Martineau Resigns Before Alvirne Hearing
by Tom Tollefson
Rick Martineau with former student Bob Dinsmoor
Hudson Town Hall looked like a funeral scene, with dozens of teachers, students and parents weeping after hearing that Alvirne High School forestry educator Rick Martineau resigned after eight years of employment.
Martineau was also in tears with only the following to say: “I love every one of these kids.”
With weeks of anticipation leading up to the night of Monday August 18, the Hudson School Board’s hearing on whether to fire Martineau, did not take place. According to Martineau, his union representative advised him to resign instead of risking getting fired.
The controversy began a few days after graduation, when the school’s skidder turned over while recent graduate was operating it. No one was hurt and no property was damaged. Martineau took the blame.
“The subject matter of the meeting, this evening, has been resolved and therefore there is no need for a meeting to be held,” School board lawyer Ed Lawson said before the crowd of about 60 anxious residents in the audience.
The hearing would have been for the Hudson School Board to decide on firing Martineau. Since Martineau resigned, the board agreed to write a letter of recommendation for Martineau to help him in finding another teaching job.
The audience reacted in bursts of tears and angry words directed at the board members.
“I hope you guys realize what morons you are for getting rid of this guy,” Ross Smith, who had worked with Martineau in clearing out the lot for the new library, shouted as he left the room.
School Board Chairman David Alukonis said the matter was resolved without the board and its members were not aware of the details surrounding Martineau’s resignation.
“This was a matter that was to come before the school board this evening. The board did not know and still does not know any of the facts or statements made by either side in that dismissal hearing. The board does not know of any of these issues because that is how it is handled,” Alukonis said. “The board sits like a jury, and until we are given the facts, statements, and allegations by both sides, we are not allowed to know those issues. We were here this evening for that public hearing to hear those, and then make a decision to uphold the superintendent’s decision or not to uphold the superintendent’s decision. The board did not get the opportunity to hear any of those issues, thus the board did not have an opportunity to make a decision.”
The parents and students were especially emotional after the result.
“I think it’s a stupid mistake on their part. It’s supposed to be about the kids, but it’s all political,” said Megan Bujnowski, Alvirne Class of ‘06, and former FFA member.
“I think everybody should pay attention to who gets on the school board,” Tom Dinsmoor, father or former forestry student Bob Dinsmoor, said. “He’s a big asset to Alvirne and they lost a big chunk of it tonight.”
Martineau speaks to supporters before meeting.
“He has integrity, there are very few teachers who have it, but none have it like he does,” Bob Dinsmoor, former student, said. “He was more than a teacher or mentor. I consider him to be a second dad. They lost a great man.”
The controversy began on Tuesday June 17, a few days after graduation, when the school’s skidder turned over while recent Alvirne graduate Adam D'Entremont was driving it. No one was hurt and no property was damaged.
“No one was injured because Rick Martineau teaches safety. He’s out there to protect his students and their integrity,” Paula Longo, mother of ‘07 Alumni Bob Longo, said.
Mr. Martineau was concerned that his former student would be considered alumni, who are not allowed to use the school equipment, and would be in serious trouble. He then took the blame for the graduate.
“The teacher really was protecting Adam, it was not self-interest,” Adam’s father, Mike D’Entremont, said. “The irony of this situation is that Rick acknowledged his error and accepted responsibility, but the school board failed to show that they were doing their job to explain (why they wanted him to resign).”
D’Entremont’s mother, Shelia, soon found out that students are not considered alumni until the end of the school year, which was June 20 this past summer.
“Someone’s parents found out and Mr. Martineau went to Mr. Lane to tell the truth,” D’Entremont said, stating that he did not know the name of the student or the parents who discovered who had been in the skidder.
Martineau’s numerous supporters referred to him as being “amazing,” “caring” and “one of the best things that happened to Alvirne.”
“It’s very sad. I don’t think they know what they’re losing. It’s too bad we didn’t get to speak. He has such a crowd of people who love him and it shouldn’t have come to this,” former student Amanda O’Donaghue said.
Alvirne ‘07 graduate and member of the 2006 FFA Forestry team wonders what the future will be for Alvirne’s forestry team.
“He already had a team committed to going to nationals and they now have no coach. I feel bad for future students who won’t have the same opportunity as myself. There’s no program without Rick Martineau. Seven out of his eight years, he took the FFA Forestry team to nationals,” Longo said.
Alvirne’s teaching staff was also at hand.
“I’ve known Rick for five years now and everything he does, he does for the kids. My son needed extra support and he was there for him. What he taught my son over four years, my son will never forget,” Alvirne Para-educator Lisa Weaver said. “Back in 2005, my husband had surgery and took a turn for the worst. During the entire time, Rick Martineau was there for my family night and day. He said anything we needed all we had to do was ask. Alvirne is loosing one of the greatest teachers it’s ever had.”
