Reason behind turnover

Published 11:42 am Thursday, July 12, 2012

All three schools in the City of Franklin are without a principal.

The retirement of S.P. Morton Elementary School Principal Don Spengemen is not surprising nor cause for alarm. The abrupt resignations of Franklin High School Principal Dr. Rodney Berry and J.P. King Middle School Principal Angela Byrd-Wright are.

There has been a proverbial revolving door for the principals’ jobs in the middle and high schools for several years. This fall, the high school will have its third principal in four years; the middle school will have its fourth during the same time frame.

Turnover at that rate is a symptom of institutional instability, which indicates one of two problems are afoot; either the school board is approving the wrong candidates, or the working conditions are such that no one wants to stay.

The school board’s decision not to promote S.P. Morton Assistant Principal Lisa Francis to principal, although she was recommended by Superintendent Dr. Michelle Belle and Spengemen, lends credibility to the former.

The number of educators who have left the school district citing low morale and difficult working conditions in recent years lends credence to the latter.