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Westfield ‘blessed’ with solid school leadership

June 14, 2011
Westfield Republican
Dear Editor,

I am responding to the lead article that appeared in the OBSERVER (May 29) “Letter delivers warning.” (and also appeared in this paper June 2 “Westfield residents receive warning from superintendents council.”)

This was the correspondence sent by general counsel for the New York State Council of School Superintendents. It was referring to the continual badgering from Robert Neratko and Barry Underwood toward our school Superintendent Mark Sissel.

These two gentlemen were hitting the news media a couple years ago, and here we are again on the same issues.

Apparently, according to the article, these gentlemen have continued to make their statements in the board meetings, to board members, to folks in the community.

It also appears that these statements may rise to the level of “harassment, defamation or slander.” I appreciate the support that the New York State Council of School Superintendents have shown for the Westfield School superintendents.

I said this a couple years back, that we as a community are so blessed to have a man like Mark Sissel providing the solid leadership with our school system.

Mr. Sissel is a strong family man, strong community supporter, and a fine Christian man with great values. He has a genuine heart for our school system, its administration, teachers and students.

I appreciate all that Mark is doing, and I sincerely hope others will come forth expressing their satisfaction with Mr. Sissel. I am only sorry we have a few who make these accusations and statements against Mark, that are false.

I know that these gentlemen have the right to say things, but when they damage a person’s credibility, then I think they have gone over the edge of this right.

Art Kinney,



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