According to Alvirne Vocational Director Richard Lutz, the school is advertising for someone to fill Martineau’s position, and will look for a faculty member or Alvirne alumni to coach the FFA Forestry team in the National FFA competition.
“We hope to get it (the FFA Forestry program) up and running as fast as we can get someone qualified to do it,” Lutz said.
Hudson School Board Attorney Ed Lawson and Chairman David Alukonis
Summer Love … As You Like It
by Maureen Gillum
“All the world’s a stage
And all the men and women merely players;
They have their exits and their entrances,
And one man in his time plays many parts,”
– Jacques, Act II, Scene 7; Shakespeare’s “As You Like It”
As promised, it was “Summer Lovin!’” Alvirne High School’s Class Act presented the romantic comedy, As You Like It, to three delighted audiences at Hills Garrison School on August 14, 15 and 16. The company’s fourth Summer Shakespeare project was a pastoral comedy about love in all its facets, including filial, parental, obsessive and romantic. The production was adeptly directed by Jennifer LaFrance, Class Act advisor since 2002.
The five-act comedy, was largely set in the court of Duke Frederick (Jean-Luc Bouchard) and the ethereal Forest of Arden, home of his older exiled brother, Duke Senior (Eric Vieira). Initially, Senior’s daughter, Rosalind (Ashley Iannaco) remains in court as the closest confidante of Celia (Lauren Kraemer), Frederick’s only child. Orlando (Nick Kraemer) falls instantly in love with Rosalind; but being persecuted by his older brother, Oliver (Matt Krawczyk), he is forced to flee his home with his faithful servant, Adam (Matt Preston). When wicked Frederick banishes poor Rosalind; she runs away disguised as a young man (Ganymede), accompanied by Celia (masked as Aliena) and the witty Jester, Touchstone (Jason Perrin).
Despite Jacques’ (Matt Barry) melancholy, ardor blooms in enchanted Arden as Lord Amiens (Ryan Caron) croons. Orlando unknowingly meets with Rosalind, masquerading as Ganymede aiming to “cure” him of love. While lusty Touchstone pursues country wench Audrey (Shayla Tanguay) and deflects dull-witted William (Jon Adams), Oliver courts Aliena (Celia masked). Meanwhile, shepherdess Phebe (Brittney Beland), whom Silvius (Scott Bernstein) adores, falls for Ganymede. As Rosalind finally reveals true identities, the four couples are happily united in marriages by Hymen (Erik Luebbers) and all is well that ends well … but that’s another Shakespeare classic.
All of the show’s principals were excellent with commanding lead performances given by Barry, Iannaco, Perrin and the Kraemers. The imaginative troupe also incorporated some interesting contemporary twists (AHS sleepover set) and well-received comedic additions to the famous bard’s 1600 script. Most notable was the “Slaughterhouse Five” flock of sheep’s soulful rendition of Respect, led by Amy Lagueux and Amy St. Louis.
Of course, back stage is where much of the real magic is achieved. The superb and devoted production team of As You Like It included Mike O’Keefe (technical director, sound); Rebecca Razzino and Kelly Foley (stage managers); Chris Kraemer and Alex Ramos (lights). While Lizzette Estrada and Sara Prince managed costumes, Megan Wolfe and Matt Odom led on sets and run crew. Last, but not least, Megan Pollack and Amy St. Louis tackled music, as Shayla Tanguay directed choreography.
Alvirne’s cast and crew earned roaring standing ovations for As You Like It. “It was amazing!,” said one audience member, “I’m so impressed with the quality of their work and command of Shakespeare.” Another added with a smile, “This was a lot of fun!”
Kudos also goes to Class Act Honors Thespians, Michael O’Keefe, Sara Prince, Chris Kraemer, Becky Razzino and Zach Spaulding who represented Alvirne at the 45th Annual International Thespian Festival in Lincoln, Nebraska, in June. “Our AHS tech team came in third place in the entire country, while Mikey (O’Keefe) came in first in the nation in Sound System Setup and Light Hang and Focus,” said LaFrance.
“I’m so proud and honored to work with all of the talented and dedicated Class Act students and I’m forever grateful for the ongoing support from our AHS OnStage parents.”
Alvirne drama club’s on-deck events include an electronic recycling drop (TVs, PCs, stereos) on September 27 and a stage production of Neil Simon’s sophisticated comedy Rumors, on November 14 and 15. For more Class Act information, visit: www.alvirnehs.org, e-mail: AHSOnStage@gmail.com or call: 233-1720.