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Ashley HS principal responds to criticism from faculty

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WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) -- We've told you about issues concerning teacher's satisfaction with the leadership at Ashley High School. Tonight the leader of that school is speaking out.

Jackson Norvell has been principal at Ashley for a little more than a year. He says that teachers who say he is vindictive and retaliatory are not telling the truth.

This afternoon he spoke with us. We asked him about the low teacher survey results, morale and teachers saying they don't want to work at the school because of him.

"First of all, it is not the truth," Norvell said. "Second of all, I was not aware of this perception until very recently. Now that I am aware, I'm going to do everything in my power to combat this misperception."

According to a teacher satisfaction survey, 80 percent of Ashley's teachers do not feel comfortable raising concerns.

"I consider this a great platform to implement changes and thats what I plan to do," Norvell said. "I think there have been some difficult personnel changes that we've done, but again, everything that we've done and everything we will do is with the students in mind. We've done what's in the best interest of students and will continue to do that."

Norvell says changes have happened, but he would not go into detail about what those changes were.

School board members we spoke with today say though Ashley has seen measured success educationally, the success of a school as a whole starts at the top.

"The performance that happens at a school has everything to do with the building level leadership; the principal and the assistant principal," school board member Tammy Covil said. "If they're not doing a good job utilizing their teaches in the way that they should then absolutely we should look at moving those principals or replacing them."

Based on the criticism, we asked Norvell if he is prepared to lead a 4A school like Ashley.

"Absolutely," he said. "This is my first year, and it has not been without some challenges. I think philosophically I believe that we must do everything possible in the best interest of students. That's what I have done, and that's what I will continue to do."

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It's been 2 weeks since this article-Why No Update, No Follow-Up

It's been 2 weeks since this article-Why No Update, No Follow-Up.
We're concerned about this and why haven't we heard anything else.
Why are we still here and waiting for a rational or some action.

What's going on?

True - anybody getting any responses ?

Ashley HS Staff will be

Ashley HS Staff will be meeting 7/28 per Norvell: We are planning a summer workshop to receive teacher input on procedures and practices for the upcoming school year. This will be an interactive forum. The workshop will be facilitated by School Improvement Team members. Assistant Superintendent Dr. LaChawn Smith will present.

Why is there no response from the Board?

Why is there no response from the Board?
These are elected officials. They represent us. How can they ignore clear and legitimate concerns?
Since the issues with Markley's high compensation for the woman he was having an affair with, to a principal acting like an unhappy dictator, where is anyone representing our interests ?

Eagles Replaced with Wildcats

I have the following concerns:

The staff/faculty that have gone or have transferred have been replaced with NHHS friends...

We lost a counselor. She was transferred with little to no control in order to accommodate basketball. Guthrie came from New Hanover. His friend.

We have an extra Assistant Principal (who we really don't need), again from New Hanover. He has jumped many hoops to get her on board at Ashley. His friend. She sits in his office a lot either in the corner on a lap top. She cried for several months, sitting on his sofa. He was so engulfed with her, until he had little time for anything else.

As much as we needed a strong person in this role. He has replaced our ISS person who was also our principal intern with someone from New Hanover.

Our end of school year check off sheet was a duplicate from New Hanover.

The office support associate who does payroll is from New Hanover. She is unprofessional and unpleasant to work with. He allows her to go and come as she pleases.

I have never seen anything like this. It is so upsetting to see so many teachers leave because of the poor leadership. With all of the different principals that we have had from Brady to Pugh, we have never had one that was this incompetent. There is no level of trust. I have walked up on him several times talking to teachers about other teachers, or sharing confidential information that he should not be sharing. He forgets everything you tell him, he does not respond to emails, never stepped foot in my classroom, and is not organized. He jumps from subject to subject and never resolves an issue. The faculty meetings are a joke.

Anything goes when it comes to his friends. I witnessed the intern being told at graduation that she was needed to call names because Mrs. Watson really didn't want to do that! My jaw hit the floor.

I have seen several teachers leaving his office crying...the ones you never hear from or cause problems. I don't think I have never heard custodians speak as poorly about a leader as I have this year. What did our hiring committee do?

I really don't think that he is ready for a large high school like Ashley. It is too much and he is in over his head. It would be different if he had seasoned Assistant Principals, but he didn't have that either. You could tell that there was little to no communication with them either. I would always see either Mrs. Watson or Mrs. Anderson in his office most of the time. The other two looked like spare tires. There was indeed a disconnect all year long between administration. Communication was deplorable. I wish him the best, but I am not hopeful that next year will be any better. The damage has been done.

Well stated and totally

Well stated and totally true. It's very disappointing to see this happening. Parents can make the difference and stay aware of what's going on.

