Letter: Students devastated by Plagman's departure

I will be a senior at Washington High School.

I am devastated that the leader of the Washington community, Dr. Ralph Plagman, was asked to retire. The teacher in the scandal went public, which I believe lead to the end of my principal’s 49-year career at the Cedar Rapids School District, and 35 memorable years as Washington’s principal.

When we came in as freshman, he would be devoted to knowing every student’s name. When a student could not afford lunch or didn’t have cash to buy an extra drink or snack, he would take out his wallet, and with his own money, pay for the student.

About half the Wash students are on free and reduced lunch and the school has a diverse student body. It should have been hard to get us to have top test scores. It should have been hard to get us to have a strong and funded music and sports department. It should have been hard to make us No. 1 in the state for AP index, but he did it. This man took every student under his wing like his own. He could have retired years ago, but he wanted to stay because he loves the Wash community and is dedicated to education.

Students shed tears when they heard the news. People were heartbroken. Thousands of kids are devastated.

Please give Dr. Plagman support. As he closed every announcement with, “It is always a great day to be a Warrior.”

Peter Nassif

Cedar Rapids

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