Parents protest transfer of Hilltop administrator But Board of Education considers the matter closed

June 19, 1992|By Monica Norton | Monica Norton,Staff Writer

As far as the school system is concerned, the case of assistant administrative trainee Laura Lloyd has been resolved. She will be transferred from Hilltop Elementary in Linthicum to another school.

But parents of Hilltop students say their fight is not over yet.

"We don't know what our next step will be," said Debbie Valente, the mother of twin 8-year-old girls who attend Hilltop, "but we're going to try everything we can think of to keep Dr. Lloyd at our school."

Valente and another Hilltop parent, Robert Weir, met yesterday with Assistant Superintendent for Instruction Cheryl Wilhoyte to appeal Lloyd's transfer to an as-yet-unnamed position and school. The two parents came with a petition signed by about 140 parents, students and teachers opposing Lloyd's transfer.

Weir said it was obvious at the beginning of the meeting that the school system had no intention of changing its mind.

"It didn't seem like anything we said would have made a difference," Weir said. "We could have come down here with 500 kids on a bus and it wouldn't have made a difference. Their mind was made up."

Wilhoyte said she could not discuss Lloyd's case specifically, but she said the school system had more applicants than available assistant principal positions.

"We had asked for additional administrative positions in the budget, but it was a tight budget," Wilhoyte said

The school system prefers to have a number of trainees eligible for administrative positions when they become available, Wilhoyte said. Within the next two years, 14 administrators in the school system will be eligible to retire. Currently, the school system has 14 trainees.

Wilhoyte said employees who receive the training but are not automatically chosen to fill an administrative position are rotated to other schools with both homogenous and diverse populations, to prepare them to work in any school. The rotation does not hurt a trainee's chances of being placed in an administrative position once one becomes available.

Lloyd, who spent 22 years in the school system and two years training for an assistant principal's position at Hilltop Elementary, was told two weeks ago that she was not selected to fill one of four vacant assistant principal positions in the county. Eleven people applied for the positions.

"I was told that I was not selected because of a 10-minute interview I had," Lloyd said. "I was told I hadn't done as well as the other candidates.

"I've taught grades two through six, I've been a gifted and talented resource teacher, I have a Ph.D. in curriculum and supervision. But they decided I wasn't qualified because of a 10-minute interview," Lloyd complained.

Wilhoyte said the interview a candidate must undergo is not structured, but one in which the candidate's strengths and weaknesses are discussed informally. The process generally takes 30 to 40 minutes, she added.

Valente said she and other parents, teachers and students said the school system should have taken into consideration the work Lloyd has done during the past two years and the relationship she has developed with students and parents.

"She is just a fantastic person," Valente said. "Generally, parents and especially kids don't feel comfortable around administrators. But Dr. Lloyd really has made the students feel comfortable. When the students walk in that building, she is there to give them a hug. She comes to all the assemblies. We just don't want to lose her."

Lloyd said she has not been told where she will be transferred or what she will be doing. Since she is no longer a trainee, Lloyd said, the only positions available would be those of teacher or resource teacher.

"Making her a teacher again, that just seems like a waste to me," Weir said.

"This just firms up my belief that the Board of Education only cares about themselves and numbers, and not students," Valente added. "We're not trying to steamroll the board into anything. We're just trying to make them understand Dr. Lloyd's value to our school and our students. We understand that there are rules. But there are exceptions to every rule."

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