Gloucester Daily Times
---- — With questions still hovering over the future of 12-year Rockport Middle School counselor Howard Kasper, and the first day of school for Rockport students now little more than a week away, Rockport school officials, parents and students alike are all indeed fortunate to have someone like David Curley ready to step into an important void when the school year dawns.
Let’s face it, the school district’s investigation into allegations that Kasper inappropriately touched two male students more than two decades ago while working at Beverly’s private Landmark School — and the placement of Kasper on paid administrative leave from his current Rockport job – understandably has many parents and students on edge. And while Superintendent of Schools Robert Liebow was right to assure parents two weeks ago that an interim counselor would be on the job when students returned, this would not be an ideal time for Rockport’s middle-schoolers — especially incoming sixth-graders — to have to deal with a counselor neither they nor their parents know, and who didn’t know them, their school nor their community, given the current school climate.
To that end, Curley, who just retired at the end of the last school year, is an ideal choice, and Liebow is wise to bring him on board, even in an interim role. For there never has been and never will be anything interim or temporary about Curley’s commitment to Rockport and its youth — a quality he has shown through 35 years as a teacher, counselor, coach, mentor and friend to Rockport’s youth, many of whom are, of course, today’s parents.
As we’ve noted previously, it’s important that parents, students and residents withhold judgment of Kasper’s actions until various investigations — including the school’s — are complete.
But it’s good to know that when Rockport’s schools open their doors next week, the middle school’s counseling programs will indeed be in very knowledgeable and capable hands.