Bewildered by out School Board

I am bewildered by why our school board wanted to create Ashley into New Hanover.
Please explain yourselves !

I am so impressed

I have been so completely impressed by the teachers of Ashley High School. The eloquent and logical way that they have expressed their concerns explains well the heartbreak that they have suffered. I have sat through 17 of the first day meetings that the recent teacher described. I have seen various principals present their plan of action - some well, some less so, some clearly, many with much ado. To be left at the end of that meeting with nothing, and go a year with a principal with no plan, but to run off leader teachers, is inexcusable.
Best of luck to the teachers who remain, we feel for you and your losses.

no courses at Ashley?

Half the Math department is gone. There will be no psychology. Today I found out there will be no French of Latin. What other courses are going to be eliminated? Parents, transfer your students out while there is still time.

SCORES WERE GREAT, WHY NO PSYCHOLOGY

A friend in NHCS ave kudos to our daughters 5 on the AP Psychology Exam, saying that her classes' scores were the leading results with not just a few kids taking the test and doing well, but with over 70% of the 35 kids in the class passing it.
Why would we get rid of AP Psych after such progress?
I know the principal replaced him as a coach, but after the scores came in I'm sure they are keeping him, or trying to keep him to teach it again.

No psychology courses

Mr. Norvell and the former Ashley coach/teacher frequently talked openly at the beginning of the year. Coach Rutledge is honest and frank. Mr. Norvell not only does not value these qualities but punished them, by removing his coaching job, doctoring his end-of-year evaluations, and making the school board move him out of the building. With this position, the department chair, and another vacancy have hit Ashley hard. Of the teachers that Norvell is being from NHHS, non have taught Psychology before so dissolve the courses- despite how the program grew.
I am having trouble seeing how any actions by Mr. Norvell are in the interest of students, as he claims.
I am sickened by the support and tools that Norvell continues to be given by the NHCS School Board to destroy AHS!

Dear Teachers

Ashley Teachers,

We have had many different people sit in the principal chair over the years. They each had their own style and approach to leadership. There are a few things that each of these principals had in common. Each of them had a vision of how they thought a school should be run. They knew how they wanted to raise the level of achievement of the students. They knew what kind of discipline policy should be in place. They understood the importance of maintaining and developing the traditions and spirit of a school. Some principals were more successful than others. Some ideas flopped, while others were revolutionary. And through all of the different styles and personalities, it was the teachers who put these plans into action. All of these principals knew that their best asset was their faculty. Mr. Norvell is the first principal I’ve worked for who doesn’t seem to understand that.

Ashley High School has not been weakened through a lack of consistent leadership. In fact, we have learned to work really well as a staff over the years. Through strong principals, weak principals, or no principals, we have made it work. We have taken on leadership roles when needed, we pull together when we see a need, and we can get creative with discipline when we don’t have administrative support. We get it done. We get it done really well. People seem to think that Mr. Norvell inherited a lawless school riddled with problems. What Mr. Norvell walked into was a school with an incredibly talented, cohesive, and effective staff. To some people, this could be more intimidating than being put at the helm of a school with no direction.

A good leader uses the strengths of his/her people. A good leader empowers people to make things happen. Every year, we have a beginning of the year faculty meeting. For Ashley High School, this meeting usually involves meeting our new principal. We sit in the cafeteria or Minnie Evans (depending on if this principal wants an intimate atmosphere or one that is more professional). As a staff, we are rested, recharged, and ready to take on the world.

We sat at that faculty meeting again at the beginning of this past school year. We officially were introduced to Jackson Norvell. I hoped that this was the one. I had it all planned out in my head. This guy was going to know his stuff. This principal would forge relationships with faculty and students alike. He would learn about what was important to us. He would discover our strengths and weaknesses by getting to know us. This principal would give us feedback. He would acknowledge our successes and have great ideas on how we could do better if we stumbled. This principal would support us and encourage us. This was going to be the kind of principal that if he made a surprise visit to my classroom, I would be excited to see him and invite him in. This principal would want as much of our energy as possible going to the kids and our classes. The kids! This one was going to be the guy!!

We waited in that meeting to hear what his plan of action was going to be. We are still waiting.

Well, it was his first year. Right? There is a lot to learn and you have to hit the ground running. Mr. Norvell had a staff that was ready to work for him. We were ready to answer any questions. We were ready to help in any way we could. Mr. Norvell was now part of the team. He was now a Screaming Eagle! He made it very clear in e-mails, announcements, and during meetings that he was here to stay. He made sure we knew that he wasn’t going anywhere. It seemed odd, but we assumed he was just trying to reassure us. We were already over budget on name plates for the door of the principal’s office.

