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District welcomes Thomas Bratten as new superintendent

By Madelyn Williams and Ashley Sager

The district welcomes new superintendent, Thomas Bratten. On Jan. 26, Stohion members Madelyn Williams and Ashley Sager interviewed Bratten in the journalism office.

On Dec. 5,  2014, the Board of Education offered Thomas Bratten an opportunity to fill the position of former superintendent Dr. Russ Jones. Throughout the month of January, Bratten overlapped with Jones to help ensure a smooth transition for the District.

“I consider myself to be extremely blessed and grateful to be working in a school district whose expectations for excellence are so high and apparent,” Bratten said.

Bratten explained how the interview process was more of a scenario type for him, and he explained the fears he had to overcome during these interviews.

“You do as much research as you can, but you don’t the board members names yet,” Bratten said. “You don’t even know where the office is located when you go to the interview.”

“The Board interviewed 10 excellent applicants for the Superintendent’s position over the last three weeks and felt that Tom was the perfect fit for our District,” President of the Board, Fred Bonacci stated in a press release from the district. “We are confident with Tom’s background and experience, knowing that he will be able to lead our District well for many years to come. We are all very excited that he accepted our offer.”

Bratten attended the University of North Carolina where he played football, then he went to Miami University, where he received his Bachelor’s Degree in Secondary English Education. He has also earned a Master’s Degree in Educational Administration from Xavier University, his principal’s license from the University of Akron and his superintendent’s license from Ashland University.

Bratten entered the classroom in 1991 as an English teacher at Cincinnati Moeller High School in Cincinnati and has also taught in various other school districts. With this experience, he has a lot of  knowledge to put forth in and out of the classrooms.

Most recently, he has served as Superintendent of Salem City Schools from 2009 to 2014. Right before that he was an Assistant Principal, High School Principal and Director of Career and Technical Education for Canton Local Schools from 2000 to 2009. Over the years, Bratten has also served at Cincinnati Moeller High School, Bishop Kenny High School in Jacksonville, Florida, Marlington Local Schools and Louisville City Schools in a variety of positions, including English teacher, coach, Assistant Principal and Athletic Director.

Bratten is a strong advocate for kids, as well as a community leader and has a history as an outstanding educator and administrator.

“We’re going to be here unless it’s too dangerous to be,” Bratten said about snow days. “You know, there are a lot of people we talk to in the mornings. My philosophy is you always take the worst roads, and you drive those, and you base things on those because anyone can drive down Graham and be fine, but if you live on a road that has nothing but curves…and it’s nothing but ice, those are the one’s I’m concerned about.”

Bratten has a sophomore son at Missouri University who is working on a double major in materials engineering and ceramics engineering, as well as a nine year old son who attends Washington Elementary. His wife is a technology teacher in the Alliance school district where she has taught for the past 17 years.

Family time for the Bratten’s usually includes anything to do with athletics

“The nine year old keeps us plenty busy with his sports right now,” Bratten said. “I help coach his baseball team, and he plays basketball as well.”

Bratten also enjoys golfing.

“I love to golf. It is my favorite thing,” Bratten said.

Bratten roots for any teams who come from Ohio. He was raised in Cincinnati, but learned to adopt Cleveland teams when he moved up to Northeast Ohio in 1993.

“It’s a lot of heartbreak being a Cleveland fan,” Bratten jokes.

Bratten said, “I am confident that we will continue to do great things, and I cannot wait to get started. I couldn’t be prouder or happier to be a bulldog.”

Police brutality questioned by many

When the TV is turned on and the flat black of the glass screen bursts into colors and depth. But, all news programs seem to be reporting the same story, a black child was killed by a white police officer and now the african american community is calling the the indictment of said officer. These events of alleged police brutality have defined this millenium as the age of miscommunication, the decade of falsehood and the manipulation of the public millenium.

Recent deaths by the hands of police officers in the United States have sparked controversy about police officers racially profiling perpetrators and intentionally killing them because of their race.

These events have turned into a complete frenzy for not only the media but especially  for celebrities and social media users. Celebrities have used their status to spread their opinions , whether those opinions be educated or uneducated. Social media users have condensed their opinions into 140-word tweets and long-captioned videos on facebook. Unfortunately, while social media allows people to post whatever they want, people are posting false information and is creating more information and outrage.

The true information lies only in the hands of court officials and yet the media is tapping into the frenzy to extrude an emotional response  like one would tap into a tree to extrude maple syrup. Media makes their money on reactions like the ones going on in the United States and media is greedy and will do anything to make money. Thusly causing the media to spread false information to receive a greater emotional reaction. Media is portraying things worse than they actually are.

Many social media users have brought up the point that this serious problem about police brutality is not about race, it is not about right and wrong, it is about what the public does now. Violently protesting is not what should be done. Profiling all police officers as “bad cops” is not the answer. The violent tendencies of this nation, which have ultimately been revealed in the wake of this scandal, are not justifiable even when lives have been lost.

Everyone in this country has ten amendments just from them laying down their rights as citizens of the United States.

The first amendment of the United States Constitution reads as follows; “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably assemble: and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.”

But these rights stop when acts become criminal.

Contrary to popular belief there is a federal government of the United States  that is doing all it can to protect this country from going down in flames. There is a government that this trying to right its “wrong”.

Teenagers are not the rulers of this country. Opinions on twitter are not going to be made into law, someones tweets are not going to get magically transformed into a bill and get voted on in Congress. So teenagers need to stop making generalizations and making these sad shootings about them. Teenagers need to stop tweeting about this situation only to get a certain number of favorites and retweets. Be constructive with opinions and try to seek change in a rational and realistic way.

This situation is about what the country does now and unfortunately peoples are making the “now” pretty bleak.

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