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Marina High School's Rise to Fame

April 21, 1985

Last year, hundreds of Huntington Beach residents launched a drive to recall the three Huntington Beach High School District trustees who backed Supt. Jack Abbott's firing of Marina High School Principal Paul Berger. Although thousands of residents signed the recall petition, it fell a few thousand short of the signatures required for a recall election. Berger's critics admitted that he was popular with students, faculty and parents, but claimed that he was not an effective administrator.

While I rejoice in it, it is also with a sense of fate's irony that I note Marina's recent rise to statewide--and nationwide--fame. Marina High School has been chosen one of the three outstanding high schools in California and one of 140 high schools nationwide to compete for national honors.

The question that everyone should be asking is, "If Dr. Abbott was such an outstanding administrator, then why is it that only one of his district's high schools has been elevated to national recognition? And, more important, if Dr. Paul Berger was such a poor principal, then why is it that the very one high school so honored for excellence should be that very one over which Dr. Berger presided these last four years?

It is understandable that a principal might be fired because his high school does poorly; it is a sad commentary on our society that a principal can be as shabbily treated as was Dr. Berger when his high school is--in every way--excelling.

FRANCE MORROW

Huntington Beach

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