A Lifetime Achievement Award Winner

If the Pulitzer Prize for journalism were to be awarded for an article that portrays an authentic, religious individual who understands what real education is all about, it should be Talia Richman’s article, “Third school is part of DNA, Jesuit priest says,” 9-26-17.

The central figure, Rev. Bill Watters, an assisting priest at Saint Ignatius Catholic Community in Mount Vernon, should be the recipient of the Lifetime Achievement Award. His willingness to go into some of the poorest neighborhoods in Baltimore City for the purpose of opening schools in order to serve the mainly low-income, minority student population warrants nothing but praise. In his own words, “The drive to foster education is part of his DNA.” What can be a holier mission than to provide these students with hope instead of despair – to light a candle of goodness in the darkness around them. The caring – sharing – connecting he has made with the young and older alike is a living miracle.

To my way of thinking, Rev. Watters should be the CEO of the Baltimore Public School System. Dr. Sonja Santelises, head of the Baltimore City Public Schools, would do well to take a lesson or more from him. Perhaps, she would then be able to justify the close to $300,000 salary she is earning. Perhaps she would come to realize the error of her ways. One being her pandering to the mayor and governor to secure taxpayer money for programs that do not work. Another being her deficiency in organizational skills resulting in a group of principals venturing out in different, but often misguided directions leading to ineffective results for students, parents, and taxpayers alike.

Perhaps than we would not have to read articles such as, “City school runs out of water,” 9-29-17 or “Student: ‘It was impossible to learn,’ “ 9-27-17.

Any gubernatorial candidate would be foolish not to use the expertise of Rev. Watters in dealing with the ailments of “failing public schools.” In actuality, his talents for helping students to meet life’s challenges, to beat the lifestyle of the streets, and to feel a sense of support and success should earn the respect and admiration of one and all.

Ralph Jaffe
Democratic candidate for governor in the 2018 gubernatorial election



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