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School board employees learn their contracts will not be renewed

BY JENNIFER CABRERA

Nine administrators in Alachua County Public Schools (ACPS) learned on May 24 that their contracts will not be renewed for the next school year, and a Facebook campaign is rallying behind at least one of them, Glen Springs Principal Deanna Feagin.

The following employees learned that their contracts were not renewed:

  1. Thomas Cowart, Director-Construction & Maintenance
  2. Deanna Feagin, Glen Springs Elementary Principal  
  3. Chauncey Freeman,  Supervisor II-Information Support
  4. Donna Kidwell-Diehlman, Director, Executive-ESE/Student Services
  5. William McElroy, Director II-Career/Technical Education
  6. Raina Rivera, Supervisor I-Food & Nutrition Services
  7. Michelle Shelar, Supervisor II-Health Services
  8. James TenBieg, Supervisor II-Exceptional Student Education
  9. Paul White, Assistant Superintendent-Operations

Feagin’s email to a Glen Springs email list has been made public; in the message, she says she learned of the non-renewal via a hand-delivered letter.

Feagin’s supporters are using the #standwithDeanna hashtag to express their support for her:

Jackie Johnson, Public Information Officer for ACPS, sent Alachua Chronicle the following statement: “The Superintendent is focused on raising student achievement, promoting equity, and providing students with the programs and services they need to be successful. The district is about to begin a community-wide process of ‘reimagining’ schools to ensure all students are receiving a high-quality education. There is also a lot of work to be done to help students to get back on track as we come out of the pandemic. Reorganizing the district’s leadership team is essential to accomplishing all those goals. Employees who have been non-renewed for their current positions do have the opportunity to apply for other jobs within the district.”

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ACPS Superintendent Carlee Simon will be presenting her reorganization plan at a workshop on Wednesday, June 2, at 2:00 p.m.

  • As I have no idea, other than what was reported, about all these administrators and job performance evaluations, my only response is that follow up is needed

    If our Alachua County School Board has adopted a new current employee evaluation system, it should be based on the educational role of a given employee concerning all information and not concerned with a prescribed indoctrination by Alachua County.

    • Were evaluations even done? Where are there ANY areas in which Deanna Feagin did not meet expectations?

  • A massive campaign to vote out the three muskateers in the next election is underway! Do these idiots actually think the citizens of Alachua County are going to stand by and watch the great educators we have had in place for years serving this school district magnificently be treated like this? “I don’t think so Tim”. Carlee is NOT so vane that she would think this effort is about you. You Carlee, are a short timer in your hand picked position by your three amigas. Don’t let the door hit you in the behind when you are kicked out honey!

    • Unlike some in the district, Ms. Feagin worked her way up from a bus driver. Her position wasn’t given to her because of political leanings to my knowledge.

  • Political Purge?

    Jackie Johnson, Public Information Officer for ACPS: “The district is about to begin a community-wide process of ‘reimagining’ schools to ensure all students are receiving a high-quality education.”

    Jackie Johnson: “promoting equity”

  • My only reactions to the “firing” of Deanna Feagin as principal of Glen Springs Elementary is there should be substance to such a move concerning a long-term employee. I live in the Glen Springs community, both of my sons went to Glen Springs and were well educated by a caring staff. I would like to know the reasoning concerning her dismissal. Concerning the name-calling of the newly elected school board members, I oppose this. I had a long and productive meeting with Dr. McGraw – a meeting without prior agendas in which we could both honestly and openly share our concerns – truly something radical in Alachua County. We must deal with the fact that we have the largest white-black literacy discrepancy in the state of Florida in literacy. Yet, the previous administration lauded our A- rating! 1/3 of your students being substantively behind in reading is shameful – especially given the educational resources of this county. I am all for bringing our students to their expectation levels- I am all against playing partisan “woke” games that do zero to impact student lives, performance and potential. I hope the best for Ms. Feagin, and if she truly is a dedicated and competent administrator – we must defend her.

    • Agreed there should be some substance. The “elephant in the room” as one might refer to it is the lack of parental involvement. Having had a child who attended an eastside school and attending every open house with my child AND having witnessed first-hand the lack of involvement from many black parents, I can tell you the root of the problem. Can’t blame the school, there are many ethnic backgrounds represented. Can’t blame the teachers, they don’t pick and choose their students. Can’t blame the principals, they can’t pick the families they serve. What’s left? The child and their parents. Purely as a percentage of students, there are more parents who attend athletic events at schools, who don’t have a child even participating as a student athlete than there are attending the open houses on their respective campuses. That’s the real shame.

      These members do not want to address it but rather place blame where it is not warranted or deserved. Unless the members get out to the communities and speak to the parents of children and convince them of the importance of their involvement, this equity thing isn’t anything but a pipe dream.

  • It’s probably yet another case of a bunch of dimwits wanting to feel like they “ARE DOING SOMETHING!” – even if what they are doing amounts to a dumpster fire (and it probably will).

  • It takes a real coward to fire someone by letter. That’s what you get hiring someone with no leadership ability. This lady is just an academic without real world experience. Can’t expect much from her.

  • I can’t believe this needs to be explained to the educational leaders of our community.

    Equality means each individual or group of people is given the same resources or opportunities. … Equity recognizes that each person has different circumstances and allocates the exact resources and opportunities needed to reach an equal outcome.

    What this fails to recognize and this is alarming in itself, our children are not seen as individuals but as a central unit. They are not worthy of being recognized for superior individual achievement. Give every child a trophy for participating. Maybe we should apply the same standard to sports teams. Then we could always have that tie score so no one’s feelings get hurt.

    Here’s another idea… let’s trade parents of high performing students with those of low performing students. That probably wouldn’t go over well. Here’s one since certain leaders enjoy yelling so much. Have them go yell for the parents of low performing students to actually be more supportive and involved in their child’s education. What this school district is saying is that black children are incapable of being successful in their own right and unless the district steps in, they are predestined for a life of poverty and crime. Who exactly are the racists here?

    Given that they want the same results from students across the district should we believe they are giving tests to students fairly? Could a conclusion be made that the district is directing some teachers to artificially skew the test results?

    If the district believes so much in equity, maybe they should share the salaries of Kirby Smith personnel to the teachers and support staff to come upon an equitable redistribution of district funding.

    Once again the hypocritic actions speak louder than their words.

  • Cowardly and disgusting. Not enough guts to meet with Mrs. Feagin face to face. Who does that? What goes around comes around and karma is a bitch Simon.

  • I’m shocked and disappointed. Mr.McElroy was the best principal ever! My son graduated in 2019 from Lofton. If it wasn’t for Mr. Mc Elroy and his staff what they did for all the students there I’m not sure how many of these kids would have made it. I think we really should question this restructuring.

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