In response to the factually incorrect letter to the editor written by MMS FSA Treasurer, Stephanie Muszynski, clarifications must be made about the numerous falsehoods contained in her letter.
Countless people have reached out to me directly to express their similar feelings about this current Board. I am glad to have struck a nerve and hopeful that this will continue the checks and balance that SHOULD be in place with this current organization. It is troubling that the FSA is free to operate without answering to neither the schools nor the Board of Education, as I learned at the most recent BOE meeting.
In October 2016, I asked MMS FSA President Maria Adubato (current Board President) for the by-laws. Had I received them, most of this controversy would have been avoided. Simply being transparent from the beginning, I would have been informed of the rules (i.e.-no term limits, committee chairs, etc.). However, I was told in April (after asking to see the bylaws multiple times since then) by another FSA board member that if I wanted to read these by-laws, I had an hour to read them under their supervision, which is absurd. Isn’t it bizarre that I must read them under the supervision of a Board Member? These are FSA bylaws, not the original copy of the Declaration of Independence. What is the harm for me to review these bylaws at my leisure as a good standing member? Every member should have that right. As a matter of fact, everyone should receive a copy when you pay your dues so you know what you are signing up for. Why is there a veil of secrecy around bylaws? If there is nothing to hide, then post them to the MMS FSA website for the public. I’m not sure why this isn’t already the case? Perhaps so this free for all can continue without criticism?
During the April meeting, I was never told that I was not "eligible" to become a Board Member. I was simply informed by Maria Adubato that “she wanted to keep her current board in place because they all wanted to stay, they have a close relationship, good communication and respect each other.” This same group of women have been serving on various FSA boards together for nearly a decade, so of course they do.
I just recently learned last week in an email from Mrs. Adubato, after 6 months of pursuing, that I am not eligible because I never served as a FSA Committee chairperson. However, I have been on various committees in the two years at MMS. A simple fact checking glance at the MMS directory by Mrs. Muszynski shows my involvement with the High Honors Committee. As mentioned in Mrs. Muszynski’s letter, they want people to “generously offer my time, again and again for all things associated with the schools.” In addition to the High Honors committee, a few other examples where I have offered my time: Pool Party volunteer (2 years), 5th Grade Social, TREPS, School Musical (2 years), Dorney Park chaperone (2 years), Band/Choir Concert and School Musical bake sales (2 years). In addition, I am going on seven years as a cheerleading coach (all MMS students), co-lead fundraisers for the Competition Cheer team, worked as part of the committee on the two latest Bond Referendums for the school district, and served on the Junior Women’s Club as an officer. Do these activities not count because some of them aren’t run by the FSA? Using Mrs. Muszynski’s words in quotes above, one would think this counts. And yes, I did say that there may be times when I’m unavailable because of work, but that would not hinder my abilities as a FSA board member, in fact, it would enhance the board. In my career, as a Director, I have managed multi-million dollar budgets and a staff of 8-10 people. As you can see hard work does not hinder my involvement. This FSA is organized fundraising, it is not brain surgery, and it is foolish and insulting to tell people they are not qualified based on an arbitrary rule. Especially when no one is coming forward. Why not welcome people instead of push them away with belligerence?
I would also like the public to know committee chairperson positions are NOT up for grabs, but instead the Board selects who they want in these positions. These chair positions were already filled each time I reviewed the sign-up sheets. Again, transparency to the by-laws would have made this stipulation clear. I also know that committee chairpersons are NOT all contacted to vote in the Board as a Committee as referenced in Mrs. Muszynski’s letter. Another attempt at misleading the public.
In the end, I have come forward and made myself available to this Board, volunteering my time. I have been the only parent in attendance at the FSA meetings except for one meeting, there were two of us. I understand that the board wants more volunteers yet I am still denied based on a personal agenda instead of what opportunities I could bring as a board member. When you push willing participants aside (bullying in my book) and then hope they back down and stay quiet, the result is exactly as you intended, and propagating your own agenda is obvious. Isn’t it apparent that you would of course not bring anyone forward to the Board positions if you all want to stay in place? My recent public experience with this Board will likely deter participants in the future and could have been avoided if the board welcomed people in an ethical manner. Changing with the times to accommodate all types of volunteering should qualify a parent to serve on the Board. Being the only one to show up for a meeting should count for something especially when you are not selected as a chair. As this same Board continues to rotate positions to keep the same committee intact (from South End, to MMS and then onto the High School), it will always be the status quo and therefore hinders the diversity of this community. This system cannot foster growth, and new ideas or change, and it’s unacceptable.
Lead by example, it is in the end for the kids of our community.