School Mergers and the Maybe Not-So Missing Memorabilia

For the record, in compiling the candidate profiles for the current prairie dog issue and for this blog, I did absolutely no fact checking of the assertions made by the various candidates -- no fact checking, whatsoever.

And while I'd cringe a little when I'd stumble on claims by candidates that property crime is going up in Regina (based on the 2008 to 2009 stats, it's going down.... the number of crimes against people on the other had, is creeping upward), I simply didn't have time to dig into every claim by all 40-plus candidates. I was kind of hoping any errors would get ferreted out by their opponents over the course of the campagn.

Well, this afternoon in my inbox I received my first critique of a candidate profile. The e-mail comes from Barb Saylor who is one of the outgoing members of the Public School Board. She takes exception to some comments made by Cindy Anderson, a candidate for that board in Subdivision 4. I'm reprinting the pertinent portion of Barb's email below....
"I must correct an impression left by Cindy Anderson as to the disposition of memorabilia from Robert Usher and other closed schools. She was on the transition committee, as her profile states, so she knows that there was indeed a plan, which included the transfer of sport-related plaques and trophies to a special cabinet beside the gym door at Thom; the tracking down of families whose students had memorial and other plaques in the schools; and a website with photos and descriptions of memorabilia, so that members of the public could ID them and claim them, if they wished. No doubt some unclaimed material was taken by members of the community, and that would be the items "in boxes, dispersed...." Items from Stewart Russell School went to Judge Bryant, including, with the blessing of Mr. Russell's family, his portrait and bio. I don't know specifically about items from Herchmer School, but consistency of practice already demonstrated would lead me to think that many are at Wascana School and others await the brand-new school to be built on the Herchmer site. This school will replace both Herchmer and Wascana, and will combine the heritage of both. My son's Grade 8 graduation picture will take its place somewhere in that building, whose construction and grand opening I plan to be around to see."
You can read Cindy's original comments on the Public School Board profiles page. If anyone wants to provide more insight into the disposition of memorabilia from closed schools, our blog is comment-enabled....

UPDATE [27/10/09, 09:47am]: A comment from Cindy Anderson has been posted which, in the case of Usher, disputes Barb Saylor's impression of how school memorabilia was handled. You can read it in the comments section below....


Anonymous said...

I do not want to get into a big discussion about the dispersal of the memorabilia at Usher with Barb Saylor, but what she has posted is totally wrong about Usher. My husband, I and former Usher parents were the only persons that helped disperse of the Usher memorabilia. There was no plan from the RPS, but the true story is that 1 to 2 weeks prior to the closures, we were allowed to go to the school, everything was placed in boxes, thrown on the floor in the gym (plaques were damaged due to this negligence); placed in the staff room and scattered throughout the school. The school board sent no representative or help. The three of us, sorted through all the trophies, memorabilia collected since 1979. We sorted by sport, contacted the coaches, the ones we could, and asked if they wanted anything, whatever was left the last day of school (which was a lot!) was placed in boxes, TAKEN TO MY GARAGE, where we got a hold of 3 students. The students and ourselves sorted through the stuff and Cassie and Christin; because they were going to Thom selected stuff to go to Thom. They were allotted a small trophy case at the back of the school stuck in behind the gym and allowed to put Usher stuff in there. ABSOLUTELY NOBODY FROM THE SCHOOL BOARD CAME TO HELP, no representative from Thom either, the girls were only allowed to use a small 4 x 8 case to put all the stuff from Usher that they could. This amounted to about 4 trophies, the unicorn and a couple of year books, which I also noticed the last time I was at Thom, has now Thom trophies front and centre ahead of the Usher stuff in the trophy case. I am so disappointed, that Ms. Saylor is totally misinformed about what transpired at Usher. The Transition Committee that I was involved with had a group of parents, and held discussions with Mr. Hoium and Mr. Boldt on what issues the students were having in their chosen respective schools and what could be done to help students with transition and had nothing to do with the dispersement of the memorabilia.

-- Cindy Anderson

Barb Saylor said...

Nor will I get into a long discussion; I will only say that this response is at variance from what I know. It is, however, consistent with not wishing to give the Board any credit for anything whatsoever.

Anonymous said...

I was a member of the transition team and to be totally honest, the Board does not deserve any credit. Too bad though, School Board really missed out.

Karen said...

I am a proud parent of a Unicorn who now will be graduating from Thom. I was also on the transition team and attended the meetings with School Board representatives with regards to the transition. First of all I don't believe Barb attended any meeting I was at, and secondly the School Board made no mention of memorabilia. We were never given any direction from the School Board as to what was supposed to be done as our concern was only with the students transitioning.

