Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Well, Well...

Interesting and thought provoking posting from someone that I don't believe is Jacono, but who I have an idea who they are, eh, "girlfriend"?

My point is simple...You, this blog, is an aggitator. You seek to rile folks up with remarks designed to rip Mrs. Jacono and by extension the Holy Cross administration (and even the Diocese!). There is no solution in what you do here! Man-up, Be part of the solution...for if you are not then, in fact, you are part of the problem!!My children are getting a solid Catholic education, which is why I sent them in the first place. I have no problems with how things are run. You and your anonymous cohorts need to know that you do not speak for all. Mrs. Jacono, Holy Cross, Father Dan and the Wilmington Diocese are my home..You may think that the "faithful" do not exist. You are wrong. And I am not Mrs. Jacono!!

Lots to talk about, but I'll take one point right now, and that is the agitator one.

Guilty, dear, as charged. However, like the agitator in a washing machine, without a lot of things going on, there is no effect. Cleant clothes require something to wash, some soap, some water, and the rest of the machinary to work (and, yes, this is an A-N-A-L-O-G-Y...which means that it is not to be taken literally). Without one of them, the agitator does no good. And, like many other "Agitators" like Thomas Paine, Martin Luther (and King), nothing would get done (and, NO I am not comparing myself to Martin Luther King....it is an A-N-A-L-O-G-Y....Tree is to paper as rubber is to tire does not mean I think a tree is a tire).

I also KNOW I don't speak for all. There are many I talk to who feel much, much stronger about her then I do. I even know a very prominent person who believes she is "evil", as in big "E" evil. I don't go that far, believing that gives her way too much credit for what amounts to someone who simply doesn't know the basics of management. However, I also acknowledge there are those who like her personally (like you, I guess) because she treats them differently then others ,for God knows what reason. I also know there are many - perhaps the majority - of people who don't know or don't care about this. I was surprised to find someone like that the other day. I didn't say much to them, believe it or not, but to have heard nothing is something is indicative of someone who hasn't been paying attention - would you agree with me on that?

What you refuse to accept is that there is a certain number of people who feel as I do. Your focusing on me, or elevating me to some God-Like status (it is an...okay, I hope you get it) allows you to ignore the comments themselves. Good tactic, I guess, but way too obvious. You want to ignore the 15-25% who feel roughly the same way I do.

Does that matter? Well, if it was an election, probably not. However, most businesses couldn't afford to have that many unhappy customers, especially one that already relies on subsidies. You don't think the number of people who left last year caused the leadership to "discuss" the matter with Denise?

So...I agitate because there is something to agitate about. The problem is that for most of the first year, people didn't know about each other's issues with her. It didn't help that when they went to Father Dan SEVERAL people heard him say, "Well, this is the first time I heard about this". You want to shoot the messenger (I never realized how many analogies I use...but I don't really believe you want to shoot me - do you?), and ignore the message.

I'll have more to say, but I'll let you and others respond to this.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Life after Jacono

A reader sent this in, and I thought it was good enough to deserve it's own post, although it will probably overshadow one of my more clever posts below it....

For the record, there is life after Holy Cross and it's wonderful! The public school teachers and administators openly welcome parents who volunteer, even more so they adore them! The school uses up to date testing, unlike the outdated testing used to track at Holy Cross. Intelligent children are challenged academically, as the school knows these children's success will bring them better funding!

The teachers truly appreciate my well behaved, religious children (and I take credit for that, Holy Cross did not raise them). All students are treated equally and fairly, not just the ones who don't disagree with the principal. Fundraising is minimal and any effort applauded. Specials are not changed randomly year to year, and they are all solid options. Teachers are respected, and if they aren't they can take action, amazingly the same goes for parents ( I know that sounds strange to HC parents it was strange for me at first too!).

