SOUTH BRONX SCHOOL: The Passing of Michelle Kahn

Thursday, October 8, 2009

The Passing of Michelle Kahn

Michelle Kahn the former principal of MS 184 and PS 220 in The Bronx died late last night. The cause was brain cancer.

Michelle was as classy as they come. What set her apart from the dregs that are becoming principals now is that she had no ego. She cared about the entire school community, and not only talked the talk, but walked the walk.

These Leadership Academy "principals" come out thinking that their word is the one and only to be heard. Michelle treated teachers like human beings, knew that when pricked we would bleed, when tickled we would laugh, and this was motivation for teachers to do their best. Not fear, but just treating a teacher as a person.

RIP Michelle.

1 comment:




The tribute posted here to the memory of Michelle Kahn is both poignant and prophetic. Indeed she was a human being worthy of praise and there will soon be very few like her remaining in the NYC school system.

A rather unattractive little man with a big ego, a legend in his own mind, who is now in control of the NYC schools system has made certain that the above prediction will become more assured with each passing day.

I need not explain the above comment. Readers of this site, who happen to be NYC Teachers understand what I mean by the above words and anyone not working in the NYC schools system would not understand my statement here if they stood on their head.

I have taught for 40 years and gave of my blood, last drop of strength and personal treasure to lift up New York City's mostly at risk, inner City children.

During four decades one meets and works with a wide spectrum of Principals and "Administrators".

Some like Michelle Kahn were truly special human beings who understood how to treat people in order to build them up, not knock them down.

Support them in all their efforts- not set them up for failure, pull the rug out from under them and Railroad them at every opportunity the better to be able to concoct bizarre charges against them for purposes of removing them from their school and disappearing said teachers into one of Joel Klein's Rubber Room gulags- sometimes just a trailer with a high fence surrounding it where they are expected to languish, sometimes for years until they are summoned to present themselves for their "teacher trial".

The crime a teacher is accused of can be as insane as claiming a teacher brought a plant to his/her school allegedly without permission.

Principals today can only survive and rise in the NYC school system, as redesigned by former Federal Prosecutor Joel Klein, Esq. if they are "YES" people- who have a proclivity for always obeying orders without daring to question whether said orders will have a negative or destructive effect on their teacher staff and/or students.

Any teacher or employee in the current DOE,who is capable of thinking independently or questions anything at all within his/her school is considered a "trouble maker" who along with Whistle-Blowers et al, must be dealt with harshly and quickly.

But Michelle Kahn was different. A builder- not a breaker. A person who sought to empower other human beings- not humiliate and degrade them as so many of Joel Klein's countless stooges, lapdogs and so called "leadership academy clones" are known to do, to anyone who questions their orders and/or personal agenda.

Michelle Kahn was one of a fast disappearing type of School Principal who possessed heart, imagination, wisdom and humanity.

She will be long remembered and sorely missed by those who were fortunate enough to know this very special woman.

May her Family find comfort and peace knowing and celebrating the fact that Michelle Kahn helped so many countless human beings during her Life.