And since Barb is concerned with the credit she feels the Board deserves, well they did say they would continue the Grade 9 Outdoor/Welcome trip at Thom which was very successful at Usher, but oh yeah, they're not doing that anymore. They also promised to provide a bus so the kids in Uplands and other areas could get to Thom, but oh yeah, there is no plan to continue with that for next year either. So I am not convinced that they deserve any credit either.

Anonymous said...

Judging by the comments, I think dog blog should change the headline for this post. I go with Ms. Anderson's first hand eye witness account over the official version any day. - dog reader

Anonymous said...

Reading these comments, I am once again reminded why I changed my taxes to separate and I am also wondering why Ms Sayer would comment on this issue when it appears she did not have all the facts right. Mrs. Anderson was obviously there or she would not have commented on it. I think the school board needs a trustee who tells the truth and I would be voting for Mrs. Anderson if I hadn’t already switched my taxes and this was due to the impending school closures. We need our community schools.

Barb Saylor said...

Actually, the Outdoor School did run this year (check "Newsletters" on the Thom website). As to busing, as you may know, the City is reviewing its transit operations, and the Public and Separate Boards have been in consultations with them to improve/provide service to all students, not just the university folks, so stay tuned. That said, there's no reason why the incoming Board couldn't extend the NE busing operation, should they wish to do so.
I was not at the transition meetings because the work to be undertaken was the SCCs', with administration support. I guess we'll have to agree to disagree on the reportage from the meetings.
Thank you, Karen, for your response. It's always good to see people blog under their names.

Karen said...

You are correct Barb, they did run the Outdoor program this year, my youngest daughter attended, BUT this is the last year the Board will fund it and it is the responsibility for the student's and their parents to raise money if we want it to happen again. I guess we don't pay enough taxes....

Christin said...

I would like to say, that as a former Usher student, Cindy Anderson's claims concerning no help from the school board are entirely correct. I was one of the students that helped to sort through all of the Usher memorabilia, and yes, we could barely fit the few trophies that we thought were the most important in the extremely small space that was assigned to us.

Barb, I do realize your place in the school board, but your comments enrage me completely for your lack of knowledge in this matter, and futher more for the false information that you are sharing.

Since you seem so concerned about this issue, where were you when we were sorting through the memorabilia? We would have gladly accepted ANY help whatsoever from the school board. But unfortunately we failed to recive it.. Apparently members of the board are eager to pull the trigger on a school but aren't keen on sticking around to get their hands dirty afterwards.
The only credit that the board deserves is perhaps an award for outstanding moronic, selfish behavior.

At the risk of sounding distasteful, I'm sure in the future the Usher community would be honoured to lend the board a large piece of our precious memorabilia to shove where ever they so choose, sideways.

Anonymous said...

Mrs. Anderson, we fully understand there may have been issues with the past board that you feel didn't go so well.

Where is your platform?

All we hear about is your past encounters with the existing board.

What do you stand for that is separate from the real renewal groups initiatives?

What experience do you have in managing multi-million dollar budgets?

It's easy to be a critic of anything, it's much harder to do the work!

Most notably though Mrs. Anderson when speaking about the past board's mistakes you make a claim there were two board members that disregarded the public's opinion and did what they wish.

One could argue that you being apart of the real renewal group of which candidates have already been acclaimed, we may just see the same of you and your colleagues.

I'm certain you don't live in the subdivision your running in, I'm not 100% certain on the rest of real renewal but I have heard that only one actually lives in the subdivision they are looking to represent. This clearly looks like a staged and organized plan to get 4 or more members on the board to execute your plan.

None of which have any real board experience, nor do they have experience managing multi-million dollar budgets.

I'd encourage everyone to get out and vote and stop this group!!!

Danielle Anderson said...

Hey anonymous.. if you care so much WHY DON'T YOU RUN FOR SCHOOL BOARD? if you think you know all the answers.. then we need someone like you on the board..looking after our children. ( if you couldn't tell that was sarcasm)as for your comment on " a staged and organized plan to get 4 or more members of the board to execute your plan" 4 or more would actually do the school board some good. These people plan on cleaning up the mess that the previous members left behind.

I hope real renewal gets voted into the board. They care about the kids and that's what this all comes down too. They don't see us as just walking dollar signs.

Go Mom! Don't let the small people's critisism bring you down. your much stronger than them. We may not live in subdivision 4 but that does not mean we don't have family and friends living there. You care about that area and will do what's best for it.

i'd encourage everyone to get out and vote real renewal onto the school board.

