It is with shock, sadness, and dismay that we read the details about Kim Zeman Tomkins and her de facto involuntary early retirement from Hauser Junior High School. We are ashamed to be a part of a system so willing to trash the reputation of a beloved, effective teacher of almost four decades.

Our experience as a family in the Riverside school system began in 2001 when we moved here from Chicago. Our daughter, Jenny, attended Blythe, Hauser and RB. We have been proud of our schools, grateful for the superb teachers and concerned administrators, aware of our good fortune … until now.

How is this level of carelessness, of callous disregard possible here in Riverside? We cannot value education without valuing our educators. In the 12 years we have known her, Kim has been an inspired example of the best in professional practices and personal concern. Any school system should be proud to be the home of someone who only adds luster to the title of “educator.”

We, as a family, celebrate Kim Zeman Tomkins’s years of achievement and service.

Joan Vanderbeck and Mike Perricone

Riverside