Action on the following issue is expected to be taken at tonight's Middletown Board of Education meeting at 8 p.m. at the High School North library, Tindall Road.
An open letter to the Middletown Township Board of Education and Interim Superintendent Patrick Houston:
As a parent and PFA Board member, I was shocked to learn that the Middletown Board of Education and Interim Superintendent Patrick Houston have suddenly decided to remove Dr. Anthony Shallop as Middletown High South's Principal, and return him to the classroom.
The justification for Dr. Shallop's reassignment is allegedly due to poor performance; however, that explanation strains credibility. Dr. Shallop was rehired in May by the previous Interim Superintendent, and, by all accounts, has done an outstanding job as the principal of South. This appears to be an extremely hasty and imprudent decision by a newly appointed interim superintendent, and I am alarmed by both the timing and speed of this proposed "reassignment."
I, along with many other concerned members of the South community, am questioning the legitimacy and wisdom of this decision, and urge the Board to approach this matter with caution.
When a beloved, respected and effective principal is suddenly and unceremoniously removed for dubious reasons, the motivation behind that decision will, and should, be viewed as suspect. The reputation of the Board could suffer badly if this decision is perceived as an attempt to thwart the will of the community, in favor of a political agenda.
Dr. Shallop is the first strong leader that South has had in years, and it would be an terrible shame to lose someone of his vision and capability.
Finally, someone (Shallop) is taking South in an educational direction that is both innovative and inclusive. Prior to Dr. Shallop’s tenure as Principal, South endured a parade of administrators. Further disruption in administration does nothing to promote the stability and improvement of South, and will instead have a deleterious effect.
I respectfully suggest that the Board focus on the instability and deficiencies currently within Central Office (e.g.: the district needs a new superintendent and three new administrators), rather than removing a qualified and well respected principal.
Perhaps a better use of the Board’s time and energy would be to deal with those important vacancies before implementing what appears to be a capricious political decision. To avoid the appearance of impropriety, I urge the Middletown Board of Education to table this decision until the matter can be fully vetted, and it can be demonstrated how this “reassignment” would substantially benefit the students of High School South.