I don’t want to sound like a “cry-baby” teacher. I’m not going to tell you about all the things Mr. Norvell did to us. I’m not going to tell you about the ways in which he threatened and intimidated us.

My real complaint is what Mr. Norvell didn’t allow us to do. Mr. Norvell didn’t let us do our jobs. We are experienced teachers and have seen it all. We are accomplished and talented educators. You would be amazed at how many different situations we deal with in a day. They can range from life affirming to life threatening. We know how to resolve issues with parents, we know that earned grades should not be changed. We know how to handle kids, we know how to diffuse a situation, we know how discipline in a school should work because we have experienced it. And we really know how to teach. It doesn’t matter if we have the brightest students or the struggling ones, we go all in. We know that we are good at what we do. He needed to let us do our jobs. His insecurity about his inability to do his job, made him lash out at those who were doing theirs well.

Mr. Norvell inherited a great staff. Mr. Norvell has teachers who are brilliant at running various after school clubs. He has teachers who devote massive amounts of time to coaching and nurturing athletic teams. He has teachers who get to work early and stay late to give the students extra help. He has a teacher who has developed an amazing yearbook program. He has a teacher who can make math click to any kid. He has a teacher with students who received off the chart AP scores. Mr. Norvell has teachers who are new to the profession and are so full of enthusiasm, that it is contagious. He has veteran teachers that are close to retirement and their years of knowledge are priceless. He has department heads that can manage their teachers with grace and fairness. Or rather, Mr. Norvell would still have all these teachers and resources if it weren’t for decisions that he made. Look what we have lost.

Like any workplace, there are those employees that are phoning it in. Those teachers are few and known to administration. That is why it is so confusing that Mr. Norvell chose to focus his energy to fight the fights he did. Mr. Norvell’s greatest asset is his staff. He has taken away our ability to make decisions concerning our classes and students, yet he seems paralyzed to make any meaningful decisions himself. We are not respected or trusted by him as professionals. We have had all kinds of principals lead us in the past. What we have never had is a principal who has refused to lead at all.

I wish we had a better way to express our views. I’m sad that as a professional, I only feel safe in an anonymous comment section. I believe strongly that communication between professionals is the best way to resolve issues. Every attempt I have made at communicating with my principal has resulted in being insulted, threatened, or simply ignored. These attempts were not to confront him about anything, they were just interactions necessary to do my job. I used to think that he and I must just have a personality conflict. I’ve never had a problem with a co-worker or administrator in the past. I have a respect for the hierarchy of the workplace. I spent much of the year in a state of uncertainty. I refused to believe that Mr. Norvell had the time or energy to intentionally go out of his way to interfere with me being successful. Over the past few days, I have learned that there were so many more teachers who were made to feel isolated and scared. I’m disappointed that we allowed ourselves to feel so insecure that we wouldn’t discuss our issues with each other.

Our strength as a staff has always been that we support each other and work hard to solve problems. I have felt powerless during this whole year and I still fear his reaction to even the slightest challenge. I did everything I could to stay out of his way and avoid any issues with him, yet he still sought ways to interfere with my ability to do my job. Mr. Norvell has taken away what made us strong. He has divided us through paranoia, threats, personal attacks, and breaking our unity as a staff.

I don’t know where we go from here. Mr. Norvell publicly called us all liars on the news. His thoughts about us are online for everyone to see. If he feels he can say that about an amazing group of hard working teachers and still thinks that he can earn our respect and trust, he does not understand how to manage people or the basic fundamentals of human behavior.

What has Mr. Norvell accomplished this year? Ashley High School will certainly never be the same because of him. The amount of damage that he has done in just one year is staggering. We can’t afford another year of his destruction to our students or staff. Many of us have the documentation to file grievances. The last thing I want to do is spend my time, emotions and energy dealing with administrators and school board members that may have a skewed view of the situation. However, it may be time to find our voices again.

Parents, your voices are heard the loudest. Please use them to support us.

Students, always remember that you are what is most important in that school, even if the ones in charge are acting like kids.

SO WELL SAID AND UNFORTUNATELY, SO ACCURATE !

SO WELL SAID AND UNFORTUNATELY, SO ACCURATE !

S.O.S.

Dear NHCS School Board,

Please. Do something.

Save Our School.

