Lowell’s Bobby Tugbiyele forwarded to me and asked me to post the following open letter from recent graduates of Lowell High School regarding the search process for a new Human Resources Director for the Lowell Public Schools.
January 10, 2019
To Whom It May Concern:
In this letter, current Lowell High School students and alumni are calling for the administration to seek an outside firm in hiring the Director of Human Resources.
The demographics in the City of Lowell has changed greatly in the last few decades; it has become home to various cultures, bringing a rich vibrancy to the community that should be embraced and learned from. However, Lowell Public Schools’ tradition of hiring internally has resulted in a lack of cultural and ethnic diversity that is substantially reflected in the student body but not in teachers and administrators. While restricting the purview of hiring to those already involved in LPS may have created ample opportunity to recognize growing internal talent, it has also inadvertently tarnished the integrity of the hiring pool. The hiring process has grown to favor LPS staff to the degree that students are missing out on talented individuals who would more uniquely cater to their needs and climate. Ultimately, the practice of internal hiring has created a cycle in which the same people are hired for different jobs inside the system; this speaks not to the people in the system, but the system itself.
Education is the foundation of opportunity for children. Members of the community rely on local government to provide that opportunity, regardless of race, sex, or religion. Education opens up doors to kids; these doors lead to places of science, art, literature, and friendships. However, who does the teaching and core work to the curriculum is essential to how children are exposed to that information. It is critical that the individuals brought in to educate Lowell’s next generation of writers, lawyers, artists, leaders, and engaged citizens be evaluated in the context of its students.
We are disappointed in how this search is being handled, and the dragging conversations and lack of action. Members of LPS’ Administration have recognized the problems in the system, and hiring an outside firm is a step in the right direction.
Thank you for your time in reading this letter, and we wish you the best of luck in this search.
Sara Ngare, LHS Class of 2019 Senator
Beverly Ndakwe, Class of 2019
Sophia Marsden, LHS Class of 2018 Senator
Joy Njenga, LHS Class of 2019
Melissa Lemayian, LHS Class of 2018
Onotse Omoyeni, LHS Class of 2017 President
Maria Aybar, LHS Class of 2013
Susan Le, LHS Class of 2012
Carline Kirksey Class of 2012