Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Duval County Public Schools “ Red Wedding”

Yeah I admit it, I am into Game of Thrones, this is the second time in a week I will use a recent episode to illustrate the workings of Duval County.

If you didn’t know, in GOT several main characters were unexpectedly killed after a wedding where they had broken bread with the hosts. You kind of knew something was going to happen but most of us didn’t expect the massacre, hence the red wedding.

When Vitti came to Jacksonville many of us hoped for changes. For far to long whom you knew not your ability determined how far you rose or sunk in the county. Vitti himself said he was going to send some admins back to the schools and we should have had an inkling about what could happen when Ken Sutton the ESE chief was demoted all the way to an assistant principal slot. He showed up one day and then retired. The thing is I had no idea and I don’t think many others did either about the bloodletting that was about to occur at the Ivory Tower on Prudential drive.

The three biggest drops happened to Tony Bellamy, former chief of high schools who will now lead Southside Middle School; Carolyn Davis, former executive director of elementary schools, who will now lead Henry Kite Elementary and Jacqueline Byrd, former chief of K-8 schools, who will now lead John E. Ford K-8. This is like demoting generals to sergeants and the loss of pay will be in the tens of thousands for all three.

Most of the other moves seemed to just be the annual shifting around of principals, something you might not have known but about a third of our principals are shifted each and every year. In an average four year period there are more moves than schools the district has. 

Vitti says there are more moves to come in July perhaps a red honeymoon.

Here are the other moves mentioned in the Times Union: LaShawn Blackshear, former R.V. Daniels principal, will lead Susie Tolbert Elementary School. Robert Gresham, former West Jacksonville Elementary principal, will lead R.V. Daniels Elementary. Susan Hamer, former West Riverside Elementary principal, will lead Sheffield Elementary. Deidra Johnson, former Henry Kite Elementary principal, will lead San Mateo Elementary. Sylvia Johnson, former K-8 schools executive director, will lead West Riverside Elementary. Stephanie Manabat, former turnaround schools executive director, will lead Enterprise Elementary. Darrell Perry, former Southside Middle School principal, will lead Timucuan Elementary. Kenneth Reddick, who was also a turnaround schools executive director, will lead Fort Caroline Middle School.  Nicole Townsend, for Susie Tolbert Elementary principal, will lead West Jacksonville Elementary. Beverly Walker, former elementary schools executive director, will lead Westview K-8.