A Tale of Two Alumni Organizations
(CFN-June 2010) - After waiting 29 years to see another Douglass graduating class came with its woes. One must admit that to establish, setup, and lead a new school to its first graduation sounds exciting.
To lead a full staff, even for the first time principal, to such accomplishments is simply impressive.
When Douglass High principal Janet Ware-Thompson took the helm of what Douglass history now calls a magnificent feat, surely she took on many more challenges than the most seasoned principal could have foreseen.
She will undoubtedly become an even better principal for the 2010-2011 school year, but in the meantime Douglass Alumni Association (DAA) members will wonder what drove her to avoid not recognizing current DAA President John Bernard on stage at this first graduation at Douglass High in 29 years.
While some alumni members may want answers, a lack of confrontation is in no way indicative of their willingness to know how and why she decided the seating as she did.
Members are basking in the positive press and monumental achievements of this first graduation, others are disappointed at the lack of respect they believe their DAA president received at this first graduation.
While personally confronting Thompson on such issues may never occur, Thompson owes an explanation to members of the DAA for her decisions. To provide such only helps to bridge the gaps that exist between these two organizations. It could very well help in rebuilding a more united Douglass.
Years of effort and contributions have gone into this school and community, but when it came to being recognized on the biggest stage to date, their president was nowhere to be found. A decision made at the discretion of Thompson.
To deal with not one, but two alumni organizations both representing Douglass must have been a challenge for this first year principal.
While the DAA, a nonprofit organized in 1978, and the National Douglass Alumni Corporation (NDAC) established in 1985, has similar missions, both organizations has stumbled publically over one another in the past and is currently working toward change that may unite or forever divide the Douglass family.
DAA is working toward changing what has not been a functional organizational structure because of the NDAC split in 1985, President John Bernard has an important task before him as the first elected president of the DAA.
While a tale of two alumni organizations continues, so does the coverage provided by CFN.