Parham reportedly planning transfers

May 27, 1994|By Carol L. Bowers | Carol L. Bowers,Sun Staff Writer

Anne Arundel County's school superintendent has proposed transferring more than 60 administrators, a move that puts new principals in eight of the county's 12 high schools.

School sources say Superintendent Carol S. Parham's plan, one of the largest reorganizations in decades, would leave in place the principals at Broadneck, Chesapeake, North County and Southern high schools. They spoke on condition of anonymity because personnel moves are considered private.

The superintendent is scheduled to inform the board of the changes Wednesday, sources said.

Dr. Parham refused to confirm that she had submitted a reorganization plan, but said "personnel actions, transfers and retirements are on the board agenda for Wednesday, and this is the time of year when we look at transfers and making changes."

She cautioned, however, that "transfers are not disciplinary actions and should not be viewed that way."

Alan I. Baron and Eleanor M. Carey, two lawyers who investigated the school system's handling of child abuse complaints after a teacher-student sex scandal last year, recommended in a report that school personnel be changed every five years to prevent power blocs from forming.

Several of the principals being moved have been in their jobs for more than five years. Dr. Parham said, however, the Baron report was "a supportive piece, but not the driving force," behind any administrative changes that might occur.

Sources said the anticipated transfers would affect 22 senior high administrators, 17 middle school administrators and 22 to 25 elementary school administrators.

Despite efforts to keep the moves secret, rumors of changes have circulated throughout school communities.

"I can never remember anything like this before," said Carolyn Roeding, president of the Anne Arundel County Council of PTAs. "You don't just do mass transfers and expect parents not to be upset, and they should not be doing these moves in secret."

Angela Murray, the parent of three students at Old Mill High, said she confirmed this week that Mary Gable, the principal at Old Mill, would be transferred to Severna Park High and that Meade High Principal Stanley Stawas was to be Ms. Gable's replacement.

These are supposed to be public schools, Mrs. Murray complained. "I don't understand how anything can be done in private. I'm tired of hearing them talk about parental involvement and then being treated like I'm a stupid, brain-dead housewife."

Education sources said that in addition to moving Ms. Gable and Mr. Stawas, other proposed changes at the high school level include: moving Severna Park Principal Oliver Wittig to Glen Burnie; moving Glen Burnie Principal Midgie Sledge to Arundel High where she would replace retiring Principal Ken Catlin; and returning James Hamilton, who has been on assignment at school system headquarters, to his former position as principal at South River.

Earlier this year, Dr. Parham ordered the transfer of Northeast High School Principal Joseph Carducci, effective at the end of the school year, to an unspecified job at school system headquarters. Northeast was at the center of the teacher-student sex scandal.

Dr. Parham named Roy Skyles, an assistant principal at Chesapeake High, as Dr. Carducci's replacement, and that promotion was approved by the board.

The jobs at Annapolis High, where principal Laura Webb is retiring, and Meade High apparently are wild cards, and are expected to be filled through promotions, the sources said.

Central office personnel attempted to quell rumors and speculation. "Nothing is official until it's announced," warned Jane Doyle, a spokeswoman for the school system. "The procedure is that Dr. Parham shares her decision with the board, and then it becomes public."

Another school system employee said that in previous years "they said this was going to happen or that was going to happen and then it didn't." He said visitation teams that appeared at some schools this year emphasized that the changes were not final.

"But this is a significant number of transfers," he added.

Lateral transfers are made at the discretion of the superintendent. Transfers involving promotions require the board's approval, as do chains of transfers involving one or more promotions.

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