John Sullivan: Atwater exit interviews a hit

April 30, 2013 

It is reassuring, as well as rewarding, to know that these students are nothing like the portrait painted by the media of today's young people. They were all dressed for success and modeled it as well.

Every year I am touched by some of the stories they share. These are tough times and these are some tough children who have not given up their dreams or goals. For example, one student had been placed in a foster home in the third grade and recently returned home. She was such a beautiful person -- so positive and caring. Talk about resilient and then some. I doubt many adults could have handled some of the obstacles these young people have had to overcome.

I would like to thank the Atwater High School staff. Every senior mentioned at least one staff member who helped them on their journey.

Students appreciated your concern, help and friendship! You DO make a difference. Falcon Pride is working!

A special thank you goes to Darlene Runsten and Sheryl Garman, who coordinated this well-run event!

In this day and age of reality shows I can't believe someone hasn't filmed this event. AHS, you have a hit on your hands. I am looking forward to next year's celebration of success!

JOHN SULLIVAN

Atwater

Bus drivers won't get support

An open letter to the Merced City School District bus drivers: What message were you trying to send when 11 of you called in sick on Friday?

The message received at Peterson School was that the first-grade field trip to the Fresno Zoo would be cut short by an hour, forcing the teachers to hastily create a new itinerary for the day. It left 125 students wondering why they didn't get to see all of the animals before they had to get back onto the bus. This was an improvement over last year, when the classes were already at the zoo when word arrived that the buses were needed back in Merced, cutting the trip short by 90 minutes, and forcing the students back onto the bus before they had lunch.

When contract negotiations come around again, and you are looking for support from us parents, don't worry.

Your actions have already spoken volumes.

JEFF CHIESA

Merced

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