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Ask the Expert

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Monticello Prep School a plus for community

Posted: September 1, 2008 2:13 p.m.
Updated: November 3, 2008 5:00 a.m.
 
Dear ladies and gentlemen concerned over the imminent start-up of the Monticello Preparatory School in Hasley Canyon:

My name is Martin Fox. I have been a resident of beautiful Castaic for 20 years. I was a high school teacher for 18 years before going to work for Anheuser-Busch as a training coordinator, production supervisor, and plant services coordinator for the next 16 years.

I have been involved in the education of children or the training of adults for almost my entire life. I was saddened and most dismayed to read The Signal's article on Aug. 22 regarding residents' opposition to the Monticello School's new location.

Last year I had the privilege of teaching Latin as well as Western Civilization at Monticello Preparatory School for a few months. Unfortunately, terminal cancer forced an end to one of the most enjoyable and rewarding teaching experiences of my life.

Dear residents of Hasley Canyon, please consider the following facts regarding Monticello, which would be an asset to any community:

It is not just a school. Rather, it is a center that provides children with the finest nurturing and educational opportunities available anywhere.

The children themselves are remarkably self-disciplined, respectful, and sensitive to the needs of the members of their community. Remember, these students over the last few years have successfully coexisted with business owners and their customers in a shopping mall!

They were first-rate occupants and neighbors. I know, because I was there. These students add to the attraction and luster of their community. They do not detract from it.

Please consider what you would be gaining: a beautiful, well-kept, prestigious private school nestled in the heart of your community. Although I hope that this is not your main criterion for acceptance, this school will absolutely augment your property values.

I taught at the prestigious Buckley School for 12 years where I was chairman of the Language Department and basketball coach. Buckley is located at the terminus of Stansbury Avenue, south of Ventura Boulevard in the heart of lovely Sherman Oaks.

Stansbury is lined with beautiful, multimillion-dollar estates. The residents of these homes have always embraced the students attending Buckley.

Since 1972 the relationship has always been an incredibly successful, mutually beneficial one. Buckley is a proud beacon of educational excellence resting at the end of Stansbury Avenue.

This school has brought nothing but prestige and honor to Sherman Oaks as well as the fortunate residents of Stansbury. I know, because I was there.

Ladies and gentleman, embrace this opportunity because that is exactly what it is. This is not some "inner-city," troubled school trying to force its way into your neighborhood.

It is a class act, respectfully requesting admission and acceptance. It will bring increased prestige to your wonderful community. I guarantee it, because I know these people.

The children have parents who love them so much and who are so concerned about their futures that they are willing to make a substantial financial sacrifice in order to entrust them to a school like Monticello, a school which has been founded by people who truly understand the importance of small classes in which each student can be individually nurtured and educated in a loving and caring environment by dedicated, thoroughly competent teachers who want to make a difference.

Believe me, you want these people in your community.

Mrs. Rebecca Cranert, the headmistress, an outstanding lady, serves as both mentor for teachers as well as a role model for students and teachers alike. She understands that education is such a precious, fragile and vitally important part of who these young students are to become.

And when I saw the magic which Mr. Terry Cranert had effected in the drama department, I told Mr. and Mrs. Cranert that I would work without salary provided that they invest my earnings in their drama department.

The school has a student-teacher ratio of 7:1. Ladies and gentlemen, Monticello is doing all the right things. It will be a responsible, indeed outstanding, neighbor.

Please do not reject this opportunity on behalf of non-existent, misguided, or baseless fears. Accept Monticello with open arms.

Support it and acquaint yourselves with the wonderful people who are Monticello. They will decorate your community and improve your lives. I guarantee it.

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