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Principal Susan Duval cheated valedictorian

Re: From attitudes to platitudes | June 5, article

Principal cheated valedictorian

Principal Susan Duval, you have placed Springstead High School front and center locally, statewide and nationally, by virtue of your ill-advised, inappropriate judgment regarding Jen M. Lugo, class of 2009 valedictorian. Under your "yesterday" aegis, apparently the educators act like students and vice versa.

Helen Keller once said, "One can never consent to creep when one feels an impulse to soar." In my view, the quote suits Jen Lugo to the proverbial T. Indeed, it's a further reason why the professional conduct of both you and faculty adviser Nancy Urling is inexcusable if not precisely unforgivable.

Fortunately, it would seem Jen is fortified by sound, decent parental guidance from Louis and Cathy Lugo, who are to be commended for their admirable forbearance under the most trying of circumstances.

You have reprehensibly attempted to stifle initiative, creativity, motivation, character, and ambition in an exceptionally astute and intelligent teenager. You have done so when America is in desperate need of those all too rare qualities that Jen owns in profusion.

Consequently, there remains the issue of competence insofar as your responsibilities as principal of SHS are concerned; reminding people that this is not the first time your actions as principal have caused a brouhaha. I hope our Hernando County School Board will properly evaluate your referenced performance and will take the appropriate remedial measures in the best interests of current and future SHS students.

Chuck Schlakman, Spring Hill

Principal has been good leader

I have been following the coverage you have given to the administration proofreading the speech of the class valedictorian. The reading of speeches to be presented at graduation ceremonies has been going on since the beginning of time. I graduated in 1956. Guess what? Our speeches were read for approval or editing at that time. But a few years ago students receiving that honor were so appreciative you did not have to be concerned with anything being distasteful to anyone.

Today we are living in totally different times. Therefore, the need for stricter rules are urged and needed.

As to the St. Petersburg Times' coverage, certainly there is no wrong in reporting this story, but I challenge you to check to see how many lines you have given Springstead High School about all the positive things that the principal of mention has done for the school. The entire community can be proud of Springstead, of its administration, the teachers and a majority of students.

Springstead has an excellent academic program, the advanced placement program is superb, the International Baccalaureate program will bring Springstead into the international academic world. This accomplishment was brought about by principal Duval, her assistants and the teachers of the school.

Little has been said about the number of scholarships that were awarded in the evening of excellence to this year's graduating class. More than $6 million in scholarships and awards were presented this year.

So you have spent many stories, many days, many lines on this negativity of a graduation speech that few will recall 60 seconds after it is given. Please no more tabloid news.

Charles R. Plummer, Spring Hill

Rose Rocco is devoted to county

With so much negative press regarding our county leaders, can't we take the time to recognize some that provide outstanding service to our county and its citizens.

I would like to recognize County Commissioner Rose Rocco for her devotion in responding to the residents of Hernando County. On more than one occasion, I or my neighbors have called on Ms. Rocco for assistance in getting help. She has responded with professionalism and a business approach in helping us.

I had the pleasure to speak with Ms. Rocco recently and was more impressed than ever with her style of management.

If you haven't had the opportunity to hear or observe Ms. Rocco, I would encourage you to do so; she is outstanding.

I am sure that there are other cognizant leaders within Hernando County. Come on, step up and share your thoughts with your neighbors. Let's start something positive.

Thomas Simpson, Spring Hill

Re: Drug program can't expand | June 10, article

Where are addicts to go?

I believe that the Suncoast Rehabilitation Center on Cessna Drive in Spring Hill should have been given the right to expand their facility. People only want to think of their homes and property. They have to understand Suncoast Rehab is for drug addicts who have good insurance and want to check into the facility voluntarily to get help for their problems.

Coming from me, a recovering crack cocaine addict, there is nothing better than hearing a story from an addict that has checked into an inpatient facility voluntarily and fixed the problem. The Spring Hill residents need to realize we need this facility to help our own back yards.

I spoke with an employee at Suncoast Rehab Center and his comment to me was, "We just want to help people who want to help themselves." The Suncoast Rehab Facility does not take court-ordered inmates. It is strictly private pay or insurance.

I am begging the people of Spring Hill to let Suncoast expand before we have too many addicts on our streets. We can help cure people one day at a time, but we need the full support of all our Spring Hill residents. Just sit back and think for one minute. If people can't go into a rehab facility locally, where do they go next?

Timothy D. Martin, Spring Hill

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Principal Susan Duval cheated valedictorian 06/16/09 [Last modified: Tuesday, June 16, 2009 5:19pm]
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