Who gets to choose and who does not

3:42 pm

Last week Madison High School received the news of the departure of our principal to a job in the central office. With that news came the announcement of the new appointee as principal. This announcement did not come from the mouth of our Principal as we were to wait for Human Resources personnel to make the announcement.

While we were waiting for HR to show, I posed the question addressing the issue of interviewing candidates for replacement administration given that there was quite an elaborate interview process when our current principal was hired to take the job at Madison. I was told to ask this question of our representative from Human Resources who had not shown to play her role in the flurry of administrative announcements taking place at Madison.

When HR arrived I posed the same question and was told in so many words that our superintendent, Carole Smith, felt that the new appointee was the best fit for Madison teachers, students and community. She became quite coy with all of us in the room and would not tell us the name of the new principal saying that there were others to be told first. We were told that HR would be coming for the express purpose of telling us all who would be leading us next year so there was a degree of confusion and anger in the room. I left to help with a track meet but not before saying to the room in general that I felt manipulated and gamed and would enjoy spending time with the real patrons of this district, the children.

We were also told at this same meeting that the current administrative team asked central office for additional administrative support for next year. Astounded at this announcement given our projected enrollment of 822 + students for next year, I reminded those present that when we started 11 years ago at Madison there were 1392 students, one principal and two vice principals.

Next year we will have two counselors and when I started there were five counselors.

Seeking additional administrative support beyond the one principal and one VP allocated by central office seems beyond unreasonable given the cuts we are expecting in the building for next year. Today I opened an email from saying that the principal staring that we are to receive an additional VP as well as an additional .59 FTE for teachers but that we still will lose 11.25 FTE for next year.

Madison, in the years that I have been a counselor here, has seen a very steep decline in enrollment. The demographics have gone from primarily middle class to predominantly working class and immigrant families.

We have become a minority majority school with the usual plethora of problems that comes with poverty-affected, drug-affected, gang-affected families. The resilient children that come out of this milieu make Madison a place that is full of challenge as well as enormous reward for those of us who love the children and everything else that comes along with them.

Good teaching and lots of it is making a difference in the lives of these kids. Many are succeeding and they are succeeding because of the tenaciousness and the talents of the staff who care deeply for their students and expect more with less after being asked to do more with less. Teachers will have more students and there will be fewer elective offerings next year.

Madison does not need another vice-principal. Madison needs to keep as many of our teachers as possible so that class size does not explode. We have a thriving and amazing art and music program but when those are the only electives and art is cut by 1.5 teachers, class size grows and teaching becomes only about management, safety, and containment. There is not a lot of enrichment in an art class filled with 40 students and only half of them are there for the interest or the love of art. The rest are there because they have to be somewhere and there is no shop, automotive, metals, or business.

Madison. A poor school. Not a district powerhouse like Grant or Lincoln or Cleveland. No rich parents. No doctors in the house. No attorneys. We do have a new principal and she was chosen for us. Is she the best fit? Questionable when her reputation proceeds her. The word on the street is not good and her placement does not bode well for the year ahead. Is the staff being punished for our vote of no confidence for the outgoing principal? Did the expensive consultant hired to fix the discontent at Madison address the issue of leadership? Not once? Side stepping issues of leadership and leading us to the decision we had come to in the library the year before appeared to be a lesson in redundancy. Precious time spent for precious little only getting us to where we started: small schools are not working and we need to go back to a comprehensive model that shelters our 9th graders.

The new principal is not a principal from a successful comprehensive high school but a small school administrator. Her administrative background has been in elementary schools and possibly some time as a VP in a high school. Carole Smith owes it to Madison to explain to us how this particular administrator is the best fit for Madison.

Would Lincoln High School ever experience the indignities of a Madison? Would Carole Smith drop a principal on the heads of those West Side parents and students, especially one who comes with little experience in bringing schools together, working collaboratively, sharing governance? Never! How about Grant or Cleveland or any of the other schools where there is a collective body of parents who are fortunate enough to have the luxury of time, money, and privilege to assert their basic rights as parents and patrons of the district. Madison deserves better as there is a lot of potential out here on the East side of this city.

There were at least two capable and qualified administrators that could have moved into the principal’s position with proven track records for being people who respect and care about teachers and the contributions they make to student success.

