out at: www.snowbizz.com