Sincerely worried,

One more veteran AHS teacher

Ashley High School

Being a principal at this time in NC is an especially difficult job, and like any job there are people that are just not cut out to handle it. There are certain characteristics of a principal that some people do not possess or in Mr. Norvell's case maybe he just has not had the time to develop or learn because he had no principal leadership role until this year. I believe Mr. Norvell was thrown into the ocean of educational leadership without a life vest and his survival mode resulted with a lot of thrashing around and making waves that only made the situation worse. Knowing how to swim or lead requires training. When you train a hunting dog, you often put an inexperienced one with a seasoned one so they can learn by example. Unfortunately Mr. Norvell was trained under Mr. Finn, and we all know how that turned out for New Hanover. It will take years to restore the quality of that school, please do not allow that to happen to Ashley with a mass reduction of staff and turnover. Intimidation, fear and retaliation are not leadership traits that work. The school board to take a closer look at this situation, the teachers at Ashley are a group of excellent professionals that do value the students and community they serve and not just a group of complainers.
Teachers have told me the feel they are no longer "a part of a team" and have gone into turtle mentality by hiding in their classroom too afraid of sticking out their neck for fear of getting it chopped off. The general lack of respect and common courtesy (not even once looking up from his computer when a teacher comes in the office to speak to him) is one small example. Being an effective leader means being able to deal with a variety of concerns and emotions from colleagues. A seasoned principal (like the former Mr. Mac) could disarm the most difficult situations simply by showing teachers, parents or students that he cared enough to listen to what we had to say, and we knew that he would try to remedy the situation to the very best of his ability. When someone wants to meet with you because they feel wronged in some way, or they have a problem, you need to hear them out without getting defensive or angry, and you need to make eye contact with them and put down the electronic devices. Treating others with respect is part of the Golden Rule, and although I believe Mr. Norvell is a good man at heart, he needs more time to hone effective leadership skills if he is to be a success and an asset in New Hanover County in the years to come, maybe he just isn't ready yet for the ocean of trails he has been thrown in as a novice, he needs more experience. Ashley is a great school but without some adjustments it will continue to flounder and drift and the wounds will just continue to grow larger and our students will suffer as a result. If we are truly student centered, listen to the teachers because they are the ones on the front lines touching and changing lives. Working in an atmosphere of fear and intimidation is not healthy for anyone.

Jackson Norvell

I have heard and read enough from the cry babies at Ashley. Jackson Norvell is a decent man who has always put the interests of students foremost. We met him before he was teaching as a trumpet instructor at the Wilmington Academy of Music. He was wonderful. We later ran into him again at RGMS as a band teacher. He is a very decent man who has a wonderful family and does a lot of great things with the youth of his church. He's a wonderful father and family man who is a strong disciplinarian who handled lots of Roland Grises problem children while he was there. Ashley High School needs to support him and stop their bullying tactics. The parents are way out of control at this school and all one has to do is look at their athletic programs to see the problem. He can do some great things at Ashley if the cry babies chill out. This nonsense would never fly anywhere else in the real world. Let the man do his job, if you are not happy leave and let Jackson straighten this high school out and bring it up to speed with the others. Grow up people. Your antics would never be tolerated anywhere else nor would you be given the forum to voice them anywhere else. Try taking your bullying tactics into the real world and yes, that's exactly what they are. You are trying to destroy this man's career all because you can't handle change. No wonder our schools lag behind the rest of the country!

"Cry babies"

I'm not sure if it was the same poster who in 3 posts has call teachers "cry babies", but I'm tired of it. In a state where teachers can not strike, continue to work year after year without our annual step or raise, stay committed as the number of kids in our classes grow, and spend our paycheck on school supplies as school budgets shrink.
Where is the crying?
As more and more parents and families are struggling in so many ways, it's teachers who are on the front line to pick up the slack taking care of the communities' kids. Do you ever hear teachers turning away kids? These are not "cry babies".

Mid-spring we get an email from tell us to do a survey on our schools, facilities, administration, central office - as each teacher in the state of NC does. We honestly take the lengthy survey to provide the requested feedback and the range of topics. This is part of our job, we do it, and you call us "cry babies" for completing it.

Teaching is tough physically, intellectually, and emotionally. Most people could not do it. Stop attacking us just because you blindly want to support Mr. Norvell.

We wish the results were better, we wish we had had a good year, we wish we could talk to the man, it just not the truth.
Stop the name-calling.

It is important to remember....