My lament is for the waste at the top and the loss of the potential for empowering a staff that has felt neglected for years. Moving bad leaders from one building to the other or to central office has a ripple effect on students and when those students are damaged by the hand they have been dealt in life the ripples become tidal waves. I am grateful for the tremendous teachers on this staff who stay in spite of how hard it gets year after year. I am grateful for the students who show up, graduate, win scholarships and awards in spite of their circumstances.

We all deserve better and sending us a stranger and tacking on an additional administrator deserves only scorn and shame to those who make decisions without knowing the real heart and soul of what a school like Madison was, is and could be. I am not alone in saying no thanks for the extra administrator and no thanks for another schools reject.

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David Colton is a high school counselor and a former English and drama teacher.

filed under: High Schools, Labor Relations, Madison High, Small Schools

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71 Responses

  1. Comment from Tom Conry:

    Terry, I was very much opposed to the no confidence vote last year. Here is why.

    (1) In my opinion, it was highly undemocratic in that there was very little time to discuss any of this. The decision to take this vote was not made in any kind of open forum; it was simply announced to the teachers at the end of the year. I am a union rep, and I knew nothing about this. Then, the only chance for people to discuss it was during lunchtime. That seemed to me to be completely inadequate for a decision of that kind of magnitude.

    (2) Because of the lack of opportunity to work through the issues that were frustrating the community, most of which were not Pat Thompson’s immediate responsibility except in a Harry Truman the-buck-stops-here sort of way, and because this was done on literally the last hours of the last days of school, the wildly disparate issues of why people were disappointed, fearful, and frustrated came to be unjustifiably (in my opinion) focused on one person. That wasn’t right and it didn’t reflect well on Madison.

    (3) There were some teachers who had already requested and accepted transfers to other schools driving the process. I thought that was bad form.

    (4) In general, I don’t think that appeals to hierarchical solutions work well in the long run. This was an appeal to “Daddy.” It is inconsistent, in my opinion, to say “Daddy, come fix this!” and then cry about not being adequately consulted about a new principal.

    To be clear, I DO believe that the entire Madison community should be in on the selection of our leaders. I simply think that there are those in our community who want to have it both ways . . . who want to have the administration “fix it” when participatory democracy does not go their way. And that is a shame, I think.

    Note: I’m trying to talk about the principles here, not the people. What is done is done, and we are where we are. Like everyone else I am hoping for a strong future. I don’t claim the way I experienced things is THE TRUTH.

    Hope this helps rather than hurts.

  2. Comment from mary:

    David, thanks for the info. Yes, the Lincoln process was a lateral move and a great example of how, despite policy, a wealthy school was entitled to have its voice heard. Money=power and when people donate large sums and raise several hundred thousand in fund raising, they are treated differently by the district. Anybody else have any info on principal selection process for other high schools?

  3. Comment from David Colton:

    Franklin High School is in process in what sounds like a democratic process for choosing a new principal. They have had a VP as an interim. Yet another example of Madison getting dumped on from above if indeed there is a selection process at Franklin and no such process for Madison.

    I also question anyone who can answer just how many administrators have been laid off because of the budget shortfall? Who knows the answer to this question?

  4. Comment from Anne T.:

    PPS Parent questions whether the principal selection at Madison was inequitable. My guess is that you have not experienced the full spectrum of PPS schools. There is a deeply embedded class system that manifests itself in everything from the treatment of parents, teachers and students, to the resources available. A simple glance at the class offerings at the “poor” high schools: Jefferson, Roosevelt, Marshall and Madison next to the course offerings at the “rich” schools; Lincoln, Grant, Wilson, or even comparing class options at “rich” middle schools v. “poor” high schools will show a blatantly apartheid system.
    I do not question the Madison’s teachers assertion at all, if anything he is too kind and patient. Until more of us are outraged at this caste system we will continue to see more of the same.
    Kudos to parents and teachers who continue to expose the inequities in this district.

