Readers Respond

July 19, 2009

Towson Catholic has long served non-parishioners

Monsignor F. Dennis Tinder is all wrong about Towson Catholic High School evolving in recent decades from serving students from the church to drawing students from beyond the parish ("Pastor says he fought to keep school open," July 16).

I began [at] Immaculate Conception school in the '40s and graduated from Towson Catholic in 1949, and there were more students there at that time from way beyond the parish than along Belair Road, York Road and Harford Road.

That is not an excuse for alumni support fading. I have talked to some of these alumni, and they said, "Why didn't they ask us for more when the school began to be in trouble rather than depend on local bull roasts, etc.?"

Milli Stansbury

TC needed more than bull roasts for endowment

If Monsignor F. Dennis Tinder and the Towson Catholic administration were only doing bull roasts to fund an endowment, he's even more naive than I thought.

Endowments are major campaigns. They are NOT funded by small fundraisers. What about a major gift plan? What about a planned giving program? Did TC have any of these? No. I should know - I STARTED that development office in 1991, and I spent four long years trying to find and identify the major players in the alumni who could make six-figure pledges.

Want to inquire if any alumni were asked for anything beyond an annual gift? They weren't - and it's due to the shortsightedness and lack of leadership of Immaculate Conception's AND Towson Catholic's people in charge. Kelly Sheridan The writer, a member of the Towson Catholic class of 1984, was the school's director of development from 1991-1995.

Students need to take high school math seriously

I don't understand the controversy over Maryland's math standards and the HSA ("Student math doesn't add up," July 12). First of all, that any student, parent, teacher or newspaper would think that only taking Algebra I would prepare a student for college math is completely ridiculous; it barely prepares a student to be a cashier at McDonald's. When I went to high school, students considered to be on the college-prep track had to take Algebra II, geometry, trigonometry and calculus. In fact, I am currently helping my 7-year-old with long division and math word problems which are pretty much pre-Algebra I.

What it really sounds like is maybe people should finally take high school seriously. We no longer live in a time when kids can sit back and enjoy the ride - high school is not just somewhere to spend four years and then expect to automatically get into college courses or get a job.

Peter Cooke, Baltimore

Americans well on their way to ignorance

The Sun reported that Maryland high school graduates are "ill prepared to handle even the most elementary math, including basic arithmetic."

As a citizen and a taxpayer, I am amazed that so much time, money and effort can yield such truly dismal results. Following another 25 years of incompetent, inefficient, expensive and misguided "public education," the average citizen will not be able to tie his or her shoes. Then our government can reign supreme over a nation of illiterate serfs.

John Maksim, Bel Air

Doonesbury cancer strip offensive to survivor

I was extremely disappointed and insulted that The Sun published Garry Trudeau's crude Doonesbury strip on Saturday, July 11. Mr. Trudeau hit an all-time low, having one of his characters wanting to get cancer so she could look like Ali McGraw in Love Story. The character says, "If I can look like this, bring it on!"

It ran in the same section as "Taking a break from cancer," the story of 7-year old Thomas Nichols getting to spend a week's vacation at the beach. Thomas is suffering from acute lymphoblastic leukemia. I'm sure Thomas and his family never wanted cancer brought on them.

As a five-year colon cancer survivor, what I went through never made me look like Ali McGraw, nor would I have wanted to experience cancer to look like her! I was fortunate to have surgery and chemotherapy from caring, kind and talented doctors and health professionals.

Cancer is a debilitating, degrading, painful and heinous disease. I think The Sun and Mr. Trudeau can certainly do better.

Kathleen D. Stevens, Elkridge

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