Wednesday, July 8, 2009

But when a long train of abuses and usurpations...evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism...

A couple of posts I'd thought I'd bring to the top...

The issues you describe may be fact. However, we as a community cannot heal, or begin to think about healing until we unite.
Here is another fact for you to list: this blog at best is a gossip lover's "guilty pleasure" (one of your guest's terms - not mine)at worst it is divisive and harmful to our Church and school.

Here is my suggestion: Ask again and again for meetings with the community and the Church. I know you say you tried this avenue...You really did (or maybe not you) attempted to bully your way past the Diocese and Fr. Dan. Bullying never works! Extending an invitation to a "bitch" session only counts as bullying! There are plenty of things working at HCS. We need to start there.

Not a bad post, really.

First, I tend to agree with your statement about running to the diocese. I thought some went that route too early. As a minimum, those who went upstairs should have tried to meet with Father Dan, or notify him, as to why they felt they needed to do this. I'm not sure those who did, and there were more then a few who did this seperately, followed this route. And, to be honest, I think I even suggested this to at least one person - some control I have over my minions, eh?

However, there has to be a next step, as there is in every other area of our life when we are not getting satisfaction, especially when you can't seem to get through. Calls for meetings by those who were leaving, calls for meeting for those who have left, calls for meetings by teachers and administrative staff were not returned. I tend to think that some of these catagories (ie, teachers and staff) should have stood outside his door, if necessary, to get on his calendar. However, I also understand the average Holy Cross teacher is more mouse than lion when dealing with authority, especially Church authority. While understandable, it also underlines, to me, the extent that some of them have already gone.

The Quizz's posts have really only done one thing...and that is to provide a forum for those who have misgivings to know there are others who feel the same way, and to provide an opportunity for those who don't like our tactics to comment. I haven't deleted a single comment, and have only made one change in almost a year, because I do want a solution. I also think it is a "conversation piece" as I've over heard a few conversations about the blog. Funny, but I let it go, and it is interesting to see how two people will feel each other out as to the opinions posted here. Even Denise has used some of my postings in this matter, which I am certainly honored.

As to solutions, I've heard rumors of another meeting, but a bit more structured one, perhaps on church grounds. Again, I think this is a better solution, but an even better one would be for Denise or Father Dan to take the initative, show some leadership. Here's the call it a bitch session, I call it clearing the air. We'd have to address any possible retribution (which is difficult if you believe or know that your complaints will get reflected elsewhere), but such a meeting would be either you put up, or shut up. If they had such a meeting, agreed to write down the complaints, and agreed to address them, I'd stop posting immediately. I'd ask for anyone who has complained about her to her face or Fathe Dan to be invited, and maybe a few "referees". Establish some ground rules, and get it out in the open.


Anonymous said...

Okay...this is good. I recognize that you and your minions (apparently the use of this word has gotten some chuckles) are not pleased with Mrs. Jacono. And, I think, that you recognize the issue from my perspective. That is, my kids are happy, productive members of a Catholic Community that we cherish. A productive use of this board might be to post information regarding what we know about potential meeting times and places. I also think that this board could be of value as a place where minutes are recorded and posted for the public.

The Quizzinator said...

Well, we are getting somewhere.

Most of us "rebels" know the majority of people aren't even aware of the controversy, and there are a few-the "loyalists"- who are defenders of all that is Jacono. To hear you say that you recognize we are not pleased with her, even if you don't agree with them, is a starting point - and maybe the administration can learn something from that.

Whether or not my kids have been happy the past two years isn't really an issue - the teachers have done a pretty good job of handling the stress, but even they see the strain. They noticed, for instance, that AFTER the survey last year which asked if the kids saw the principal in the classroom, they saw her a whole lot more.

A digression...One funny story from that time was that one of Denise's staunchest supporters asked her very small child in front of her if she saw Mrs. Jacono in the classroom. The child, bless her heart, said, no....awkward, to say the least.

Further, we do cherish the community, and part of that used to be the school. Some of us grew up here, some of us moved here long before little Janey and Jimmi were gleams in our eye, and some of us are reluctant or do feel bad about where we are. There simply isn't that much left to cherish, and we do worry about the future of the school. Our community IS important, and the school should be one of the most important parts of it.

A leader of that community has to be the principal, and past ones have made it almost a sacred duty to be at every event. I know I would not want to see 4 performances of a play, but I expect a principal to at least see one, wouldn't you?

To Denise's credit, we did start to see her a bit more at some of the off hour events towards the end of the year, but her not showing up at ANY of the plays last year certainly showed where her priorities were.

There certainly is vitriol in the air, and not all of it comes from Denise. I try to seperate personal feelings from my views of her professional ones, but her methods have brought the worst out in many.

Anonymous said...

The fact is if we didn't care about the community of Holy Cross (a church and school I attended as a child) we would say screw you all and leave without another word. We do care, we are upset, we feel the school we planned to send our children to has gotten so bad thanks to this adminisration that public school IS the better option. Those of us that have left or are leaving are good parishoners, we are educated people, we are caring people, we are Catholic people. We care, many of us still attend church at HC (although some have left due to the circumstances) I would venture to say most of us intended to keep our children in Holy Cross until they graduated on to Thomas Moore, do you really think we wanted to change that plan? Out of the blue, and really through no choice of our own? Do you really think we didn't try every single solitary option we could think of before we finally threw in towel? We were not heard, despite our desperate efforts to get any response. At least thanks to this blog we can hope that we are heard, if not by the school admins. at least by other concerned parents and teachers.

Anonymous said...

I feel much the same way you do. My family was a part of HC school for many years, we attend church, etc.