Laurin said...

Cindy Anderson will be great for the position. She is so dedicated to her community and the people within it. What does living outside the division have to do with it? Maybe if there was someone as motivated and hard-working as Cindy, there would not be such issues.

I'm voting for Cindy, and I think she is the only one for the position.

Barb Saylor said...

Christin: I voted against the closure of Usher, remember?

Christin said...

Hey guess what ANONYMOUS, its about time we had someone on the board who actually had some sense in other things besides multi-million dollar budgets. Maybe some sense about children. You must remember that this is the Regina SCHOOL board. This isn't another Mr/Mrs. Anonymous getting on the board to discuss dollars and cents. We need someone to look out for our youth as individuals to better tomorrow. Its not about how much money you can squirrel away from the education system to get that fat Christmas bonus.

Christin said...

Barb: It closed.

camille said...

i agree... i don't see anonymous doing anything for the youth... all you can think about is the money and the "multi-million dollar budgets... but who says that this is about that is it not about the youth and us getting an education where we want to be and with the people we love to be around. if students dont like the people they are with do you think that they will want to learn no they wouldnt usher was a family to them. and thats were they wanted to learn CINDY Anderson is running for the youth of the future not for the multi-million dollar budget. i as a youth knows cindy would be a great school board representive because she cares about us her kids and the kids around her. i woul rather he there then the people who were there last year that made a mess out of everything..

i'm voting for cindy she is the best for the postion

Barb Saylor said...

Christin: thanks for the news flash. At the Board table, voting against the motion, was where I was and where I had the duty to be.
Karen: Martin Collegiate has been supporting its own Outdoor School for a number of years now, after being subsidized for its first 3 years of operation, so that's not unusual.

Dawn said...

I want to confirm that Cindy's passion for kids has no boundaries. If closure of Usher had some substance to back it up - financial and demographic that was reasonable and logical we would have accepted it! i was involved in the memorabilia committee and this was separate and apart from the transition committee. Our hope was to have the ability to take pressure off of the Grade 12 students participating on the committee and asked for some leniency to sort through things after graduation. There was no flexibility from the Board office. So instead of focusing on graduation, applying for scholarships and university and writing their final high school exams our students were stressed to the max!! That is where the Board should have had a plan in place. The sad thing is that a school that had the love of it's students, teachers and community no longer has a presence anywhere. What a shame....

observer said...

is this a record for dog blog comments?

Shelby M said...

Cindy Anderson is the best person for the position. She is there for the kids, to give them a great future with their schools. Cindy is extremley hard working and is so comitted. I saw her when Dani was at Usher. Cindy went to everything and did everything for that school. She is the best and the only thing she is doing is keeping the students best intrest in mind. VOTE CINDY ANDERSON!! that is the best desicion when it comes down to it.

Anonymous said...

You all are missing the point!

Almost every candidate that is running for the school board has stated they don't want to any school closures and disagree with the 10 year plan.

All of these people have passion for children and their future. They wouldn't be running for school board without it.

The point and question was this:

1. What is your plan for maintaining the schools that we have in our communities.

We can all say we don't want to close them and have great passion to do so.

There has to be cost cutting measures somewhere in the system to allow for this, where does Cindy Anderson plan to cut in order to maintain the # of schools?

2. What experience do you have in working with on a board and with members of government?

- You see voting at a board meeting is only small part of this role. Working with other parts of government, city council and members of other boards is the way you get things done.

This is where the comment comes in "being a critic" is one thing, actually getting the job done is another. You need to work with people and influence them into assisting you with your tasks at hand.

In your past you've lobbied to keep Usher open, but you have clearly upset many people in the community, the board level and at city hall.

What's your plan to mend to those relationships and get them working on your side again?

Regardless of what you say. Being a board member of a school division requires experience managing budgets. Your compassion to make certain things happen is great, but you have to find ways to make cuts somewhere in order to make it happen. What experience do you have in managing large budgets?

I look forward to a reply from Cindy on these questions.

Carlie Jasper said...

As a former Usher student I would like to say that I recieved many memos regarding the auction and the farewell. And I know many people that I attended school with attended these events. So anything that may have been left over are oviously items that no one wanted otherwise they would have made the effort to be there.
As a citizen within the community of Uplands I can say it is a sad thing this High School closed. For a high school that 10 years ago housed around 850 students had dwindled down to around just over 300 it made sense. At this point it is neither here nor there. Its closed!