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Angst Over Pending Demotion of HS South Principal

Letter's author, also a PFA Board member, shows staunch support for Dr. Anthony Shallop to remain as HS South principal

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.

 Sincerely,

Judy Krivitzky

 

 

robert July 21, 2011 at 12:40 AM
patrick houston is interim superintendent? are you kidding me?
mhssalum July 21, 2011 at 05:05 AM
@david, if you felt so strongly about this, why didn't you and your family appear tonight to speak? right, you didn't, while hundreds others waited for 4+ HOURS because the Board conveniently delayed the open session for 2.5 hours, spoke respectfully, and unfortunately, were not taken seriously.
Southgrad July 21, 2011 at 06:34 AM
@David, Yes let's blame Shallop for teachers that were hired and tenured before he became principal. Not really sure how good your teachers were at teaching logic despite their supposed hard work. So your daughter either abuses hall way passes in photography or by the sound of she might have had a project to take photos around the school. Photos in PHOTOgraphy? Wow crazy stuff! Before you say that class shouldn’t be offered you should know that art electives are state mandated. She also once watched a movie in Spanish with the language turned to Spanish and possibly with no English subtitles. Oh my God burn that teacher’s house down! Besides wandering in the halls is something he did crack down on, way to be informed. Good teachers are great for good students, but no one can help students who do not want to learn. Trust me as a recent South graduate no matter what south does some students are Brookdale bound, but South does have some great teachers and without them there would be a lot less students going to great colleges (such as Vanderbilt, Cornell, Johns Hopkins, Columbia, and Northwestern to name a few you might have heard of) Not saying everyone can go to schools like that just saying the resources are there if students take advantage of what is in front of them. Besides if a student is complaining about a teacher it usually means they aren't getting the grades they want. I find it interesting the 7 north parents wanted him out, but not the 1 south parent.
MiddletownSince86 July 22, 2011 at 01:13 AM
@Southsgrad, why feel the need to bring BCC down in the conversation? Granted, a good percentage of South students start there, and I'm sure a good percentage don't finish but as a Middletown South graduate from the 1990s who went to BCC and finished up 2 years later at a State College and since have earned a Masters Degree and have been employed full time as a teacher for over 10 years, I find your "Brookdale Bound" comment condescending quite frankly, as I have seen many students since, excel at Brookdale and further their educational careers in 4 year institutions. I do agree with you though that the board seems a little North heavy, with only 1 South parent board members voting No to the recommendation.
Kate Krivitzky July 22, 2011 at 02:33 PM
You have got to be kidding me!!?? Doc did an outstanding job! The teachers must take responsibility for their own classes. As someone who knows Doc personally, he is BOSS! If you are so unhappy with the teaching skills at South, take your daughter out. I am a former student of South and was in all honors and AP classes, we never did what your daughter was describing. No Principal can be everywhere at once! I believe with all of my heart that if Doc had known this was going on, he absolutely would have stepped in. Why didn't you call him to make him aware of the situation? Take action instead of ranting about something when you clearly have no clue what you are talking about!
ShoutforSouth7 July 29, 2011 at 08:27 PM
It's a shame that parents from North like to ruin South High's good record in educating students and to create a big divide between the 2 schools. We belong to one town and should be supportive of what's best for the future of our children

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