I am one of those "excessed" teachers Yonni Raich wrote about in his recent commentary on Baltimore County teacher transfers ("Teacher transfers hurt Balto. Co.," June 4).

Mr. Raich makes a compelling argument about the impact of teacher transfers on schools. First, the term "excess" has a distinctly negative connotation. No one wants to be told that the institution for which he or she has dedicated years now considers him or her excess baggage to be eliminated.

I worked at Loch Raven High School for 17 years and initiated several school-wide programs, one of which helped garner an award for character education. Yet somehow now I am not needed. That hurts.

Principals make the decisions regarding who is excessed, and many teachers feel principals can use this power to intimidate. At Loch Raven and from conversations I have had with other educators, many excessed teachers are Teachers Association of Baltimore County representatives.

I am fortunate that I am excited about my new position and will bring the same enthusiasm and ownership to my new school. I support Mr. Raich's call for more transparency in the process. Why not allow more stakeholders to have a say?

As the recent tragedies in Connecticut, Oklahoma and right here in Perry Hall illustrate, teachers will literally sacrifice their lives for their students. Can Baltimore County truly have an excellent educational system when it labels those same people as "excess?"

Edward Kitlowski, Baltimore