  5. Comment from David Colton:

    Ann. Thank you for your comments. Madison teachers and adminstrators met last night with Toni Hunter, assistant to the superintendent, to talk about the selection of the newly assigned principal to Madison. Ms. Hunter stated that Deborah Peterson was having second thoughts and I would attribute to second thoughts to the impact of this blog. My thanks to all of you who have chosen to comment. We are most assuredly dealing with an inequity, one of many in this district in regards to what is handed down from one school to the next. We were told that Ms. Hunter felt that Deborah Peterson was the best choice for Madison based on conversation she had with Dick Wythicombe, the consultant hired to address structure and leadership issues at Madison. None of us were aware that the consultant would be part of the process and that anything said to him in meetings or in private would be used as the criteria for what central office feels is the best fit for Madison in terms of leadership. Several of us in the meeting last night attempted to make it clear to Toni Hunter that we are concerned about process not necessarily choice. When Franklin, Lincoln, Marshall, Wilson and other schools are allowed to use the policy in place from the school board, a policy that involves the entire community including actual patrons of the district, to select a principal and Madison is told that central office knows what is best for us, I call this paternalism or in this case maternalism and I personally feel infantilized and slackjawed by the manipulaltion of fact and fiction that I am witnessing. Toni Hunter is a lovely and capable leader without question and I know that she lives equity in ways that many will probably never understand as we are not a person of color or a woman. This fact does not excuse central office for sending her as the messenger and leaving this staff with the feeling that there is nothing we can do about the choice, the process nor the future of Madison other then being told it is our job to bring back the students we have lost over the years to the most destructive and devisive transfer system existing in all of public schooling anywhere and at any time. What NCLB has not taken from Madison the trasfer system has.

    Personally I plan on attending the next PTO meeting to talk with parents about their voice and the value of their voice in the Madison commnity.

  6. Comment from Val Gogoleski:

    Well, golly gee whiz….I’ve taught at Madison 23 years and didn’t even know we had an ACTIVE PTO!!! No kidding!!!! Just visited and bookmarked the website. Yes, I will also be at the next PTO meeting and hope other teachers will show.

    Parents have an awful lot of influence in parts of this district….teacher voice is either a) not heard OR b)may be BRUTALLY silenced. Oh, how well I know…

    See you Mad Hi parents at the next meeting….May 5 at 6pm in the Library.

  7. Comment from Liz:

    I reel the need to send the Madison community flowers of condolences. I am a Roosevelt parent and am very sad to see Carole Smith recycle a very bad principal onto anyone, but it makes sense to send her to a community that doesn’t have resources to fight the decision. Peterson looks good she schmoozes with the movers and shakers. She can bring resources. I approached her with my concerns for my daughters future at our neighborhood school whine she was in 8th grade. She sold me on the product. I have since fought like satan to get rid of this woman. She protects abusive coaches. She doesn’t return phone calls or emails. She is out right scared of of the school diverse population and would rather suspend a male black student rather that have a conversation. She declares new rule and policies without no notification to the students or parents, so if you wear orange one day you may find yourself suspended. Personally I have had many contacts with the woman, most all of them disappointing. Last summer I scheduled a meeting with her I had my daughter tell her what it was like to be a student on her campus. Sometimes with a very little voice and most of the time with tears in her eyes, my girl told her story. Peterson response, she could offer her a transfer. Is this an acceptable response? But it proved fatal to cross Peterson Roosevelt’s homecoming football game she trumped up some allegations that my daughter was “taunting” cheerleaders, she physically assaulted my daughter and had her removed from campus onto a dark side street unchaperoned. She put her hand in my face and refused to “deal” me. Then went on to notify her coach that she was to be suspended for a week of athletic activity. I and many other parents marched into the office at 8am on monday. She was out due to a medical procedure. I went to the district office to Greg Wollock, even got to Toni Hunter by phone. None of these action were PPS policy. There was no due process, and she got away with it. She conducts student senate classes, after listening to her expound on what its like to be “wealthy”, my daughter refused to take part, stating that Peterson was so inappropriate, and inflammatory. Eventually the student leaders of ACT refused in writing to not participate as long as Peterson facilitated the class. Oh I could go on, but it gets my blood boiling. She really doesn’t help out our challenged communities. I feel truly sorry for you Madison. She should not be recycled. I wish you well.

