The Academy: End Of An Era?

Well it wasn’t going to last forever and a Middlesex County Academy for Science, Mathematics and Engineering Technologies that has been led by Principal Glenn Methner will come to an end later next month. I had unofficially heard about the news a little while back and had it confirmed by people in the school earlier this week. What was disappointing in this whole ordeal was that I had waited to confirm it before approaching him, yet when I asked Mr. Methner whether he was leaving or not, he completely dismissed what I said as an unfounded rumor and even went out of his way to say “they would have to drag me out of here” for me to leave the Academy. It is a shame for an outgoing school principal to still resort to the same old smoke-and-mirror type political approach that some students became accustomed to while in school for their four years of high school.

Regardless of what you thought of him, coming in and being a principal of a school from inception is no easy task. There are growing pains on both the administration side and they exist on the part of the students as well but that is something you learn and adjust with over the years. From what I can tell, Mr. Methner did just that as an overwhelming number of current Academy students, if not all, were saddened to hear the news of his departure. On the other hand, I’m not sure you can state that same case with the older alumni although there seems to be a unanimous concern towards the next principal who comes and what their vision of this school may entail in the future.

As the soccer team now proudly wears apparel that states “Tradition Never Graduates”, you can make a convincing case that the former students never graduate completely from this school. Almost all students try to make a return trip post-graduation and that speaks volume to the sense of community being built in a high school that’s not even a decade old yet. That sense of community has definitely been built on trust, responsibility and accountability. Some of that which seems to be thrown into a little question with the way all this event has unfolded.

Let me preface this paragraph by saying that technically he does not owe anybody, anything given his years of service to this school. However, knowing what Mr. Methner knew, I think it is inexcusable for someone who is well aware of the impact this transition will have to take such a passive approach towards informing the student population and their families. It is a cowardly step to avoid addressing the issue straight on with your students and a blatant attempt to try and dampen any reaction someone may have by releasing the news on the eve of an extended holiday break. From what I have been informed, he is leaving prior to the end of this calendar year and that is quite a letdown to the current senior class which has obviously grown close to him to be abandoned mid-Senior year prior to graduation without much notice.

You hate to end a respectable tenure on such a bitter note but sometimes things just need to be said… and the sooner the better in most situations.

I look forward to seeing him appropriately attend his first Academy Alumni game during his final days and hope that things work out for the best in the future on all ends — especially for The Middlesex County Academy for Science, Mathematics and Engineering Technologies and those that pass through its two glass doors.