Evie Pless' Letter to the Board of Trustees

Dear Board of Trustees,

      I'm writing to express my concern and disappointment over the disappearance of Mr. Capron. Although I do not know Mr. Capron as well as some of my fortunate peers do, one need not spend more than a few weeks around the Circle to understand his positive, irreplaceable influence as a teacher and mentor. I can attest to his talent as a teacher and director having seen the theatrical and artistic gems that emerge under his instruction. I can attest to his power as a mentor having always gained relief knowing that if I could not alleviate a friend's suffering (or worse, if I caused someone distress), Mr. Capron would always be around the (circular) corner -- a force of listening, Casti's very own emotional miracle maker.

      I would also like to call attention to Mr. Capron's invaluable role as Castilleja's Gay Straight Alliance leader and as a role model for all students. I'll hazard a guess that I wasn't the only 14-year-old who found sexual orientation rather mind-boggling and petrifying, but from the moment I entered Castilleja as a new freshman, it was clear and comforting to know Mr. Capron's door and mind would always be open. As leader of Castilleja's GSA -- and as a confident, caring, individual who is not overly concerned with the social "norm" -- Mr. Capron holds a critical position in Castilleja's community. Each student will eventually confront issues posed by her own identity and sexual orientation, along with innumerable (perceived or real) social, familial, and self-inflicted expectations (What will my parents think if I'm just not good at math? What will my classmates think come free dress day?), and in Mr. Capron's leadership of GSA and in his graceful refusal to sacrifice personal values to appease social convention, students can find a role model.

      I acknowledge the complexity and sensitivity of this issue. I do not know all the facts, but I cannot picture a situation in which replacing Mr. Capron with a shroud of silence would be best for the school, its students, its faculty, or its administration. For the past four years, Castilleja guided me as a person and student, while at the same time listening attentively to my feedback. It is out of gratitude that I wish to guide Castilleja back to its beloved drama teacher, and it is out of my gratitude that I believe my feedback, and the feedback of the concerned community, will be fully recognized and result in Mr. Capron's return to Castilleja.

Sincerely yours,
Evie Pless '09

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