September 15, 2015
During a special assembly for all Radnor High School seniors this morning, principal Dan Bechtold, guidance department chair J.J. Lemon and superintendent Michael Kelly each spoke to students to address concerns student leaders have raised about a letter the Radnor Township Education Association, which represents the district's teachers, sent on September 3, 2015 to senior parents regarding college recommendation letters. (Read the letter here)
Mr. Bechtold led the assembly by assuring the students that while he understands the issue may be creating anxiety for them and their parents, the school and district remain committed to putting the seniors in the best possible position to succeed in the college admissions process. He informed the class that he met with student government leaders on September 14 to discuss the issue and subsequent meetings are scheduled to take place each week to continue the discussion. He invited students to share whatever concerns or questions they may have with their student government leaders, who will then pass these along to Mr. Bechtold to be addressed.
“Radnor students are the best students in the state of Pennsylvania,” Mr. Bechtold said. “You guys are respectful, you advocate for yourselves, and I am so proud to be the principal of this school because you guys are phenomenal.”
Mr. Lemon assured the students that counselors in the guidance office have been and will continue to write and send college recommendation letters for seniors. He urged the students to keep doing what they would normally do as part of the college application process. The guidance office is also actively reaching out to schools where the timeliness of letters of recommendation from teachers may be a concern.
“We are actively working on your behalf,” Mr. Lemon said. “We’re going to take care of you.”
Lastly, Dr. Kelly spoke to the students, telling them "your concerns are my concerns." He acknowledged and stated that he appreciated and respected the students’ desire to express themselves, both individually and as a group, and assured them that School Board members and administrators hear them. He went on to say that although it is very important to listen to any group that has a collective voice, he urged the students to think of themselves and their teachers as individuals first. Dr. Kelly ended his remarks by making sure the students knew just how important the issue was to the district.
“Remember, this is our top priority,” he said.
More information regarding how the district will be assisting seniors in their college application process will be forthcoming.