Board member cites poor performance in termination cases

David Maschke

David Maschke

ALBANY, Ga. -- The man behind Wednesday's controversial decision to let go of two high-ranking Dougherty County School System staffers defended the move Thursday, saying that his decision was made based on poor performance and a lack of results.

Wednesday night, the Dougherty County School Board voted 3-2 to not renew the contracts for Assistant Superintendent for Curriculum and Instruction Diane Daniels and Human Resources Director Tracy Williams.

Board members Velvet Riggins and Anita Williams-Brown were not at Wednesday's meeting.

The board can reconsider the vote within 30 days under a Georgia law that allows for reconsideration of a termination when the decision is made by less than a majority of the full board. For Dougherty County, that would be four board members supporting the termination decision.

Thursday, board member David Maschke, who made the motion not to renew the two contracts, defended his position, saying that Williams had exhibited a long pattern of poor decision-making and was a potential liability to the system if allowed to stay on the job.

As for Daniels, Maschke said, after having been in charge of the system's curriculum and testing for more than 10 years, she had failed to advance the system to the level where he believed it should be.

"Over her tenure, she (Williams) has not performed well and it has resulted in confusion, potential liability to lawsuits and a failure to apply policy properly," Maschke said.

"And on the other person (Daniels), I feel that she has been the head of curriculum and instruction now for 10 years and that's more than adequate time to get better results than what we've seen."

The vote Wednesday went against the wishes of Superintendent Joshua Murfree, who had recommended that Williams and Daniels, along with hundreds of other staff and teachers, have their contracts renewed.

Board Chairman James Bush stated after the meeting that he thought the moves made Wednesday reflected a "sad day for Dougherty County."

It's not the first time Maschke and Murfree have disagreed on how to handle Daniels.

Shortly after being hired, Murfree recommended that Daniels be promoted to her current position of Assistant Superintendent for Curriculum and Instruction. Maschke opposed that promotion.