Then there are the little things. You can go to any class celebration. You don't need to get fingerprinted to go on a field trip with your child. Your child won't get detention if the dentist can finally get them in at 8:30a.m. on a Tuesday. If you want to sign your kids out with no notice five min. before the end of the school day, so be it, they're your children after all! (shocking I know!) Oh and the secretary won't give you attitude for doing so! Lunch is a dollar and you don't have to plan a month in advance to buy it (get this it's even nutritionally sound and filling to boot!). If your kid wants a rolling backback and notebooks with cartoon characters, they are free to express themselves in such a manner.

Best of all not only do all the students have to play by the rules, but so do the teachers, secretaries, principals, assistant principals, and even ass. supers and superintendants. They don't fly by the seat of their pants making up rules and picking and choosing who they are accountable to. Funny, it's like I left the twilight zone and entered back into reality. I can't tell you how refreshing it has been! While I miss the parents I have become friends with over the years and watching their children grow with mine, and the teachers my children and I have come to know and love, the sense of communtiy left when Jacono came. The teachers weren't the same, stressed Im sure by their own dealings with Jacono, The sense of community was gone. Friendships I had with many parents was shattered by their lack of action despite their many complaints about Jacono.

I am not one to go with the flow sacraficing my childrens education and my own morals, and I was shocked and disheartened when others were so willing to. There is life beyond Holy Cross, it is not the only option, you can raise good, Catholic, well educated children while they attend public school.The ultimate reward for me was when at the end of this school year (we left HC mid-year((yes J it's me your favorite Dr's daughter)I gave the children the option to return to Holy cross if they wanted to, and they both answered with a resounding "NO!".

I am confident next year will be even better, as the children won't have the burden of transitioning to a new school mid-year. I never, ever thought in a million years I would even consider sending my children to public school. Jacono made that decision for me and for that I thank her! We couldn't be happier!!

A bit of a stretch, but...

I think most of us have been somewhat confused regarding the uprising in Iran. It first shows that Iran, and the Arab people, are not all marching lock step with their leaders, and they have, low and behold, differences of opinion, just like us. Imagine that.

What is fascinating is to see the reaction of the establishment to the riots. First, they announce nothing is wrong. Then they say there may be some minor problems, but that doesn't affect anything the people have full control of. They then threatened and forced confessions or redactions from people who they think are behind demonstrations.

And, while we don't know how it will turn out, and it is quite likely that the existing Iranian President will continue in office, there is no doubt that the country and the people of Iran have changed. They have changed the way they see their country, their religion, and themselves, and their actions do not end at this election, but will certainly be felt in the future.

Friday, June 19, 2009


I'm not planning on updating this anywhere near as much as the last couple of months (you can thank me later, Denise), but will have to celebrate the birthday of the blog next month. I posted some statistics last month, but a full year should be interesting.

I'll try to post SOMETHING at least once a week, but it is the summer and things are slow. I've got a few things, but I do see that we've got one or two new posters who've added some interesting comments to a few of the entries.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009


One thing that puzzles the Quizz (hey, how many sentences do you see with 4 "z"s in them) is the explosion of various forms of spirit wear by mothers. I'm not talking about PTA/PTO type shirts, or event shirts, but tee shirts, polo shirts, and even jackets with the HC logo on it. As I said, a shirt given for participation in an event or festival makes sense (great fall festival shirt, for instance), but why does it seem that some mothers have a whole wardrobe of clothing? Shoot, even the teachers don't wear the stuff (they do have their own teacher type shirts, though).

And I say mothers, because I don't think I've ever seen a father wear one, unless it was associated with a sports team he was coaching. Wearing elementary school logos seems off the fashion choices for most fathers, I guess.

Sunday, June 14, 2009


One interesting process is the evolution of those who see the light. Be it a gradual awakening or a quick jolt, or simply what they've decided to reveal to the world (spies are everywhere, after all), watching some come out of the closet. Not everyone, of course, starts at the beginning, nor do all spend a whole lot of time in each, but the "Six Stages of Jacono" has been observed in many people.

And, to be honest, I've even observed a few who appear to have gone back, but the Dr. Quiz thinks this is a temporary condition.

1. Blind Loyalty: Nothing she did was ever wrong, everything that has gone wrong was someone else's fault, and problems are blamed on the messengers.

