Board vetoes principal shift over nepotism concerns

ALBANY -- The Dougherty County School Board voted against a recommendation from the school system's superintendent to move an assistant principal to a school where her sister works based on the appearance of impropriety.

Superintendent Joshua Murfree had sought to ease a leadership void at Jackson Heights Elementary -- a school currently without a principal and being run by only one assistant principal -- by transferring a second assistant principal from Turner Elementary to the school on a temporary basis.

But once it was disclosed that the assistant principal's sister works at the school as either a teacher or staff member, it gave board members pause.

"I tend to agree that, to not have the appearance of (impropriety) that the teacher needs to be moved ... or the lady doesn't need to be transferred," Chairman James Bush said. "I can't vote to have both in the same building."

Murfree attempted to quell any concerns that the move may be considered nepotism saying that it clearly wasn't because nepotism only involves the hiring of relatives into certain positions, a notion board member David Maschke said wasn't true.

"This board's policy is that we don't put people's relatives in positions of authority over each other," Maschke said.

Maschke also said he was uncomfortable with Murfree's plan to move the assistant principal's sister, who was believed to be either a staff member or teacher in the second grade, so late in the year because of the impact it could have on students.

"I think it's grossly unfair to the teacher's students to move her at this point," Maschke said. "They've built a rapport and relationship with this teacher, and now we're going to just put someone else in there? I don't think that's right."

Board member Velvet Riggins also expressed concern with the situation, especially if the sister is a teacher.

"Out of 26 schools, I would think that we could've found another assistant principal we could move into that position," Riggins said. "If it's an office person or staff, I'm OK with it. But if it's a teacher, that's something totally different."


FlunkyMonkey 3 years, 7 months ago

This they consider improper but paying a lying, cheating teacher retirement is okay. WHAT?


jglass 3 years, 7 months ago

I am glad to see the board members are doing their jobs and voicing their opinions. What Murfree was trying to do is totally wrong for both involved.


rock 3 years, 7 months ago

Murfree and Riggins, If they only realized how ignorant they are. Now the board wants to do the right thing after years of messing the school system. I am now of the opinion that only extremely well educated persons of any color should be Education Board Members, a test should be passed on the Legalities of the school system, a definitive code of conduct be written, followed and signed as part of a contract, AND no grocery store owners, trailer park slum lords, or people of marginal character allowed to serve. Again people vote for school board members by the color of their skin and not qualifications is DoCo.


Jacob 3 years, 7 months ago

Well if Velvet smelled a rat, you know for a fact there is a rat. She would know.


whattheheck 3 years, 7 months ago

If nepotism is such a potential problem, let's be more selective about hiring so many relatives to start with. If you don't hire them there is no problem, right? In reality, this is a tough nut to crack in a low populated area with limited employment and a 4 year university..

One thing that concerns me more is the impact claimed advanced degrees have on salaries. Do we need certain or even any advanced degrees in some positions we have? Are these degrees from "real" places of higher learning or are they merely pieces of purchased paper? And most concerning of all, do people having these advanced degrees really have them at all?

Since we don't bother to do any simple verification on income for subsidized lunches, even for school employees, have we made an effort to verify advanced degrees? In the recent past, other school systems--and government employers-- have undertaken verification and found in some cases there were no degrees as claimed. none. As lax as the DCSS seems, it is not a stretch to wonder if such is happening here.

Let's look under the hood on advanced degrees. But don't hire a consultant to do the work.


waltspecht 3 years, 7 months ago

The advanced Teaching Degrees and Training have more to do with income for the training institutions then they have to do with benefiting the Students. Don't forget the bought Degree the Chief of the School Police used to get his job. A Teacher should teach period. If the advanced degree doesn't change that Teachers ability to measurably teach, there should be no monetary compensation. There are many with advanced degrees drawing large salaries still teaching at the level they were teaching at when they first got the job.


tywebb 3 years, 7 months ago

if they were soooo worried about nepotism, why did they have sheila marshall - principal at AHS, Archie chatmon - teacher/AD/coach at AHS, and charles chatmon - teacher/coach at AHS? If that isn't nepotism, nothing is.


lmerie 3 years, 7 months ago

It is improper, but it still goes on. There is one situation in a middle school where the wife is the supervisor and her husband manages the staff. Major example of nepotism. And for some reason, even the staff that have attorney's as family members are afraid to tough the situation. Too bad the school systems won't fix all cases of this. It probably would help moral and less problems


FlunkyMonkey 3 years, 7 months ago

Do they get free lunches for their kids?


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