I am a lifelong Town of Southampton resident (25 years in Bridgehampton) and a product of local public schools. I have known Joe Berhalter for more than 30 years. After reading press coverage of the Monday, March 31, Bridgehampton School Board meeting and Joe Berhalter’s proposal [“Students and Parents Rally for School,” April 3], I feel I have to stand up for Joe against some of the attacks leveled against him.
Regardless of how Bridgehampton residents feel about Joe Berhalter’s proposal, they should know that he has the students’ best interest at heart. Joe is a passionate believer in education and wants to give local kids the benefit of a more expansive school platform that will better prepare them for a university atmosphere. His ultimate goal is to see every Bridgehampton graduate go on to college.
Joe himself ascribes his success as a self-made business executive to education, having worked his way through college and graduate school. He wants to see more Bridgehampton students continue their education after high school, and he believes that more of the students would if they had the benefit of a more robust high school.
Residents might disagree with him, but they should understand his intentions. He has fought for years to improve schooling in New York and New Jersey, giving back to a system that he believes is key to a bright future. He is a good man trying to help the students of Bridgehampton get a better education.