2. Corporate Stooge: A few problems with her, perhaps, and the source of most of the "well, she is a good x, but sometimes she has a problem dealing with some people". However, she is a principal and must be followed....and besides, the church picked her so we simply don't understand it, but it must be for the good.

4. Reluctant Acceptance: Where most people fall, and where most stop evolving, which is to her advantage. Not happy with one or more of her decisions or practices, but content with the teachers or not willing to take the next step. Source of most of the grumbling.

5. Rebel: Have been yelled at, or have yelled at Denise, generally. Have gone to Father Dan, or tried to go even further (not a step that I ever thought had a snowball's chance in hell, BTW).

6. Disengagement: Either waiting out a final child in school, or have already left.

Monday, June 8, 2009

I've been thinking

The Q. rarely relies on pure speculation, but something about the story below about Denise getting her grade school teacher certification didn't quite add up. The assumption of some is she would use it as an escape route, but she is the kind of person who rarely admits they are wrong, so it is unlikely to me that she would retreat to a teaching position, especially as she has been a principal for a number of years.

I have absolutely nothing to go on but deductive reasoning, but I thought I'd float my own theory. Sentences in blue are "facts", so to speak, but the rest is me filling in the blanks.

First, in many organizations, one way that you get rid of a loose wheel, especially a well connected one, is to kick them upstairs to some staff job, or a "manager in charge of special projects" kind of slot. That isn't an option, usually, because there simply isn't that many positions in the diocese. However, one has come open...


That may well fit the bill.

See, Denise is BFF with this person, and is pretty tight with the superintendent, as well. I've heard that there was some pressure to get her down here, which makes sense even if you simply take into fact that her school lost population until it merged with a nother school and she didn't have a job.

One could also assume that one or the other principals at the school would be retiring soon (which the diocese would know, based on age and other information), and let's say the assistant superintendent indicated she wanted to get back to a line position, opening up a staff position at the diocese at some point in the future. Wouldn't BFFs have an inside track to when it was opening up, and what they will be looking for?

Given as we know that Denise views herself as a fixer, and that she loves evaluting people and giving opinions, wouldn't the job be perfect for her? She's got the education, she has the certifications, and she could even argue that she has been through the merger of two schools (Leaving out how she drove people away, of course). I suspect that she didn't really want to come down here, as many upstaters feel, and she thought we'd be a bunch of rubes with flannel shirts and straw sticking out of the corner of our mouths that she could handle. Does anyone really think she is happy at her job here?

And why would she feel the need to publish a list of "accomplishments" and add to her certification unless she was padding her resume? ?

Sure, I've got little to go on, but doesn't a promotion make sense? She leaves on her own terms, she can forever claim that she was successful and got promoted out of this job, her posse down here can have a tearful going away party and she winds up in less harmful and stressful position. She's happy, we're happy, her posse is happy, Father Dan is happy. Everyone wins, no one has to admit a mistake - problem solved.

Maybe not quite Dan Brown, but I think it has at least a chance of happening. Anybody want some action as to whether she puts in for the job?

Credit Report

As the year winds down, I'm going back over some old material and reviewing it to see how it holds up over the months since it was posted.


1. Volunteer List: I was optomistic, but something happened during the year that was noticed by everyone, especially the PTO. There were a few more opportunities but participation seemed to have totally dropped off.

2. School Board: Very slow start, and not exactly the most independent group, but there is still hope there. The survey was kept as independent as I think possible, but it is interesting we have not gotten the results. I suspect it will be mixed, at best.

3. Teachers: Most worked out very well. Denise will be playing musical chairs again next year, maybe because if you want to look like you are making progress, simply shuffle the deck. Many of the comments were about the guidance counselor and the circumstances under which she left, but her replacement has done a credible job.

4. Schedule: I was pretty positive about this, but I see that she is changing the schedule around again for next year. See note above about making changes for change sake.

5. School Code: Most changes were made clearer, but I suspect we'll see more changes this coming year, for the same reason the changes were made in items 3 and 4 above.

