Mann to Man

The American Condition Politically, Culturally, Economically

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Location: Williamsburg, VA, United States

Raised in rural Greenbrier Co. WV, BS Chemistry WVU, PhD Chemistry, GA Tech,Chemistry Faculty, GA Tech, 1965-1969, Dir R&D BASF Fibers 1969-1982,Sr.Exec. R&D, Burlington Industries, 1982-1986,Owner/CEO Mann Industries (formerly BASF fibers)1988-1995, CEO/Owner The Mann Group Consultants, 1987-2009, wife Carol, daughters Leigh, Susan

Tuesday, May 24, 2016



North Carolina High Schools Will Stop Naming a Valedictorian ...

Wake County Schools (North Carolina) doing away with Valedictorian and

In the past I have written and spoken of “Breeding Mediocrity in America" with focus on declining education standards, primarily at the college level, and also our political system. Given the less-than-top people we've been electing for decades now, politicians at large long ago met  the low“standards” for mediocrity. Many, if not most, have exceeded mediocrity and now deserve the recognition of inferiority and ineptitude. Leaders and statesmen/women are all but absent from elective offices.

Colleges and universities are no longer sanctuaries for learning and research rather are now havens for political activism – left-wing.” Students are indoctrinated in the ways of leftist politics. Some, even many, exit college with no useful knowledge and degrees for which there are no jobs.

Now high schools!! School boards in North Carolina have agreed to do away with the top class title of valedictorian. Excuse? It discourages students from cooperating. How wrongheaded can people be, people in whom we put our trust to teach our children that achievement, superior learning, knowledge, etc. are all positive?  And necessary. The effort to bring everyone to a common level defies all tenets of achieving superiority. True in all of life.

Pardon me for personalizing, but I was valedictorian of my high school class – a few decades ago but remember it well. I have no memories of being isolated from other students or of their isolating themselves from me. In fact, it was just the opposite! Most of us serious students worked closely together. Another fact is, our home was often the meeting place for many students to gather and do homework and other learning exercises.

I have no memories of working deliberately toward being valedictorian, rather my parents expected the best my sister and I could do – and be. She was salutatorian and legitimately could have been named valedictorian. Then, we had excellent teachers who pushed us to do out best. Our high school principal, a totally dedicated man, worked with us. He, Mr. Dominic Gaudino, followed me all the way through college, graduate school and even 4 years on the faculty of chemistry at Georgia Institute of Technology. When I left GA Tech, Mr. Gaudino was, once again, in contact. Wanted me to take a position as Chairman of Chemistry and a WV college where he had moved on from high school days. No, I'm not boasting, but reminiscing somewhat sadly. Just telling the truth about outstanding teachers and how  they took care of us in those days! The way they did their jobs. Do we have people like them now? Would they dare, or want, to do what Mr. Gaudino did? A memory is coming to the fore. He, Mr. Gaudino, even had me teaching math occasionally in my senior year. I supposed he'd be fired in today's dysfunctional political atmosphere of “breeding mediocrity.”

I would beg North Carolina school boards to back up, reassess what they are doing. Mediocrity today, inferiority tomorrow. Onward to perdition! This is just not acceptable!


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