Bob Grimm said yesterday that he will not be rehired as Northeast High's athletic director, a position he occupied for 15 years until being fired by Principal Joseph Carducci Jr. in late May.
Carducci interviewed both Grimm and former assistant athletic director Bart Rader on Monday morning, then called Grimm Tuesday night to tell him thathis contract would not be renewed.
Carducci, who replaced Joseph Cardamone as principal on Feb. 1, has appointed social studies teacher Roger Stitt as the acting athletic director until a replacement is found. Fall practices for all sports begin today at Northeast.
Repeated phone calls to Carducci, bothat home and at Northeast High, were not returned. Rader also could not be reached for comment, and the outcome of his interview has not been confirmed.
Grimm, who received an unsatisfactory evaluation from Carducci last spring, said he was surprised at Carducci's most recent decision, because the interview seemed a positive one.
"There were no promises made, but based on the interview, I thought it wouldall work out," said Grimm, who returns to the school as a social studies teacher.
"His questions were like, 'What are your plans? Whatare some of your philosophies? What will be your first priority?' I was feeling very positive about it until he called me Tuesday night. He offered no reasons as to why he made the decision. I mean, why (did he) go through the whole (interviewing) process?"
Last spring, Carducci cited philosophical differences between himself and Grimm, aswell as insubordination, as reasons for the dismissal. Since then, the principal has been the focus of community unrest, beginning with astudent protest and, later, the formation of the Northeast CommunityFamily Group.
The committee, made up of approximately 75 parents,attended two school board meetings, unsuccessfully lobbying for Carducci's removal.
Members Duke and Carol Vickery said the committee is in the process of drafting separate appeals to Robert C. Embry, superintendent of the Maryland State Board of Education, and to Jo Ann Tollinger, president of the county Board of Education, in an attempt to reinstate Grimm as the athletic director.
"I'm hoping that (thestate) will repeal Anne Arundel County's decision not to hear us," said Carol Vickery. "We could ask them to hear the facts of the situation from our point of view and possibly suggest that (School Superintendent Larry L. Lorton) review his decision again -- or maybe overturn his decision."
It will be the third time that the group has written a letter concerning the situation since five parents met with Lorton on June 10, seeking Carducci's ouster.
The committee reiterated its proposal in a June 26 letter to Lorton. Lorton responded with aletter dated July 1, which re-stated his rejection of June 10.
Duke Vickery said Lorton's correspondence "apologized for any lack of clarity concerning our previous meeting and said we had until July 10 -- 30 days from the meeting -- to appeal to the Board of Education for a hearing."
"We drafted the letter on July 8 with the deadline two days away," Duke Vickery said. "But the board says they didn't getit until two days too late (July 12th)."
Lorton said, "I receiveda copy of the letter, but I don't think there's anything I can add to it. The (county) board thoroughly examined the whole situation and made the decision. In my judgment, it was the right decision. But those kinds of things, when they get to the board, rarely involve me.
Carol Vickery since has been notified by Tollinger that the group has 30 days to file a written appeal to the state board.
"I assume we have until 30 days from Aug. 8, the date of the letter," Vickery said.
After discovering from a reporter on May 29 that he would not be retained, Rader -- who returns as an English teacher and for his ninth year as football coach -- said he would not reapply for the job,"not after being treated this way." Grimm also had said he would notreapply.
But the administrators had a change of heart when approached by members of the committee last month.
"They asked both Bartand I to try again. And even though I had said that I would not (reapply), I did it out of respect for them," said Grimm.
Grimm listedamong his regrets that he might no longer be part of the Tick Neck Park project, a $2 million, 14-year plan aimed at improving the school's athletic facilities. Grimm said the project should be completed this year.
"When it began, Northeast only had 34 acres of land, compared to about 200 for some of the other schools," said Grimm. "The girls lacrosse team had been practicing on a field at Sunset Elementary, the football team didn't have a 100-yard field to practice on and we only had four tennis courts instead of six."
His firing puts a damper on the celebration of the completed program.
"I haven't beena direct part of the project for about three months, and it's hard to say how much I can be involved with it from now on," said Grimm.
"It's going to be difficult going back to Northeast, not being the AD, primarily because of the parents and the kids. But it's to my benefit to have my Fridays and weekends free."
Staff writer Roch Eric Kubatko contributed to this story.