This letter was sent to public schools Superintendent Kimberly Hill and the school board, and a copy was sent to the Maryland Independent.

Greetings madam chair, members of the board, Superintendent Kimberly Hill, and citizens of Charles County.

My name is Derrick Terry. I am a former special educator as well as former Charles County Public Schools employee, longtime education advocate, retired military war veteran and Charles County resident and taxpayer. First, let me say I know every board member on a first name basis and I have nothing but the utmost respect for each of them. Their job is not an easy one, and I truly understand they sometimes have to make tough decisions that can be controversial and bear some positive or negative results for all.

I state all of this so that the board can fully comprehend my disdain with their decision to provide Hill and her spouse, in event of her untimely passing, 100% paid and full health insurance. In a time when every American citizen is fighting to either keep or reduce the amount they pay for health care, your recent decision lacked basic empathy and demonstrates your disconnect with the average American. As a military veteran I am very fortunate to receive some free health benefits but not 100% free everything! I am not saying Hill or anyone is not deserving of a reasonable compensation package commensurate for his or her performance. I give praise for Hill for not requesting an increase since being hired in 2013 and even turned down a raise. I can justify the $17,000 increase somewhat as a cost of living payment retroactive to 2013; however, I can’t begin to understand the 100% fully paid health care? This means no co-pays, free medicine, and whatever normally cost the average person money.

Knowing this is already a done deal there is not much anyone can do to change it. I have to applaud Hill, and it is hard to upset with her. If there was such an award to be given in the field of education, Hill would have received “The Hustle of the Year Award.” Hill not only hustled four of our board members, but the “supposed to be for the teachers, not going to criticize their endorsed candidates, even though they know well the teachers they represent are irate with this decision” — silent and politicized teachers’ association as well as the Charles County taxpayers.

I don’t know if Hill is retiring soon or has some health concerns we are not privy, but this deal was well played. I only wish that military, police officers, or even teachers/support staff could get such a deal. Let’s hope in the next collective bargaining talks that the silent and politicized teachers’ association will hustle just as hard as Hill has done to get teachers a health care package somewhat commensurate to Hill’s and her spouse’s.

At any rate, your decision does not take away the admiration and respect I have for each of you and hope you still continue to still feel the same way.

Derrick Terry, Waldorf