We have NO REGRETS moving on to public. Daughter laments that we did not make the move much earlier.

I totally feel pushed out by J. Hope she's proud of herself. Nothing like creating negative feelings toward the whole institution!

btw...just curious, why is there NO MENTION of the other worthless half of the administration? She shares in the downfall of HCS. Cowering in the corner shaking her head. I can understand the fear she must live with but God gave her a voice. Why doesn't she speak up for injustices? Especially since she has been there long enough to know the contributions people have made to the school in the past. Shameful!

Anonymous said...

"btw...just curious, why is there NO MENTION of the other worthless half of the administration? She shares in the downfall of HCS. Cowering in the corner shaking her head. I can understand the fear she must live with but God gave her a voice. Why doesn't she speak up for injustices? Especially since she has been there long enough to know the contributions people have made to the school in the past. Shameful!"

How do you know that she isn't? Your presumption may be considered "shameful"...Try being involved, you might learn a thing or two!

Anonymous said...

That is involved beyond making baseless internet posts!

The Quizzinator said...

Excellent question, really, and I think it came up before.

One unusual thing is that I hear NOTHING about the other part of the tandem. I mean, squat. Name a teacher or member of the staff, and I've heard some rumor of how they feel, one way or the other, except one. For someone who has his ear to the ground, this puzzles the Quiz.

Anyone who has stood up to Denise has paid a high price. She does NOT believe in collaberative leadership, but it is either her way or the highway. Someone who has been around a while, especially someone in an administrative position, would certainly know that - and might even have a good idea how someone with Denise's personality is going to go over at HC. Why not let her pick the twine and make her own rope? One can always be there to pick up the pieces.

If my far-out prediction/fantasy comes true, and that our principal is assumed into Wilmington, there won't be that much time left to hire a new principal before the start of the year. Why not take someone who is here and give them the reins? SOMEONE has to be in charge, and that is why you have a number 2, and even better, you have someone who knows what it was like before the Great Unpleasantry.

Is it the couragous leadership I would want to have? Heck, there have been teachers who have rose up once in a while that have showed more courage (the great Lunch Room Rebellion of '08), so I think she could have done more, but it certainly would have been very costly to her.

Or, of course, she totally agrees with Denise, and thinks that things are hunky and dory.

Anonymous said...

"How do you know that she isn't? Your presumption may be considered "shameful"...Try being involved, you might learn a thing or two!"

Oh, I AM involved. I have experienced a cowering, head shaking episode myself.


The Quizzinator said...

I'm really trying to give her the benefit of doubt. I've had a similar experience where she let Jacono run rough over someone and didn't say a word about it. This is a lack of leadership, but to be honest, I have different expectations for the principal and the assistant. I think she could be an effective principal, but her performance over the past two years has not helped her career prospects.

Anonymous said...

Principal potential??? You MUST be joking! She barely has the energy to drag herself to work to do next to nothing. How on earth would she ever take on real responsibilities?

Anonymous said...

It is becoming painfully clear that many posters are begs the statement...Go work somewhere else!!

The Quizzinator said...

"Begs the statement" and then you give the statement?

I've known that we've had a good mix of teachers and parents posting here for a while, and the answer is the same. You don't quite get that, do you?

And, as much as I do criticize the teachers for not being a bit more forceful on this issue, I understand why they do not. It isn't exactly a great market for teachers right now, with school districts laying off rather then hiring. I KNOW that many of our teachers have taken steps to try to leave, but the opportunities aren't as great as last year when we had a whole lot jump ship.

Anonymous said...

"Go work somewhere else" These teachers love the school. Why should they have to leave because of her attitude? And for those who think that only "bad" teachers have had problems with J, think again!

btw, did everyone get their call about the classroom assignments for the fall?

The Quizzinator said...

Yes, and hoping to look at the lists a bit closer later.

A quick look at them looks like the numbers are down, which isn't a surprise. Not down as much as I had heard, but there are a LOT of new names on the list, and a lot of names missing. That would mean that although Denise can't seem to keep people, I'll give her credit for beating the bushes to get fresh meat to run through the grinder.

Anonymous said...

Everyone ready for another fun year?

Anonymous said...

Guess we're back to the way we were. Only one lunch choice each day.

Unknown said...

We have her as a principal public schools in Nashville TN how did y'all core and any advice or anything is helpful so we can Save what's left of our school. Jacono has or teachers scared to talk parents don't like her they have cursed her out the staff is very hostile smdh because of her.

The Quizzinator said...

Hello...and thanks for writing.

Haven't updated the blog since after my kids left, but the stain that she left remains. She certainly accelerated a lot of trends that probably would have hit the school, eventually....when she started enrollment was over 600, it has dropped below 400 this year. Her previous private school also closed on her (granted, it was probably in danger when she took over, but we heard similar things when she got there).

What I would suggest is to keep engaging her. Push her...but record everything. Every time you contact her, every time you contact her and her boss, every person who contacts her - record it. She does not like people who stand up or question that is what you have to do. If there is a PTA/PTO...get involved, and try to get others to see it.

Pass this blog around, as well. Start something similar (or take this one over) to show that she has really not changed.

She'll also try to look for those friendly to her point of view, or those who feel honored to be part of her team. That is going to be frustrating...but she will turn on them, or throw them to the wolves when it is convenient to her.

To be honest, I was hoping that she had changed....leaving Holy Cross under less than ideal circumstances, a stop before she left, and I had hoped she had learned her lesson.

It has been over 7 years since we started this, and I still believe she was the worst administrator of a school I have ever seen. The being bad at so many things (managing, recruiting, motivating, budgeting) was bad, but her arrogance and refusal to listen to anyone else is why she tops the list.