Dedicated (HKHS) students came together this semester to try and save the job of a beloved teacher, Diane Stanley. Students called for meetings with RSD17 Board of Education (BOE) administrators and painted t-shirts with “Save Stanley” that they proudly wore in the halls of school in protest.
Students also took to cyberspace and created a Facebook group to offer support, discuss ideas, post accolades for their teacher and attempt to persuade other students to switch to her classes to try and force the BOE to keep her on another year.
Alicia Cope, an eleventh grader at HKHS, is one of the students behind the Save Stanley efforts.
“This means a lot to me because it’s sad having not only a teacher leave, but she was a friend to everyone,” Cope said. “You can go to her for anything, she is so special to many people and without her it is going to be very hard. That is why we are trying to think of ways to get her back!”
The reduction in staffing at HKHS, according to Superintendent Thiery, is “due to a declining enrollment at the high school over the last several years.”
“This decline,” he said, “reached a point this year where we could not justify keeping current staffing.”
Thiery goes on to explain that the procedure for reducing staff is regulated by the contract between the school district and the teachers union.
“It is always unfortunate when staff is reduced, but at times like this, it is simply a matter of smaller class sizes at the high school level.”
The administration, Theiry said, has been actively and respectfully engaged in meetings and discussions with students who are concerned about this issue throughout this week. The meetings culminated in a forum for students on Friday at 11:00 a.m. with the Superintendent and High School Principal. Students, according to their Facebook page, encouraged each other to make and wear "Save Stanley" t-shirts to the forum.
“This meeting produced a respectful and insightful exchange of concerns and ideas. I am grateful to our students for the passion and maturity they have brought to this issue,” Thiery said.
Diane Stanley currently teaches Accounting 1&2, Business Law, Computer Skills (Word, Excel, Access, PowerPoint), Marketing & Advertising and Personal Finance. Stanley also teaches driver's education.
The Save Stanley Facebook group currently has over 1000 members. Here are just a handful of comments found on their page:
Alicia Cope- EVERYONE: I met with Mr. Theory and Mr. Macunas today and he wants to hear our voices! So Friday June 8th, during lunch we will be holding a "Student Form"...We need all of your support.
Rebecca Halleck-I know I graduated a few years ago...It was through her class and teaching that I realized what I wanted to do with the rest of my life, career wise...
Henry Tobelman- Mrs Stanley is honestly one of my favorite teachers and if she wasn't there, HK would not be HK.
Divinna Snyder Schmitt- Fiona...just read your and commented: Thank you for your letter Fiona. And thank you to the kids at HK who have taken an issue they care about (which involves their education!) and have gone beyond simple complaining and moved to respectful organization and commitment to spreading the word. I applaud this sensibility and generosity of spirit...
Deanna Goodwin- I looked forward to her class everyday she's truly an amazing person...
Liam Brown- I'm up for the fight! Lets keep Stanley at HK!!!!!
Cindy Creech Klein- I think it's GREAT what you all are doing. I hope it works. Sometimes it only takes a few people to get things rolling and make a difference.
Ellena Delauro- ...i had alot of issues going on at home and she stuck by me and told me everything was gonna get better...She is one of the few teachers at HK that care about the students and loves her job.
Jackie Sears-aw, stanley taught me how to drive ♥ and I'm so glad she did shes the best and so hilarious. save stanley!
Clayton Rountree- ...she was supportive of fundraising efforts by various clubs, and always showed a genuine interest in her students. It would be a shame if she was let go of, she's made a significant impact in the lives of many students
Elyse Couture- WHY GET RID OF GOOD TEACHERS?!?!??!?!??!?!?! it not fair!
Mia Roy- ...She loves and shows respect to all of her students, shes an awesome teacher, and she deserves love and respect in return, save Stanley!
Rebecca Joy-Guys. Mrs. Stanley needs our help, bad. She can’t do anything about this herself, but we can. PLEASE, add more HK Students to this page! Underclassmen, switch into one of the classes above! If we get enough people, then we would be saving a teacher (who really deserves this)...Go with a group and do it! Act now! It’s not so often that WE, high school students, can make a difference!