Are you keeping your New Year's resolutions?|
Story Archives: Board votes to renew Philips' contract, 4-3
|Board votes to renew Philips' contract, 4-3|
Franklin Parish School Board members voted to override Superintendent Lanny Johnson's recommendation not to retain the principal of Winnsboro Elementary School during a recent meeting where the proposed status of five other principals resignations was accepted.
After sometimes heated discussion, the board voted 4-3 to reject Johnson's suggestion that Fay Philips' two-year contract not be renewed. A final decision, however, will rest with the state Recovery School District, which now oversees the substandard performing elementary school.
Philips, who was recently named as a finalist for the principalship of a Monroe City School, told board members before the vote that she wanted to continue her role at Winnsboro Elementary for two more years, at least.
The board accepted the resignations of the following two principals:
James Shirley, Baskin and Milton Linder, Fort Necessity.
Three principals were retained:
Terri Shirley, Crowville; George Johnson, Gilbert and Kenneth Blackson, Horace G. White Senior Learning Center;
During the past year, Winnsboro Elementary School avoided being taken over by the state and entered into an agreement with the Recovery School District to oversee the school. Failure to meet statewide standards on tests led to the near takeover of the school by the state.
Despite major advances during the most recent round of tests, the school remains under state guidance. That guidance includes influence on staffing, according to a spokesman at the State Board of Education.
In March, Principal Philips and other staff of the school objected to the Memorandum of Understanding between the school board and the state Recovery School District. One of the objections was language in the document which questioned the school's leadership.
About 100 residents attended the school board meeting where several teaching staff members spoke in support of Philips. The board voted, also by a a 4-3 vote, to approve the MOU and prevent the need to resubmit the agreement to the Board of Elementary and Secondary Education.
Johnson introduced the topic of the principal's contract renewal by saying:
"Based on my evaluation packet, I'm recommending the non-renewal of the contract for Fay Philips at Winnsboro Elementary."
Board member Richard Kelly questioned the recommendation based on what he considered to be "hearsay".
"You're only getting one side of the story here," Kelly told the board, "I'm only asking that you hear both sides."
Board president Eddie Ray Bryan later questioned Philips, "Do you want to remain principal at Winnsboro Elementary?"
Bryan: "Work with your faculty, your school board, administration, supervisors and everyone else to continue bringing that school up?"
Performance scores at Winnsboro Elementary increased from 49.5 to 64.2 in the most recent results and minor improvements were made in the scores from 2007-2008.
Despite the improvement in test scores, the grades were not good enough to keep the school from falling under the takeover authority of the state.
"I feel like we've had a lot of success in the last two years," said Philips, "and I want to work with the staff and administration to make sure we keep improving."
Philips said she has withdrawn her name from consideration for the position of principal at Wossman High School in Monroe.
In a roll call vote, Jessie Young, Dorothy Brown and Louise Johnson supported Johnson's recommendation with Kelly, Bryan, Ronnie Hatton and Tim Eubanks voting "no".