Why Pick on a Winner?

To the editor:

My thanks to Linda Lutton for writing such a balanced account of Daniel Boone Elementary School and its embattled principal, Mr. Paul Zavitkovsky (“Too Good for His Own Good,” May 25). As a parent with a child at Boone School, I have watched the unfolding of events there with growing dismay.

I moved to this neighborhood in large part because of the fine reputation that Boone School has earned under the leadership of Mr. Zavitkovsky, whose reform of the math/science and reading curricula has greatly enhanced my son’s education. Mr. Zavitkovsky’s achievements are all the more impressive when one considers that Boone is seriously overcrowded. When Paul Vallas announced that he would attend the local school council meeting of 8 March 2001, I assumed that he would address the long-overdue issue of overcrowding. Instead, I was stunned to hear him level vague charges of financial mismanagement and imply that the principal might be replaced. That was back in March, and the school and its principal have been laboring under a cloud ever since, at least until Ms. Lutton revealed these charges for what they really are, a pretext to harass the principal.

On 22 March I wrote to Paul Vallas expressing my support for Mr. Zavitkovsky. I have yet to receive a response to that letter. But, as Ms. Lutton’s article makes clear, the handful of Mr. Zavitkovsky’s detractors have ready access to high members of Paul Vallas’s staff, presumably with the approval of Vallas himself. Why does he persist in acknowledging only the handful of detractors when Mr. Zavitkovsky has the support of the vast majority of Boone parents and teachers, as well as the enthusiastic endorsement of the local school council? Not until the Reader article has Mr. Zavitkovsky been granted a fair, impartial hearing. One can only hope that Paul Vallas is now disposed to listen.


Zachary S. Schiffman

N. Washtenaw