  8. Comment from David Colton:

    Liz, I sincerely appreciate your comments as they underscore the need for the Madison community to rally an appeal for reconsideration of this appointment. I am aware of other positions that were open in the district that followed a shared process of community, teacher and student input prior to the selection of a new principal. Fernwood, Marshall, Franklin were all fortunate enough to be granted the right to interview new candidates. It has been bantered around the “water coolers” at Madison that the community is asking Deborah Peterson to stay but the teachers and staff are thrilled to see her go. The wisps of smoke from Roosevelt to Madison tell of a fire somewhere and I say why does Madison have to settle for burnt offerings. I have too much faith in the gifts of Madison’s very talented teaching staff to sit back and let central office pull a fast one like this on the Madison Community. Bringing Madison back and showing the public what a great place this is for kids will take hands on leadership and a people willing to listen and share governance. I’d like to hear from more people in the Roosevelt communtiy. Thanks again Liz for your comments.

  9. Comment from markey:

    At Benson, Steve Olzack was brought in as a interim principal to replace the fairly popular Christi Plinski at the beginning of the 07-08 school year. It is widely believed that the departure of Plinski was due in large part to a long running conflict between Plinski and Olzack in regard to the future of Benson and the shape that career-tech ed. in the district should look like.
    The staff has never,ever trusted Olzack (rightly or wrongly) yet he was allowed by the district to remain interim for two years. The belief is that he was essentially hand-picked and placed at Benson to oversee its transition or dismantling (depends where you stand). A hiring committee made up of staff, parents and alumni was finally created but the process was so flawed that it broke down. No qualified candidates were ever put forward and the feeling was that the process was never genuine but a charade. Finally, last week Olzack had the interim removed from his title. Zero input on that decision by staff or community at large. Madison, we feel your pain.

  10. Comment from Steve Buel:

    Benson remains a basic example of where the inequities have played out to the detriment of children in lower income neighborhoods. It hasn’t been maligned by the transfer process but by the benign neglect of the people who control the school board. One of whom told me recently that the Benson teachers should just quit complaining and teach the kids who come in the door. See, we first underfund one of the most outstanding technological high schools in America, then we eliminate the application process, and therefore pretty much crush the quality within Benson’s programs. And the school board response: just shut the heck up. This, while hundreds of kids from poorer neighborhoods have their rise out of poverty made a whole lot harder. Of course, they are not their children.

  11. Comment from David Colton:

    Madison’s dynamic and profoundly passionate and intelligent PTO met last night under the able leadership of Kim Nickens. They were also graced with the pressence of none other then Greg Wollack and Toni Hunter, assistants to the superintendent. At the point of the meeting when the chair asked for comments from any of the 20 or more parents, my hand shot up. Kim asked me to attend after we discussed the PTO’s concern for the lack of process in the selection of Madison’s new leader. When I put the question to Toni Hunter and the room in general about lack of voice from teacher, parents and students, a flood of questions, concerns and comments filled the room with passion and deep concern about how the Madison community was treated when Toni Hunter made the unilateral decision to give Deborah Peterson the job that according to Hunter was owed to her by virtue of her being out of a job at Roosevelt. The room was not buying Hunter’s claim that Peterson was chosen based on what Hunter “felt” was best for this school. After at least an hour of this practiced fandango in top down decision making we all pleasantly agreed that of course we would give Ms. Peterson the chance she deserves as she too is a victim in this kind of unilateral, top down, closed door decision making that essentially only happens to people in this district that central office sees as expendable. No power, no voice, invisible and easily dominated not by reason but simply a “feeling” that Deborah Peterson will be a good fit. Let me remind you Toni Hunter that feelings are not facts and if they were the “feelings” in the room last night would have melted you and your unfortunate decision to circumnavigate any kind of process in placing Madison’s next principal. What I like about our new leadership in our nation’s capitol is that they seem to have the ability to admit mistakes and even correct them. Equity? I don’t think so. Not for Madison.

  12. Comment from Val Gogoleski:

    I also attended the PTO meeting last night and was so pleased to see such an active and involved group. The parents who spoke were willing to ask the difficult questions and demand clarity in answers. This area of town is soooo underestimated—look at the recent efforts of the Madison South Neighborhood Association in defeating big-box development across the street from Madison! Who woulda thought this neighborhood could have stopped a big-box-business developer? Amazing! There is life in “Madisonville”, and it shows in the Madison PTO. ABOUT TIME, HOORAY!!!

