51 administrators, teachers face shuffle School board due details of transfers

June 10, 1993|By Lan Nguyen | Lan Nguyen,Staff Writer

More than 50 administrators and teachers would be shuffle to new jobs next school year under Superintendent Michael E. Hickey's latest plan to periodically reassign employees among schools.

At all grade levels, six principals, 20 assistant principals and 25 teachers are being told they will be transferred -- some involuntarily.

"The reason we moved our assistant principals is we are preparing them to be principals and we like them to have experiences at a number of different schools," said Patti Caplan, school system spokeswoman. As for new teaching assignments, the changes were made "based on the needs of the school system," she said.

School officials said they will release detailed information about the transfers at tomorrow's school board meeting.

The shuffle causing the biggest controversy involves the transfer of all three top administrators at Mount Hebron and Centennial high schools. Principal Sylvia Pattillo of Centennial will be swapping places with Principal Edgar Markley of Mount Hebron, and the two schools' four assistant principals will move to various places.

Parents are concerned about stability at the schools. "To take away our whole administrative staff is unheard of," said Mount Hebron parent Carol Fanta, who fears for the future of the school's plan to pilot site-based management next year.

"It was a stupid decision," said Frank Kaltreider, who has two daughters at Mount Hebron. "It makes no sense."

School officials tried to quell parents' concerns. "For those who are fearful that immediate and drastic changes will be made, that's not true," said Daniel Jett, director of high schools. "Mount Hebron is a very strong school. It has an effective teaching staff."

Gwendolyn Grace, Centennial's Parent Teacher Student Association (PTSA) president, fears the school's new principal will not get enough support to run the school. "There is no continuity . . . at the school to at least familiarize Dr. Markley as he comes into a new school environment," she said.

Mr. Hickey, who could not be reached yesterday, wrote in a memo to Ms. Caplan that "the transfers are not punitive in nature, nor do they reflect negatively on the performance of the individuals involved. Over the past nine years, every principal and assistant principal has been transferred at least once."

The memo continued: "While teachers do have tenure in a school system, no one has tenure within a building or within an assignment. To do so would severely limit the system's ability to utilize its personnel resources in the most effective and efficient manner."

Parents throughout the county were upset at the moves and lamented the departure of administrators and teachers they have come to respect and trust.

"I can understand the need for change," said Bonnie Hudak, vice president of Longfellow Elementary School's PTA. "Change is healthy. What I question is, no one seems to be able to tell me what is the benefit for the school system."

Teachers are also becoming afraid of speaking out for fear they will be moved to a new assignment, she said.

Information about the transfers involving middle and elementary school administrators were not available yesterday.

Among the transfers of assistant principals at the high school level:

* Stephen Wallis of Mount Hebron and Michael Heck of Centennial will transfer to Wilde Lake.

* Barry Odell of Wilde Lake and Joan Lane of Mount Hebron will transfer to Centennial. One of Centennial's current assistant principals, Michael Heck, will return to a middle school assignment.

* Edmund Evans of Oakland Mills is being reassigned to Mount Hebron, as is Jack Hart, now at the Howard School of Technology.

* Adrienne Kaufman of Atholton will transfer to Glenelg. Linda Bartle of Howard will take Ms. Kaufmann's place. Clarence Miller, now at Glenelg, will transfer to Oakland Mills.

School officials expect to fill the vacant assistant principal position at the School of Technology and a third one at Mount Hebron at tomorrow's school board meeting.

Ms. Pattillo, who came to Centennial from Baltimore County in 1987, had requested a transfer. "That's the norm for me," she said. "Growth takes place with movement and change."

Mr. Markley has worked in Howard County since 1969, when he started at Glenelg High School as a guidance counselor. He transferred to Howard High School in 1977 to become the school's administrative assistant. He came to Mount Hebron in 1981 as an assistant principal and was promoted in 1987.

He could not be reached for comment yesterday.

"He has been at Mount Hebron for 13 years," said Mr. Jett.

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