... that one should not assume they understand how another feels when they have not walked in that person's shoes. To state that a group of adults who are all certified by the State of North Carolina to be educators, who are continuously evaluated, and whose performance is tracked and made public are "cry babies" and that they need to "chill out" is a poor solution to what seems to be a major problem for Ashley High School. I am a public school teacher in another district in another part of the state and having my own experiences that come from around 10 years in education, I feel that I am in a place to state that if one has not spent time working in a school or in a classroom, they can not reduce the feelings of 80% of a faculty to their just being "cry babies". Teaching is one of the most honorable professions as we seek to shape young people who will eventually lead our country and take care of us! I do want to acknowledge that not every person always behaves honorably or honestly. However, the Teacher Working Conditions survey seeks to publicly provide results of a survey that has been analyzed to create a snapshot of what the conditions are within a school for the public who is not present within the building to experience them. Having taken a look at the results, I can say with great certainty that teachers are not happy--actually, can I be honest? I was blown away by the results--they make my heart break. While we are in a period of time that teacher moral is low, one should expect that each category score not be significantly below the state-wide comparison. Have you looked at the survey results? I invite you to: http://www.ncteachingconditions.org/results/report/153/63814 This school in question scored significantly lower than the rest of NC Public Schools in the area of "My school is a good school to both work and learn" by scoring approximately 30% points below.

Just because someone is a good person or seeks to follow God does not mean that he or she is created for leadership in a large high school. I believe that God guides us as we follow a path to serve Him. I believe that we, as Christians, do the very best we can but ultimately, we will always fail which is why grace and the sacrifice of Christ is so important. If it is how it seems, for which I can not validate since I am not a teacher at Ashley High School, it may be that this position of leadership has been more "challenging" than Mr. Norvell can handle and perhaps there is a position that he is better suited for--I don't sense that the faculty, parents or students of Ashley High School are trying to "destroy his career". I think that what teachers want is just to work in a place where there is autonomy, communication, and a spirit of trust and mutual respect (according to the survey results). I hope that restoration can occur between this administrator and his faculty and staff; however, if it does not seem that it is possible, it may be in the best interest for both the faculty/staff and Mr. Norvell that he finds a position that he is better suited for. Ultimately, you may wonder, why are we discussing school moral and leadership issues? The reason we place such an importance on this is because if teachers aren't happy, then students will not receive their teachers' best--leadership defines how successful any school is. Ultimately, a good principal is one who takes responsibility both in the successes and the failures of their school. They also know that in order to improve a school, they will need to put the needs of the school in front of their own. It would end in failure if a principal ever treated a school of faculty/staff and students with a "do it my way or take the highway" attitude. While assessment results are stable for now, good teachers will not stick around if they feel mistreated. Ultimately, scores will begin to fall if unity cannot be restored--I mention this because test scores seem to be the argument as to why the school is doing okay.

One more note, keep in mind who the stakeholders of a school are. A school's stakeholders includes the students, parents, and community. A school should encourage parent input and if there is an issue with athletics, a good leader should manage that effectively always ensuring that there is a balance as public schools seek to help the whole student develop. I think that it is safe to say that we should not assume that the parents that are "way out of control" are only concerned over athletics--that isn't giving the parents of our children much respect. As a teacher, I recognize that I can learn a lot about my students and how to better reach them by listening to parents. The students are why schools are built, students are why good teachers are sought out to fill the classrooms, and students are why administrators should be carefully selected as they work to steer this large group of people through trials and change to maintain an environment conducive to learning so that students are best served and best prepared for future successes.

My final questions for you, Exrgriser, is if this nonsense "doesn't fly in the real world", would you name every person in our history that stood up for what they believed in a "cry baby"? If they were, then why would there be the Whistleblower Protection Act of 1989 that was amended in 2011 to protect those who a whistleblowers within the federal government and report agency misconduct. Obviously the President of the United States thought that the protection of those who brought light to what may be considered as wrongdoings was important because he further beefed up protection in the Presidential Policy Directive 19 in October 2012. My final question is in response to "why our schools lag behind the rest of the country", have you seen this: http://educationnext.org/is-the-us-catching-up/ or how about this:http://www.edweek.org/ew/articles/2013/01/10/16sos.h32.html?tkn=RLRF%2B4mUV1fjxGZAPk7Od%2FfW1p2K2SFHTAx9&cmp=clp-edweek&intc=EW-QC13-EWH It seems that actually, our state is making great gains in achievement in light of our state ranking 46th in teacher pay and we are above national average in the education our students receive. I wonder if the reason we are being paid so poorly yet making great academic gains and provide above average education speaks more to the level of importance that government leaders have been placing on budgetary spending in education rather than teachers' intrinsic desire to serve our students and schools? Thank goodness for what is going on in Raleigh right now...it seems that compensating our amazing teachers (that Texas and Virginia seek to recruit) is a hot topic: http://www.newsobserver.com/2014/07/10/3997386/apnewsbreak-gov-says-hed-...

It is important to remember...

...the first rule of statistical data is you can "fudge" or skew the numbers to reflect desired results. The "survey" is nothing more than a tool designed to let teachers rant rave and or vent without having to put their name behind it.

