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Turtle Creek Mayor to School District: Redistrict; don’t consolidate junior highs

Pittsburgh Post GazetteBy ADAM R. FORGIE
Mayor, Turtle Creek
Thursday, January 25, 2007
Pittsburgh Post Gazette

This letter is in response to the comments made by Colleen Filiak, of the Woodland Hills school board, who, at the Jan. 10 board meeting, said the students of East Junior High in Turtle Creek were not receiving the same level of education as a student at West Junior High in Swissvale.

As an alumnus of Woodland Hills School District who spent my junior high years at East Junior High, as a social studies teacher of six years at East Junior High, and as the mayor of Turtle Creek, I believe I am highly qualified to voice my opinion and express my disappointment in Mrs. Filiak’s comments.

The children of East Junior High have had and will continue to have an excellent education, which is being taught by a very professional and highly qualified staff. The opportunities and curricula being taught are the same as what is being taught by my outstanding colleagues at West Junior High. If anything, the learning environment at East is much more conducive to learning because it is a smaller and more controllable student body. Consolidating junior highs will create a chaotic atmosphere that will lower PSSA scores and promote a horrible educational atmosphere.

I believe the solution is to redistrict 150 students from West to East. This will lighten the load on both the West staff and the borough of Swissvale and, furthermore, equalize the student populations in both schools. Turtle Creek and its citizens also will get to keep their historic, treasured and beautiful high school operational.

Mrs. Filiak makes me wonder, if I had not gone to East, would I still have ended up just a teacher and mayor? Her comments suggest that if I had gone to West, that I would be a superintendent and our governor.

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