Friday, June 5, 2009


One of the reasons that people choose Holy Cross is for the religious aspect. I'm not talking about the religon classes, but the way in which we try to get people to live the life, and set good examples.

There is a program called "prayer buddies" where older kids pair up with the kids in the younger grades. A good program, and one that I think reinforces good behavior on BOTH the older and younger kids. This year, the young children gave their 8th grade partners a "WWJD" bracelet.

Apparently some of the 8th graders wore the bracelet to school, as has been the custom and tradition of the school for years...and promptly were punished by losing their final "tag" day by Denise. I am sure there will be a defender or two who will quote chapter and verse of the holy book of rules and regulations, but somehow a Catholic school punishing kids for wearing a What Would Jesus Do bracelet seems that someone is missing the point.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Sign of the times?

I see that Denise is getting her elementary education certification back, to go along with her administrator one. Wonder if she plans on using it any time soon?

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Doubting Thomases

What is amazing is how many stories are coming or confirming early reports as we end the school year. Maybe it is frustration or exhaustion, but I'm just full of stories.

Although many readers don't quite believe it, we do try to confirm what we post here. I don't want to get people in trouble, and I don't want to be libelous, either. I've heard great stories that prove our basic contention, but by writing them I would expose sources AND me - at least until I can figure out a way to write it.

For instance - there is a story that has been floating around for a while that one of our former priests said he believes she will destroy the school in 5 years. Now, when I first heard this, it seemed a bit extreme, even to me. However, little birdies are confirming to me that enrollment and reenrollment figures for next year are down for next year, so he may not be that far off. Given as our turnover rate is through the roof, we are accepting more and more marginal students, and the economy offering an assist, it does not bode well for the school.

Monday, June 1, 2009

Here, there, and everywhere

As we start into the last month of school, I thought it might be interesting to some of you to know a bit about our traffic to the site. First, we've not been posting consistantly, so traffic is down a bit from past months, but there are still some interesting figures. I also don't have some of the first month or so figures, as I was not familiar with blogging or how to track traffic, but I'm settle for what I do have.

First, most of you come here directly, meaning you are either typing in the link, or have it in one of your favorites. The Google accounts for a little less then 10% of our traffic, but what is interesting to me is that 6% of our traffic comes from referals on Facebook. That traffic simply didn't exist a year ago. Those who Google tend to use the words Holy Cross and Jacono, which has "helped" make our site now appear on the first page when these words are used.

Second, we get people from all over. I've had visits from China, Russia, Switzerland, Canada...about 20 countries in all, including Italy. Gasp! Maybe the Pope is watching? I suspect most are accidental "hits", but this isn't a site that one stumbles on, either.

Closer to home, we've had visits from 6 states this month (26 states since we've started), and 11 areas within Delaware, pretty much hitting every major city and town.

Overall, we've had 8,000 visits by 550 unique visitors, which tells me that most people at Holy Cross have stopped by here at least once, and if you added up everything they have all looked at, it would be about 35,000 views - and this is without any advertising or really spreading the word. I thought about sending the link to all the teachers and staff, but decided against it, as I heard they knew about it already.

At wit's end

I commented on uniforms a while ago....

but really haven't had much to say about them. I even thought the winnowing down of options was a good idea, for the most part, but was surprised to hear of a bit of a tete a tete regarding a throwaway comment in the newsletter.

Not sure if you have noticed, but the newsletter is often used in a unique way. Want to minimize something? Don't mention it, or put the briefest of comments in there. One can then argue that is was publicized, if only by the strictest defination of the word.

There was a comment about Lands End uniforms...that they are not authorized. Now, I didn't even know that they sold the HC pattern, but apparently this was something carried over from years past. Apparently if you get real, real close, you can detect a few threads in a few of the lines are not exactly the same..but given as we've got at least 2 generations of uniforms out there, was it worth putting in the newsletter? Especially as we did have a relationship with them before Denise got here, at least according to Lands End...


I'll just continue to order from Flynn and O'Hara. If nothing else, I love the name, as I get to say it in a brogue like my great uncle Sean.