Some Teachers Unhappy With Ashley High School

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Submitted: Wed, 07/02/2014 - 3:03am
Updated: Wed, 07/02/2014 - 3:39am

WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY)– As a student at Ashley High School, Eason Saffo has concerns.

“I don’t think they’re being treated fairly by the administration,” Saffo said. They are teachers and he took his concerns to the school board Tuesday.

Apparently teachers are concerned too.

The numbers for teacher satisfaction at Ashley High School are so low parents are calling them downright startling.

“It definitely needs to be looked into and the board needs to look into it,” said Mark Hicks, parent of an Ashley High student.

Teachers across New Hanover County were surveyed and the results of the 2014 teacher satisfaction survey were presented to the school board tonight.

The numbers for the county as a whole paint a much different picture than at Ashley High School alone.

In categories like facilities and resources, managing student conduct, and school leadership Ashley High School scoring below 30 percent in the amount of teachers who agree these things are up to par.

Parents are outraged.

“Lord knows this county this state this country needs strong leadership, and without good leaders in school and good leaders going all the way up to the superintendent’s office, we’re in trouble,” said Hicks.

Ashley highs principal was on hand tonight. It’s his first year on the job.

“I’m sure he can improve and hopefully he will,” Hicks said of Principal Jackson Norvell.

Norvell refused to speak with us. The New Hanover County Schools Superintendent adding the principal didn’t have to talk to anyone about anything.

When asked about the principals plans to address parent’s concerns about Ashley High School Superintendent Dr. Tim Markley said parents could talk to the principal one on one.

Parents we talked to said they’ve tried to do that but got no response.

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62 Comments on "Some Teachers Unhappy With Ashley High School"

we have to speak
2015 years 8 months ago

It’s a sad day when hard-working, dedicated, intelligent educators are scared to publicly speak about their needs and the way they are being treated. Well, the working conditions survey said it, but administration won’t give it credit until 3-4 years of the same results. Pathetic. Norvell made it clear by administratively moving one of our best math teachers that if you speak the truth, you will be punished, you will be removed. And to those who belittle us for complaining about our “cakewalk” school and tell us to go teach elsewhere if we’re so unhappy: we actually LOVE our school, it’s students, and being a part of this community. We just can’t stand that one man and his ego has begun to ruin it for us and the students. I am so proud that one young man had the courage to publicly stand up for us. Frankly it may be the only way things get changed. You know why they allow only one-on-one meetings? Because then they (Norvell and Markley) can keep us isolated. They and the Board ignored the collective voice (the survey) so that they can continue to justify their bad decisions and point the finger elsewhere. SPEAK OUT! Don’t let them silence you.

2015 years 8 months ago

I was not supportive of Rutledge, but the survey results and refusal to talk to people is really disappointing and we and our kids deserve better leadership.

2015 years 8 months ago

I think there are some other schools that they should look at besides Ashley. Like Wrightsboro School had 21 teachers leave this year! This is not the first year this has occurred. Maybe there Principal should also answer questions.

2015 years 8 months ago

I’ve known Jackson Norvell and worked for him. These allegations are ridiculous. Best boss I’ve ever had hands down. Maybe some of these so-called teachers should take a closer look in the mirror instead of placing blame on someone for their failures.

Jane M. Dagenhart
2015 years 8 months ago

When Ashley High School opened 15 years ago the naysayers predicted that the school would always lag behind the other three high schools in athletics and academics. The teachers, students, coaches, and support staff worked together long and hard to bring Ashley’s reputation to the top. Departments worked closely with each other and support staff to make sure each student’s individual needs were met so he or she had the best chance for success. Success came from team effort. Staff and students were able to do this while the principalship of the school changed 5 times. The most stable and dependable principals were Mr. James McAdams and Dr. Kenneth Bowen. The school really shined during those 6 1/2 years. Ashley was proud. Everyone was happy. The pay situation was distressing, but teachers were not leaving at an alarming rate. During the 2013-2014 school year 25+ teachers have left Ashley for various reasons. Many more are actively seeking employment elsewhere. Teachers are now afraid to talk to one another. Students suffer no consequences for blatantly defying county and school policies. When one goes to the doctor, dentist, grocery store,…, in the southern part of the county, they are often asked, “What in the world is happening at Ashley?” It would be interesting to see the testing results over the last five years compared side by side. Many mourn the demise of Ashley High School.