This is an open letter to Dr. Estrella requesting the immediate return to Brien McMahon of our principal Scott Hurwitz. In March of this year, Mr. Hurwitz was placed on “paid administrative leave without bias” by his supervisors within the district. Parents and students were not given any additional explanation since personnel matters are confidential. However, we can and should expect an expedited review process so that parents, students and BMHS staff are not left in an extended, leaderless, limbo. We understand that the pandemic has made everything more challenging, but given that we have not heard any reports of gross misconduct leading to the paid leave, it seems reasonable to expect a decision in less than three months.
And let us say, that we hope and fully expect that the decision at the end of whatever investigation is being conducted will be to reinstate Mr. Hurwitz. We three have worked closely with Mr. Hurwitz, in various roles as parents and volunteers, and we have had an opportunity to observe his passion and his character.
In the nearly four years since Mr. Hurwitz took the helm at Brien McMahon, he has proven himself to be a dynamic and engaging principal, and someone who has the interest of all students at heart. He has nurtured and grown the International Baccalaureate program, successfully encouraging students from all backgrounds to take advantage of the IB offerings. He is a constant presence in the hallways, classrooms and cafeteria, often staying after school well into the evening for meetings or sporting events. Under his helm, the school’s future looks brighter than ever before. Reports have shown that families whose children have attended private or parochial schools have actually been returning to the school district to attend Brien McMahon. McMahon graduates are heading to prestigious colleges in record numbers. This is all a testament to the fact that, in his time as principal, Mr. Hurwitz has continued to build on the strong foundation created by his predecessor, Suzanne Koroshetz.
As parents in volunteer leadership positions within the school, we have been inundated with emails, texts, calls from parents looking for answers and frustrated by the amount of time this has taken to be resolved. Word from school staff is that without Mr. Hurwitz, moral is at an all-time low with many thinking of seeking employment elsewhere. Parents and students want their principal returned to them so everyone can move past this.
In short, Scott Hurwitz is a well-loved principal who is taking McMahon to new heights. Whatever is being investigated needs to be viewed in the context of his significant value to the Brien McMahon community. If he does not return, it would only serve to hurt the current students for whom he has advocated so strongly. The loss would set McMahon back years, and the harm to students, faculty, staff, and the district itself, would be irreparable.
On behalf of the students at Brien McMahon, we ask that you please reinstate Scott Hurwitz and allow him to get back to the business of leading our school forward.
Julie Begos, Senators’ Success Fund President
Tracy Gulick, Parents Club President
Jody Sattler, School Governance Council Parent Co-Chair