Wednesday, June 04, 2008

New Schools Chief Stays on Front Line

By Theresa Vargas
Washington Post Staff Writer
Wednesday, June 4, 2008; Page B01

He began the article: "Dear Tom Cruise: I want you to meet my daughter."

Morton Sherman described a popular, active girl who struggled with depression and tried to kill herself at 15. He wrote that even as a school superintendent married to a special education teacher, he and his wife could not stop the sophomore. They wondered what they had done wrong.

"When a child breaks a leg, we put a cast on it. When we have a headache, we take aspirin. When the flu season starts to break out, we all run for shots," Sherman wrote. "So must it be for the mental health of our children."

A personal appeal to those like Cruise -- who has criticized psychiatry and the use of antidepressants -- Sherman's 2006 article in an American Association of School Administrators magazine gives insight into the New Jersey schools chief named Monday as Alexandria's superintendent. His criticism of the education system's ability to deal with mental health fits with his reputation as an administrator who jumps to the front lines of issues.

Alexandria School Board member Yvonne A. Folkerts interviewed 40 people in Tenafly, N.J., about Sherman before he was hired.

"They said to me, 'I hope you guys are ready,' " she said. "They said, 'The only thing we had to ask him was to slow down a little bit because we couldn't keep up.' "

In a unanimous vote, the board awarded Sherman, 58, a contract for $250,000 a year through June 2012. He replaces Rebecca L. Perry, who left in January. Sherman begins Aug. 15.

Read more HERE


Anonymous said...

Should would be nice to have a Super like this. Are we going to even look at the possibility of vetting our current one when his contract expires?

Jennifer said...

The board has not discussed this yet but I anticipate it will be discussed shortly. I believe the Supt. contract expires in 2009.