The only thing happening at ashley high school is mutiny. Jackson Norvell is the principal of that school and should be given the respect that he's due for being in that role. Having said that I also acknowledge that it takes respect to get respect among peers. However, Mr. Norvell isn't their peer. He's their boss. Plain and simple. If yo abbé chordial with one another, while at work, great. But it's not required. What is expected is some friggin loyalty. If not to Mr. Norvell , then to the school board and superintendent, who hired him and obviously felt he was more qualified to lead than others. Jealousy is ugly thing and we are seeing that play out.

I am curious why the only solution is for Mr. Norvell to seek employment elsewhere or be reassigned. I feel it should be the other way around. He's paid his dues. The only ones with the problem are the teachers apparently, so why don't "they" seek reassignment or gainful employment elsewhere? Don't want to hear any belly aching about established lives and burden of moving crap. Mr. Norvell would incur the same difficulties. So. Here we are back at square one again. Teachers seem to the ones with the problem. They express their frustrations with students parents instead of their boss. A clear attempt to undermine and discredit Mr. Norvells authority and role of principal of Ashley high school. Since we can't keel haul the mutinous bunch, I say terminate their employment for violating their contracts, i.e. You know the part that covers their code of conduct, immediately as well as give them poor job references.

As far as your bit about "whistleblowers" goes... Yes they are cry babies. Why do you think they included a part about no retaliation in the law. By, there are more than a few ways to deal with whistleblowers. Assignments of no real value...no inclusion in strategical planning...no entrustment of valued material, data or intell. And every whistleblower I have ever dealt with have always resigned because no one trusts them. With anything. So, before you drop your next roll of dimes, take a moment of pause and ask yourself is it really worth it?

Does Sheriff Practice what he preaches?

Hey Sheriff, lets apply this school situation to politics. You contend he is the Principal of the school and should be given the respect he's due for being in that role. Do you respect President Obama as the President of the United States due to him being in that role?

"It takes respect to get respect among peers. However, Mr. Norvell isn't their peer. He's their boss. Plain and simple."

Do you respect President Obama, he isnt your peer, he's the boss, plain and simple.

"What is expected is some friggin loyalty. If not to Mr. Norvell , then to the school board and superintendent, who hired him and obviously felt he was more qualified to lead than others"

Are you loyal to President Obama? If not then what about the majority of Americans that hired him and felt he was more qualified to lead than others?

Do you practice what you preach? President Obama leads the nation, Principal Norvell leads a school. A lot of people have a problem with our President. A lot of teachers have a problem with their principal. So you are saying if people have a problem with the President, they should move out of the country? They are the problem, not the President. What was that you said about loyalty again? Citizens should be loyal to the United States but not the President? Teachers should be loyal to the school and not the Principal? or is it the other way around? Citizens should be loyal to the President but not the United States? Teachers should be loyal to the Principal but not the school?

Sheriff, you cant have it both ways.

Sheriff's practices

Since you want to chase rabbits instead of discussing the Ashley High School Principal Teacher working relationships I will humor you.

Obama might be commander in chief but he isn't my president. I didn't vote for him. But I'd still give respect where respect is due.

Again, Obama is the elected commander in chief but he isn't my president. however, I'd show him the same respect I'd show any Democrat.

I am loyal to America and will give it's commander in chief the respect it's due for defense of our nation. However, I don't respect anyone, let alone a president, that would willingly trade 5 known terrorist for 1 Army deserter.

"Do you practice what you preach? President Obama leads the nation, Principal Norvell leads a school. A lot of people have a problem with our President. A lot of teachers have a problem with their principal. So you are saying if people have a problem with the President, they should move out of the country? They are the problem, not the President. What was that you said about loyalty again? Citizens should be loyal to the United States but not the President? Teachers should be loyal to the school and not the Principal? or is it the other way around? Citizens should be loyal to the President but not the United States? Teachers should be loyal to the Principal but not the school?"

Do you practice what you preach, because the last time I checked, we didn't vote for principals. And as any red blooded American, you are free to leave America at anytime as well as renounce your citizenship through a step by step process courtesy of the State Department.

I think I have more than demonstrated how your rationale is invalid. Fact is some teachers spoke out of turn to their students parents airing grievances instead of to their boss. Clear attempt to undermine Mr Norvell's authority as principal of Ashley High School andas well as a gross violation of a teachers conduct. Which, in the real world, you would be up for termination for either.

I have often heard that those who can, do. Those who can't, teach. I suggested to some of the concerned parents and teachers that if this mumbo jumbo school room sissy cry baby we ain't getting our way crap is of any real concern, then transfer their kid to Issac Bear or Lakeside and then we will see what we see afterwards.

By the way, have voted straight ticket republican since 1986.

