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Assistant principal wanted to focus on obesity.

Byline: Kevin E. Palmer

Dear parents, students and Tahanto staff:

As many can tell, and to "clear the air" of many questions and much confusion, I will not be returning to Tahanto Regional Middle/High School. During the past three months, my time at Tahanto has been nothing short of pure excitement, joy, and whim.

However, I have decided to relocate to a district where my personal as well as professional goals will be better embraced and supported. For many who know me, they know that I am extremely spiritually grounded with an understanding that students come first. I have come to the conclusion I cannot use my positive attributes as productively and effectively as possible.

I have decided to further my personal ambitions and dreams to make a significant dent in fighting the effects of childhood obesity in education. Even though this is not a huge concern at Tahanto, I cannot sit back and ignore this epidemic taking place in the very community I live. Childhood obesity can have a profound impact on a child's life, in particular, a very negative impact on a child's education. It directly affects attendance, test scores, focus, social skills and decision making.

I came to Tahanto looking to formulate programs, not only here, but nationwide that:

1. Fight childhood obesity at home;

2. Teach parents and community members about childhood obesity education;

3. Promote childhood obesity grants and funding; and

4. Discuss how we can balance the physical education decline in schools.

So it has come to this: I cannot express in words how much I enjoyed working at Tahanto and what an enormous personal disappointment it is for me to consider losing the opportunity to work here. It was truly one of the hardest decisions I have made in my professional career. My family, many staff members, and the student body have helped me work unbelievably hard and I am very proud to be a part of the contributions to the legacy of Tahanto pride and tradition. But with that tradition, I cannot participate in what in what I honestly believe is its destruction. I felt different views of where our tradition was headed - and where I needed to be - were clearly "not on the same page."

Some people will make the argument that with high test scores, and a high graduation rate, nothing else matters. I believe within today's educational issues, many stemming from poor health education and childhood obesity, nothing could matter more.

I am proud to have been a part of such an outstanding team and I wish the district only the finest in future endeavors. For any students, parents, or staff members who would like more information, please feel free to contact me at roccfitt@gmail.com.

Have a wonderful New Year. I wish it brings all resolution as well as revelation. If you get up and do the exact same thing every morning, you may get pretty bored after a month or so. But seeking God when you first wake up is never boring. He will always have a new revelation ready for you to hear.

Every day above ground is a wonderful day.

Kevin E. Palmer

Editor's note: Kevin E. Palmer is the former assistant principal at Tahanto Regional Middle/High School. He left the district just prior to the winter break in December.
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Publication:Telegram & Gazette (Worcester, MA)
Date:Jan 18, 2013
Words:558
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