Day 21 Thursday June 10, 2010: Dead Man’s Party

 

Today is Thursday, June 10, 2010 and is Day 21 of my time left at the Mont, counting the furlough days, with 12 actual school days left. Since I’m running behind, you’re getting a double dose of Big O. Been trying to get out something on the Humanitas Senior Reception from Friday, June 4, to give you a sense of what has been lost, as you prepare to either teach at Fremont, go to your new jobs, or simply await your fate. If you are not a part of Humanitas A, B, or C, place yourselves in our position and think about the accomplishments of your own SLCs as you read. This one is about celebrating our best.

 

Eddie Tafoya, an alum and member of the Humanitas program, works with the City of Commerce. Always grateful for what Humanitas had done for him, he got the City of Commerce to hold our traditional reception at Steven’s Steakhouse and Seafood, everything included.

 

It was an evening of significant numbers. All three tracks were represented. Two decades, as well. I saw students from my days at Edison, who I’d had in my homeroom, as well as my World History classes, ones I’d considered my sons and daughters. Now was my chance to see them as young adults as we gathered together to bid farewell to a program which sought to build community and collegiality, which actually served as a model for many of the Small Learning Communities on campus, and which was so successful that even the name is going to be stolen for an Academy at the New Fremont, like something out of “The Return of Martin Guerre.”

 

Humanitas, with Steve DeMarco as C-Track lead teacher, and Ramon Mendez as B-Track lead teacher and Margherita Moraca as Humanimama, served the needs of over 1200 students—about 26% of the Mont’s population. Rita Moraca was, and has always been, the lead teacher, the heart and soul of the program. I’d get dragged to the Thursday lunch meetings kicking and screaming, but she’d get me to go. I guess that’s why she’s Humanimama. She knew how to get us to try our best.

 

Which is why it is with great sadness that I write that Rita is retiring. But it is perhaps best. After all, the New Fremont will not serve the ideals of Humanitas. I wouldn’t want her to watch the bastardization of what we created together: three houses untied by one vision. May Los Angeles Educational Partnership (LAEP) who was going to partner with Fremont before Superintendent Cortines’ ukaz on December 9, come in and demand they not use the name.

 

Enough of that. Let the pictures tell the story.

 
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    Chuck Olynyk is a Social Studies teacher who saw the effects of reconstitution upon John C. Fremont High in Los Angeles. These are reposting of his original blogs from the Save Fremont website.

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