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News & Views - April, 1994 Issue #27 

by: Tom Bratter, 
John Dewey Academy
Great Barrington, Massachusetts

Henry T. Radda, Ph.D., Dean and Co-Founder of The John Dewey Academy, after nine years, has submitted his resignation to start a mental health clinic on the Ft. McDowell Indian Reservation in Fountain Hills, Arizona. "I am indebted to The John Dewey Academy because I earned my doctorate and am a licensed psychologist," said Radda. "I am excited to have a creative and challenging job which will help me continue to grow professionally and personally." 

"We cannot replace Hank Radda," states Tom Bratter, President, "because his contributions were awesome. Hank is living proof it is possible to transcend one's painful past by changing creatively and constructively. For many, Hank Radda has been The John Dewey Academy. I am grateful we worked together during the birth of the school. We have been a formidable team. We created a school which can survive our departures. I have assured the students the only way I will leave is when 'death do us part' because our faculty and staff is committed, competent, caring, credentialed, experienced and mature. Hopefully, Hank will send us a couple of angry, gifted, self-destructive adolescents who not only present special clinical challenges but also will add to the diversity of life at school." 

Kenneth Steiner, Ph.D., Dean of Studies, says "What impresses me is that, while feeling devastated, students have bonded together to help those who mourn Hank's loss. Hank kids me I need to confront Tom as much as he did in an effort to keep him reasonably sane! I am losing more than a colleague, I am losing a friend!" 

Carol Maxyn, ABD, Dean of Studies, mentions "The students fear the school will be different. They are right. The reality is The John Dewey Academy continually changes, since we are so small, with the addition of each student. Last year's graduating class was our weakest which hurt us. Fortunately this year's senior class is super and next year's promises to be even stronger. We cannot replace Hank because he has an intense integrity and passion which has been inspirationally contagious to students, families, and the faculty. We start a new era, though it is too soon to describe it." 

"I do not know when we will hire," Bratter asserts, "because all of Hank's responsibilities have been covered. I hope to find a talented recovering person who will serve as a responsible role model and in so doing make this crucial contribution so students have convincing proof constructive and creative change is possible when they will work diligently and have faith. We want an experienced clinician who can do some administration and/or teach. Hank is the first to resign in five years. I do not wish to minimize the impact of his resignation, but know the school will gain more momentum. Of this I am confident!"  

Copyright 1994, Woodbury Reports, Inc. (This article may be reproduced without prior approval if the copyright notice and proper publication and author attribution accompanies the copy.)

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