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32 District schools to get new principals

By Benjamin Herold on Jul 6, 2012 10:35 AM

by Benjamin Herold for the Notebook and WHYY/Newsworks


Thirty-two District schools will have new principals this year, according to information released last week.

Linda Cliatt-Wayman, until recently the head of the District's academic division overseeing high schools, will become principal of Strawberry Mansion High, set to undergo major changes this year after the closing of nearby Rhodes and FitzSimons High Schools.

Daniel Peou will become the new principal of Furness High, where he is both an alum and a former assistant principal.  Peou is replacing Timothy McKenna, who will be the new principal at Central High after the retirement of Sheldon Pavel.

Across the District, leadership turnover has been a hot topic in recent weeks.  

In June, the School Reform Commission heard from frustrated principals during its "strategy, policy, and priority" meeting on the topic.

And in April, local groups ACTION United and Education Voters of Pennsylvania released separate reports raising concerns about turnover in Philadelphia's principal corps.

A complete list of the principal changes is below.

School  New Principal
Barry Elementary Robin McCoy-Wilkins
Ben Franklin HS Greg Hailey (acting)
Bok HS Barbara McCreery
Bryant Elementary Roy McKinney
Carnell Elementary Hilderbrand Pelzer
Catharine Elementary Patricia Hunter
Central HS Timothy McKenna
Childs Elementary Eileen Coutts
Dobbins HS Toni Damon  
Edison HS Charles Baltimore (acting)
Ethel Allen Promise Elementary Stefan Feaster-Eberhardt
Ferguson Elementary Carol Williams
Fitler Academics Plus Elementary Anthious Boone
Fulton Elementary Jala Olds-Pearson
Furness HS Daniel Peou
HA Brown Elementary Connie Carnivale
Henry Elementary Fatima Rogers
Heston Elementary Angela Gaddie-Edwards
J.B. Kelly Elementary Chris Byrd
Kenderton Elementary Robert Rouse
Leidy Elementary Gina Steiner
Lowell Elementary David Lugo (acting)
Mayfair Elementary Guy Lowery
McMichael Elementary Brian Wallace
Penrose Elementary Huie Douglas
Pennypack House Barbara Wells
Pratt Elementary Leta Johnson
Richmond Elementary Susan Rozanski
Southwark Elementary June Tran
Strawberry Mansion HS Linda Cliatt-Wayman
Webster Elementary Robert Frazier (special assignment)
Wright Elementary Shauneille Taylor


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Comments (98)

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on July 11, 2012 1:36 pm

Would have been helpful to have listed current positions to see movement up the ladder of "good" schools (i.e. Kelley principal to Henry).

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on July 17, 2012 6:07 am

A list of current positions and movement from one location to another would be helpful and demonstrate transparency.

For example, where is the old principal Lowell. Did she retire or move to another position?

Submitted by Annon (not verified) on July 11, 2012 2:12 pm

Does anyone have a list of who is at 440? Who is in Nixon's "cabinet?" Who is left in key leadership positions? Who moved? (I assume some of the principals and regional office staff.) Who is new? Nixon has been silent lately...

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on July 11, 2012 3:45 pm

We have had many periods of "unknowns" over the last decade, but this is the first time that I can recall this level of "unknowns."

For example, there are assistant superintendents, associate superintendents, etc. Who are they? Who will become rating officers for 200+ principals?

If there is a crisis (facilities, food service, school operations, incident of violence, etc.) who gets the call during the crisis and after the problem is resolved.

Suggestion for new principals - surround yourself with experienced principals who you will be able to call on for assistance. Don't wait for "things" to come up. Situations arise everyday when you are new and you will need a circle of people to lean on for immediate action/response.

Best wishes to all first time principals!

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on July 11, 2012 2:37 pm

Wayman had lots of Mansion teachers transferred out so she could bring in her people. Terrible!

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on July 11, 2012 3:56 pm

How do you know that for sure?? Just asking.