    I have lived within walking distance of Madison (where I teach) for 19 years, and seeing the parent and community activism last night was heartening. We need answers about why this school and community had absolutely no input after the awful uprising and chaos of last year. This is a demoralized and extremely frustrated staff, for the most part, and for various reasons pertaining to our “leadership”. I had a private meeting last April with Carole Smith, in her office, detailing the impending implosion at Madison. I literally BEGGED her to come out to Madison and give teachers a voice–to listen and make us at least feel we were heard—even if the outcome wasn’t agreeable to all. Speaking up as an employee means paying a price. I said this last night about teachers (such as myself) having to hire attorneys to protect our jobs… so be it.

  13. Comment from PatronOfTheProcess:

    I wonder how many comments it will take before the “leadership” actually does something that starts things moving in a positive direction.

  14. Comment from Val Gogoleski:

    I went to the “top” with my concerns last April and nothing happened. So much of this drama could have been avoided IF people (students, parents, teachers, staff) were given a voice–and LISTENED TO, actually LISTENED TO!! But nooooo…it didn’t happen, and lookie where we are now.

    The sad thing, people move out of this neighborhood so their kids DON’t have to go to Madison. I had a Real Estate License at one time (the days of teachers working two jobs!) and know of what I speak–two of my neighbors with small kids have sold their homes for the ‘burbs. Look at our neighborhood school “capture” rate of kids who live in the Madison attendance area—less than 50% from figures several years ago, and it sure hasn’t improved, folks.

    I would welcome any ideas on how to get heard and how to build Madison up, not down. My property value depends a lot on my neighborhood HS!!!

  15. Comment from Steve Rawley:

    I wonder how many comments it will take before the “leadership” actually does something that starts things moving in a positive direction.

    It may take some form of direct action… a walkout, a sit-in, or protest rally. Blogs are good for organizing, sharing, and raising awareness, but that’s about the extent of it. At some point, taking to the streets (so to speak) may be required.

  16. Comment from Scott:

    Some history: in 2001, I and other CPPS members went to Steve Goldschmidt, then head of HR for PPS, and advocated for including parents, teachers and classified staff, and students in the principal hiring process. To our surprise, he said he was thinking the same thing, but only for transfers from another school. We convinced him it should be for all hires. So we got a PPS policy adopted.

    There was never an administrative directive written about how it was to be implemented, only a couple of paragraphs on an otherwise plain sheet of paper. Mr. Goldschmidt’s process was cumbersome and divided school communities between staff and parents/community. But in cases of transfers, the school community at least had the opportunity to interview the candidate and veto the transfer.

    After Goldschmidt, HR decided that in the case of transfers, there would be no interview, just the initial meeting with the school community about what was needed in a new principal. These days HR doesn’t even hold a separate meeting for the teaching staff.

    This is not a rich school-poor school issue. I was on the interview panel for Grant High School last summer, and it was quite the experience. HR staff was rude to one of the candidates and to two of the school community panel. We took an entire day to interview five candidates, three of whom were from out of state and frankly were not of very high quality. We spent at least an hour listing the pros and cons of each candidate. Then we were asked “who would we vote off the island.” That’s right–pick one we don’t want, and our input is over. We were told that HR staff “knew” who our first choice was. I didn’t even know who our first choice was. Several panel members felt that HR was biased in favor of one candidate.

    And to top it off, there was no evaluation process. HR never asked “how did we do serving your school community?” A number of us wrote to Carole Smith. Nothing has changed, from what I understand.

    As a school board member, this is one area I will zero in on immediately.

    To HR’s credit, they realize that interviews are not the best tool for evaluating candidates. They are developing some “inbox scenarios”, throwing simulated problems at candidates and evaluating how they respond. That’s a good addition. But the school community should be involved in all aspects of hiring a principal, they are the ones who know best what the school needs.

  17. Comment from Val Gogoleski:

    I hope everyone has read Steve Duin’s column in the Oregonian this morning, Thursday, May 7, Metro section page one—-I can barely get my oatmeal down–THANK YOU STEVE DUIN !!!! YOU ARE DA MAN!!!!! WE NEED PEOPLE LIKE YOU!!!!


  18. Comment from Steve Buel:

    Scott — good thoughts. By school community I assume you are including the teachers who are truly the people who know best what the school needs. Also, Grant at least had the meetings and interviewed the candidates. Madison didn’t even get that if I am reading the posts correctly. So maybe it did have a hint of inequity in it. There are lots of things that could be done to improve teacher hiring also. I would love to talk to you about it.