Sheriff Talks out both sides of his mouth

Have you even read the comments here? The teachers have taken their concerns to the Principal, but now they are afraid to for fear of retaliation. They are not attempting to undermine Mr Norvells authority, he has done that by himself.

You claim teachers should support him no matter what yet you yourself dont follow your own advice. You do not respect President Obama for a decision he made regarding five prisoners and one Army solider. Yet when the teachers say they do not respect their principal for decisions he has made, you say they should respect him no matter what or move to another school. Why is it alright for you to not respect someone (the President) but its not okay for teachers not to respect their Principal? Why the double standard? Do you feel you are superior to the teachers and know better what is going on in their school than they do?

Twice you point out that "he is not my President".....what happened to the whole support the role he is in? Youre right, the teachers do not vote for who will be their Principal, so if we take your position of, I didnt vote for him so he is not my President, then teachers didnt vote for him so he is not their Principal. Once again you do not practice what you preach.

As for voting straight Republican ticket....how is that Brian Berger thing working out for you? Thats what happens when people blindly support one party, you end up with mistakes. I think thats what the teachers are trying to say...someone made a mistake putting this man in his Principal role. By the way, as you slam teachers and their profession (those who can do...those who cant....) just remember before he was a Principal...he was a teacher himself. So when you bash teachers....you are also bashing the man you so blindly support.

Ashley Teachers

As I suspected, you argue like a typical democrat. You left out...

"But I'd still give respect where respect is due."

"However, I'd show him the same respect I'd show any Democrat."

"I am loyal to America and will give it's commander in chief the respect it's due for defense of our nation."

Americas policy has been to never to negotiate with terrorist. Ever.

The difference between President Obama and Mr Norvell, is Mr Norvell is their supervisor and was put in charge of Ashley High School by the New Hanover County school board and superintendent, who obviously felt he was more qualified than any other candidate. Which, by the way, are elected by the people, for the people of the people. Mr. Norvell authorizes the payroll. Your president has no authority on a local government level. That is the difference.

Keep in mind at Ashley High School is Mr Norvell runs the school, not the teachers. He is their boss. Not the other way around. And those teachers, who aired grievances, weren't given the answer or solution they wanted, they then took those grievances and aired them in an inappropriate manner and in an inappropriate forum of the students parents. A VERY CLEAR ATTEMPT to undermine Mr. Norvell authority. I am sorry you don't have real world experience to understand, but I have shown where your philosophy is flawed. But in the real world, you would be terminated for said actions. No questions, no need for an explanation. Just get your stuff and beat feet.

As far as Obama goes, the American people will replace him soon enough if he and his fellow dimwit democrats don't destroy America first.

The Last Word

Sheriff, this will be my last post and knowing you will respond, I will give you the last word.

"But I'd still give respect where respect is due." You do not say you respect you say you would....

"However, I'd show him the same respect I'd show any Democrat." Again, you do not say you do respect, you would show respect the same as any democrat, which I am guessing is none.

"I am loyal to America and will give it's commander in chief the respect it's due for defense of our nation." You cannot even say President, you use Commander in Chief but since you later claim you will not give respect to him for a decision he made you really have no respect for the President....in his role as president. Wouldnt a loyal American like you say you say you are, respect the president no matter what party he belongs to?

"Americas policy has been to never to negotiate with terrorist. Ever." But its okay to trade weapons to our enemies in exchange for hostages, you know the whole Reagan Iran Contra affair.

You just seem to be a bitter person. You keep saying teachers should be terminated, Anyone without real world experience would be terminated. What is it with you and being terminated? Someone disagrees with you and you think they should be terminated? Believe me, if you worked for me...YOU would be terminated for having such a negative attitude and unwillingness to see other peoples points of views without attacking them.

Where do you get off "assuming" I have no real world experience? You know nothing about me yet you make assumptions about everything, what is going on at Ashley, what my experience is.

"No questions, no need for an explanation. Just get your stuff and beat feet." It is exactly this kind of attitude and so full of yourself that the teachers are complaining about.

"As far as Obama goes, the American people will replace him soon enough if he and his fellow dimwit democrats don't destroy America first." And when Hillary Clinton or Elizabeth Warren is President, you can spit your hateful remarks for another 8 years or maybe you will get YOUR stuff and beat feet.

The problem is that he has

The problem is that he has no idea of how to be effective in his job, to inspire the educators he should be working with and not against, and to really help the students that he says he is there for. Now he is so far over his head he has no idea of how to dig himself out. So, let's just put the blame on everyone else instead of where it belongs, with Jackson Norvell, because everyone else is just lying. And, I'm sure that if you are his friend, then you too can have a job at AHS as soon as Jackson wrongly pushes out another good teacher. I'm on to your power games Jackson Norvell. Most tyrants have used them in the past. You have learned well.

