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Riverside State

of Mind

Editor: What is going on at Riverside? At one time the name Riverside demanded and got respect. Now, I fear we are the punch line of many a joke.

We had a principal — who was suspended for two months — with pay. At $100,000 plus a year that’s $16,700 of taxpayer money that we paid him to sit home. The school board’s response to this when questioned was “it’s a personnel issue.”

If you’re dealing with our money it should be a public issue.

At the “dream game,” former Riverside football coach, elementary principal and high school vice principal Bill Kasulis was honored as Lion’s Club man of the year. Former principals Dennis Kryzanowski, Paul Rusincovitch and former superintendent Dr. Rooney are 45-year members of the Taylor Lions Club. These are men of integrity who set a great example for our students.

I am proud to have been a student under their tenure, all but one year, that’s when the “Viking Way” as I know it started to change. The board voted to raise taxes and made changes to the contracts of the superintendent and business manager giving them two-percent raises for each remaining year of their original contracts and will no longer have to contribute to their healthcare premiums. The tax raise is especially tough for our senior citizens most of whom are on fixed incomes. The rest of the community is pretty much just like me “the working poor.”

This year’s senior class had 102 students, 24 of which did not graduate on stage. Currently teachers are working without a contract; potential strike on the horizon? PSSA scores were below average and did not meet minimum state standard requirements again. During the past few years we have lost lawsuits to the CTC, former maintenance supervisor Frank Mickavicz, also another maintenance worker was terminated only to be brought back nearly two years later and paid in full for lost wages, when it was determined that the board did not follow proper procedure. Then there are our athletic programs, we passed up a coach who won 49 football games in 5 years but we hire the most qualified for all positions. Many people smarter than I told me “Gene, you’re hurting yourself by writing things all the time, but if you believe wholeheartedly in your convictions, you should speak up.”

I love Riverside. I’ve lived in the district my whole life. I chose to buy a house here. I have a daughter entering kindergarten this year and had to fight hard with my significant other to make that happen.

Ultimately, I believe in the people in this district. We need to band together and make drastic changes in our leadership. I think people have seen enough, I know I have.

Thank You,

Eugene Gallagher