  19. Comment from David Colton:

    I want to weigh in on my gratitude to Steve Duin and his “right on” column in today’s Oregonian. Steve Duin gets it and he has the voice to communicate it and hopefully be listened by as it is quite apparent that those who either collectively or unilaterally made the decision to place Deborah Peterson here are not thinking about students, parents, teachers or other administrators for that matter. This tempest in PPS’s collective teapot could so easily be avoided by taking away the kind of power placed in the hands of those surrounding the superintendent. I personally will never be convinced that one person near the top can make a decision that is purportedly in the best interest of the masses. History gives us examples of the dreadful consequences of this kind of abuse of power. Democratic process is messy and complicated and no one will ultimately ever agree on any one issue but just being at the table and actively participating in the process is a powerful and enriching experience. Being told that someone is the best person for the job is such a dangerous set up for failure when anyone one of us at either school could have participated in the selection of a person who may truly have been the best person for the job.

  20. Comment from MadisonClassOf11Senator:

    For those who don’t know the article they are referring to above, I believe it is this one that hits the nail right on the head:

    A low blow at Roosevelt High
    by Steve Duin, The Oregonian
    Wednesday May 06, 2009, 8:30 PM

    The adhesive power of trust is invaluable for public schools, especially in communities in which adults too often vanish before completing the job they started. Therein is the irritation, and the irony, regarding Deborah Peterson’s forced march ‘cross town, from Roosevelt to Madison High School.

    Even as the seeds of revival take root at Roosevelt, Portland Public Schools is jerking Peterson, the Roughriders’ popular principal, from that campus and dropping her off, uninvited, at Madison.

    It’s hard to say which academic community is more annoyed by the grandstand play, the one that feels abandoned or the one that’s insulted it had no say in the matter.

    “We’re on such a roll over here. A lot of people are feeling really positive about the direction we’re going. So, there’s some confusion. When something’s working for the community, why make a change?” Peterson said.

    That’s the telling question for those who have plunged into the fray at Roosevelt, where — at the beginning of the school year — 78 percent of the dwindling student body was on free or reduced lunch, 35 percent didn’t list a Social Security number, and as many as 140 students were classified as homeless.

    “Changing leadership in the middle of a crisis makes no sense at all,” says Norm Daniels, the former CEO at G.I. Joe’s and a key player in the $3 million campaign to erect a new athletic complex at his alma mater. “When you’re trying to do good and Portland Public Schools gets in your way, it’s pretty discouraging.”

    David Carboneau, Roosevelt ’64 and retired from PGE, took those concerns to Toni Hunter, the district’s assistant superintendent, and was basically told that Peterson was less important to Roosevelt’s future than a small-school model that long ago outlived its usefulness.

    “We tried to convince her there were bigger issues here, such as leadership,” Carboneau said. “I’ve been in business for a long time. I look at risk and reward opportunities. This seems like a very risky proposition, and I don’t understand the rewards.”

    Folks at Madison don’t understand why they aren’t shown the same respect as the parents and faculty at Lincoln, who put Peyton Chapman through a community-based interview process before she was hired as principal.”

    “My understanding,” said district spokesman Matt Shelby, “is the decision was made that she (Peterson) would be the best person for the job.”

    “The feeling here,” one Madison staffer said, “is we’re being treated like the redheaded stepchild. Roosevelt feels they’re having someone stolen from them, and Madison feels they’re having someone forced upon them.”

    The Peterson transfer is necessary, of course, because the district is determined to keep the small-school model going at Roosevelt.

    The Gates Foundation has quit funding the initiative. It’s a lousy drawing card for kids in the neighborhood, 560 of whom leave to attend other high schools. Even Madison is kicking the concept to the curb, reverting to a comprehensive school.

    Whatever. Roosevelt is stuck with the plan, even though sacrificing Peterson in order to retain three small-school administrators means the high school has $250,000 less to spend on teachers and other pressing needs in these dire times.

    “There are a lot of barriers here to kids achieving academic excellence,” Carboneau said. “In Deborah, we finally found someone who could break down those barriers.”

    Heck, they found an adult who wants to finish the job she started. Trust the district not to recognize the difference that makes.

  21. Comment from Carrie Adams:

    Under Carole Smith’s central office reorg plan, some Area Directors are returning to school buildings as principals. Will school communities once again be shut out of the principal selection process?