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Teacher wins grievance

ALBANY — The Dougherty County Board of Education voted 4-0 Friday to uphold Gwendolyn Baker-Alford’s complaint that Monroe principal Valerie Thomas had exceeded her authority by changing Baker-Alford’s position at the school.

She took her grievance before the board after failing to resolve the issue with DCSS Superintendent Joshua Murfree.

Baker-Alford filed the original complaint last June when she was moved by Thomas back into an English classroom after spending two years as an instructional leader at Monroe.

There was some confusion as to Baker-Alford’s exact job status on her contract, which was eventually approved by the board.

Her attorney, Maurice King, asserted that the principal was not authorized to change the action of the School Board, which he said was actually her employer, and asked that Baker-Alford be given back the position to which she was approved.

School Board Attorney Tommy Coleman contended that Baker-Alford’s contract listed her as a teacher/instructional leader, and as a principal Thomas had the authority to move Baker-Alford within the high school.

“She (Baker-Alford) is a teacher, not an administrator,” Coleman said during a hearing late last year. “The principal had a need for a teacher and filled that need. The board does not have to approve that action.”

Baker-Alford initally filed a level I grievance with Thomas and was denied. She then escalated to a Level II complaint with Murfree, but the situation was not resolved to her satisfaction, and she finally went to Level III before the Board.

Comments

Spike 2 years, 3 months ago

What authority does a Principal have if not moving people around within his/her school? I would not want to be a Principal in DCSS. Sounds like the board wants the Principals do be responsible without the authority. Obviously the Union has something to do with this as well.

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chinaberry25 2 years, 3 months ago

Georgia teachers do not have a union. They have a teachers program that will help out with a lawyer but not a union. She probably has a board member ear.

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Russ 2 years, 3 months ago

Sounds like she has four of their ears...where are the other 3 votes?

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Terry.Lewis 2 years, 3 months ago

There were only four board members at the hearing - Carol Tharin, Milton Griffin, Darrel Ealum and Anita Williams-Brown.

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reb_arty1863 2 years, 3 months ago

They voted to make it go away. They are in the news enough with principals/teachers stealing and cheating.

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dingleberry 2 years, 3 months ago

What is an "instructional leader" and what does such a person supposedly do?

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dingleberry 2 years, 3 months ago

In 2010, about $77,500. Not bad for 9 months.

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Shinedownfan 2 years, 3 months ago

Apparently it's a job where she doesnt have to interact with students. That seems to be beneath her.

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formeralbanian 2 years, 3 months ago

I can't believe this. A principal has the right to make changes. Everyday there is something new that disgraces this school system. The children of Albany deserve an excellent system, and unfortunately fools and crooks seem to be running this one.

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Amazed2 2 years, 3 months ago

I guess She don't do "Windows". Well I agree if a principal does not have the authority to shift the school personnel around to fill needed positions then who the heck does. Does a principal now have to get a DCSS Board hearing to decide if she has to hire a new teacher for a classroom even though she has personnel available already on staff. Looks like in DCSS they need to eliminate Principal and Assistant Principals and just put in a camera system for the Board. That way the Board can make minute to minute, day to day, week to week and month to month decisions and therby saving all these salaries. I know the DCSS has some principals that need to go but in general that position comes with certain authority, howelse can you hold them accountable for the success or failure of the school???????

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PatrickY2K 2 years, 3 months ago

Do the other three DCSS high schools get an additional administrator, too?

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chinaberry25 2 years, 3 months ago

No, yal'll she was an administrative leader. She was not in the classroom. She goes over lesson plans and oversees the in and outs like a department head. Now they want her back teaching. She does not want to have to put up with those rude disrespectful kids in DCSS. Some even try to have sex in classroom if you turn you back long. She feels that she has paid her dues and they had better leave her alone. Yada yada.

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ObjectiveEyes 2 years, 3 months ago

The principal is hired to oversee the day-to-day operations of the school. If he can't shift resources to suit the day-to-day needs of the school...well, no dad gum wonder the system is in the shape that it's in. Like I've said before...you can't make this stuff up!

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Guest8675309 2 years, 3 months ago

I think many of you have missed the point. This woman was an instructional leader, which meant she assisted teachers in providing instruction. This is an important position as many teachers are not certified or do not know how to teach. She essentially was a coach for the teachers who needed it. She was in a leadership position and had excellent evaluations. She was placed back into the classroom and took a cut in pay (demotion) without cause. The principal who did this was new to Monroe High School and came from Lamar Reese where she has been implicated in the cheating scandal. The board supported the instructional leader over the principal who has been implicated in the cheating scandal. A principal does have the right to run their school, but does not have the right to demote an employee without cause.

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Abytaxpayer 2 years, 3 months ago

Wait!!! What???? BREAKING NEWS......The Dougherty County Board of Education voted 4-0 Friday that old #34 did not know how to manage his principals and teachers….

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Amazed2 2 years, 3 months ago

You are absolutely Correct the DCSS Board voted Unanumosly that #34 Murfree did not and does not know how to manage the system. Thanks to the DCSS Board for you concerence in this matter!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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Jacob 2 years, 3 months ago

and what are we paying Coleman for again? How could he miss this?

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Amazed2 2 years, 3 months ago

Jacob, Coleman knows the system and he knows the Board. He is not dumb he just makes up reacts rather than being pro-active. He gets paid by the Hour to deal in crap and the more crap that happens to pile up he gets paid more. Coleman is a private citizen these days but he has been working in the City of ALbany and DCSS "System" too long. He has been there too long.

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