Bully?

Exgriser, you accuse those who oppose Mr Norvell as being bullies. Your experiences with him have been good. Teachers who work for him, parents who have students in the school, students themselves have shared their negative experiences with him. Yet you come to the conclusion that they are just crybabies. Maybe they have legitimate reasons to feel the way they feel. Who are you to judge them and their experiences? Who are you to call them crybabies? Teachers feel HE is the bully. If you read the entire thread of comments, there is a wide variety of complaints about his leadership as a principal. They are not complaining about him as a person or a church going member of the community, they are not judging him as a father, they are expressing their concerns, just like you did with your post. You disagree with them. That doesnt mean you are right and they are wrong. They cannot say your experiences with him are wrong or not true. So who are you to judge their experiences with him? Who are you to call them crybabies? Isnt that a form of bullying as well? Calling people names?
You contend the problem is with the teachers, parents and students and if they dont like it they should just leave. Maybe he should. You mention "real world" like working in a high school isnt the real world. So you dont think teachers are in or work in the real world? Then you would also have to conclude Mr Norvell doesnt work in the real world either.

It is a disgrace to say as a

It is a disgrace to say as a former student that your Senior year of high school was miserable. It is the year the you gleam for the three previous years. Too bad myself and fellow classmates did not have a great experience at Ashley High School. There is a trend here. As administration makes teachers miserable and hate their jobs; they lose interest in students. Is it not a fact that public education is focused around the students? However, that is NOT the case at Ashley. Students have ZERO voice in their education. Never once did anyone go out of their way to help us. We are strictly a pawn in a game to these adults. If I could do it all over, I would've transferred. Parents, look at your other options and speak to your kids about how they feel at school. If you do not speak up, no action will be taken. Call the school board every single day and make a complaint. Voice your opinion. You have a say in your child's education so make it heard. Students: reach out to the school board. Tell them how your favorite teacher is being moved to another school because they are able to stand up for what's right; how your math teacher quit and retired; how teachers are bullied in front of you; and how your safe school is not longer safe. No matter what kind of man Mr. Norvell is outside of school; we only care about how he is in school. He is a disgrace to Ashley. This is not the job for him so help the school board and him realized he needs to be moved. We have to have passion in our education. Ashley is faultily because no one can stick along to realize it and make a difference. With 4 different principals in four years; it just gets worse. Mr. Mac is still identified as the class of 2018's principle; how sad is that?

Question

Has Mr. Norvell's only classroom teaching experience been as a middle school music teacher? I would think that would be a class of students who wanted to be there. They are in that classroom practicing something they enjoy. There may even be prerequisites and if a student doesn't make the cut, they don't continue in the class. Does he understand what goes on in a core class high school classroom where some combinations of kids can be combustible? Where a teacher is dealing with 30 students who all have different strengths and weaknesses. Has he experienced the hours of grading and lesson planning. Is he equipped to give me feedback on my teaching style or help me reach a child with a particularly difficult learning disability? Does he know or understand the pressure the teachers and students are under during EOC/NCFinal time? Does he have the right experience at this point in his career to evaluate veteran classroom teachers? Is he in over his head?

Note: In no way am I implying that the arts are not a necessary and integral part of a student's education. The arts are as important as any other class taught at Ashley. I just want to point out that the students and classroom environment have a different dynamic than many of the other classrooms.

Response to Ashley High School Teacher Working Conditions Survey

In response to the Ashley High School teacher working conditions survey, I strongly disagree with the negative projection of head Principal Mr. Jackson Norvell. In my experience as a North Carolina public school teacher for the last 8 years, I cannot imagine blaming any one person for the state of distress all public school employees continue to face.

I am employed in Brunswick County and took the teacher working conditions survey, as I do every year. I have learned some teachers feel the need to press heavy on the principal as the survey asks questions concerning overall happiness. It is my understanding that many teachers mistakenly communicate their statewide concerns on a forum focused solely on school wide or county wide concerns, leaving the survey unreliable with a great deal of room for error.

In my opinion, Mr. Norvell has fallen victim to this unfortunate circumstance. It is unjust, a man of his character to take the blame for his teachers unhappiness in their current position. Mr. Norvell has displayed loyalty, helpfulness, dedication, and conviction in all of the years I have known him. He would never, under any circumstance, be “vengeful” for his own personal gain.

Sincerely,
Carolynn Phillips

I could not agree more. I

I could not agree more. I could not imagine starting a new position and being blamed for all of these problems. The fact is a job is a job and if it were fun all of the time it would not be work. YOU simply can not make everyone happy and in order to be a part of the solution you have to do your part in fixing the problems.