A group of parents and staff of Agricola Elementary School came out to express their disapproval of two principal moves within the George County School District.
The move includes Agricola Elementary Principal Dr. Lori Massey from AES to head up the District alternative school. She will be replaced by current LT Taylor Principal Debra Joiner. Lead teacher Mitzi Davis was promoted to replace Joiner.
The changes were approved with a 4-1 vote at Monday evening’s special called meeting. District 2 board member Maria Clanton was the lone No vote. Matthew Smith (District 1), Mike Steede (District 3), Christopher Hilbun (District 4) and Barkley Henderson (District 5) each voted in support of the changes.
Before the vote AES teacher Amanda Hayes addressed the board as the spokesperson for the group of around 25-30. Hayes voiced her disapproval that she believed the staff and parents were not considered in the decision of Massey’s departure from AES. She went on to say that Agricola’s scores showed improvement suggesting that state scores were also on the rise.
Agricola was the only school in the A ranked school district to drop a letter grade with the release of the 2021-2022 scores. They went from a B in 2019-2020 to a C in 2021-2022. 2020-2021 scores during the Covid era were not held accountable. It was expressed to replace Massey while the school is progressing was showing a lack of understanding by the board and was not in the best interest of the school.
After the comments Superintendent Wade Whitney and the school board members entered into a scheduled executive session to discuss the matter. Massey was asked to join the board briefly in the closed door session that lasted almost 90 minutes. No discussion was made publicly about the changes as the board then returned to the boardroom to place their vote in front of the crowd which dispersed after the announcement.
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