Submitted by Annon (not verified) on July 11, 2012 4:20 pm

If you look at the certifications required for positions, it is an indication the principal has a particular person in mind. There were some odd combinations for Strawberry Mansion (as well as some other schools.) This is the principals way to "clean house" and pick who they want on staff. I assume Wayman wants a lot of TFA - easy to manipulate. If she gets her former assistant as Assistant Principal, despite the fact APs were laid off, there is obviously some shenanigans going on... Wayman probably only agreed to the position if she could fill positions.

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on July 11, 2012 4:42 pm

That is the modus operandi of the bully principals -- to clean house of any perceived threat to their authority to do whatever they want to whoever they want whenever they want. The PFT needs to deal with it. It is proliferating throughout the district and destroying many schools.

Our school district follows no rules. They do whatever they want and get away with it with impunity.

People like Weyman do nothing but play their petty little power games. They have no business being put in as principals in the first place. They do nothing but destroy schools.

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on July 11, 2012 5:17 pm

Granted she is pure joke. The PFT lets it all go.

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on July 12, 2012 12:02 pm

Unfortunately, the PFT's way of dealing with bully principals is to suggest, repeatedly to the teachers, "Have you thought of transferring to another school?" Why don't they start asking all these incompetent principals that question?

Submitted by Pseudonymous (not verified) on July 12, 2012 1:51 pm

We have to keep listening to everyone say that bad teachers get kept, bad teachers get their salary, bad teachers are the problem.

Well, in Philadelphia, bad administrators really are a problem, but we aren't allowed to talk about it.

Submitted by Rich Migliore (not verified) on July 12, 2012 1:12 pm

The SRC, if they truly want all schools to be good schools, need to deal with the issue of how principals are chosen, how long they are put into a position before they are reevaluated and reappointed, and how to remove ineffective principals.

Ineffective and retaliatory principals are festering problems and I say that as a former assistant principal and summer school principal for over 10 years. There needs to be well stated and well regulated "selection rules" put into place after consultation with all stakeholders. Experience criteria need to be established and strictly followed.

No principal position should be filled without it being announced via a public posting and an application process implemented.

Back in the day before the state takeover, we had site selection of principals and AP's. I was selected by the site selection team at Furness as an AP. When I was both building rep and Governance Council Chair at UCHS, we selected our new principals.

Only in Philadelphia are principals put in without an inclusive, collegial, transparent and open process. In most districts principals are given terms and then reevaluated. In Philadelphia principals are put in for life and transferred around. They are only removed if chaos breaks out at their school, and then, only when it hits the newspapers.

Our Pennsylvania Supreme Court Justices do not even have that kind of job security. They have 10 year terms.

Submitted by Rich Migliore (not verified) on July 12, 2012 2:49 pm

PS: Leadership Matters!!! So does How we choose Our leaders!

Submitted by Education Grad Student (not verified) on July 14, 2012 1:15 pm


You are right on the money. The issue of principal selection needs to be more transparent. However, according to the contract between the Commonwealth Association of School Administrators (CASA) and the SRC, the process is supposed to be transparent (See, p. 25, Article 8).

Also, is there a process for monitoring how well administrators and teachers implement the knowledge and skills they learn through professional development? Is the District monitoring whether or not the each principal is using evidence based practices? According to the contract, p. 31, seniority is a factor in assignment. I'm not an expert in contracts, so please correct me if I read the contract wrong. However, isn't there a better way to evaluate than using seniority? If seniority is a factor, it would behoove the District to have a tough evaluation system to ensure that seniority is actually EARNED through good performance, not just by staying on the job. And by good performance, I'm not thinking of test scores, but a multi-pronged approach including factors such as the school environment, teacher morale, use of best practices, or compliance with IDEA.


Submitted by Rich Migliore (not verified) on July 15, 2012 9:00 am

The Pennsylvania School Code and relevant precedents make it clear that a principal or an AP does not have any right to a particular position within the district at any particular school. They can be transferred at will to any school or put on special assigment within a school. They do have a right to a due process hearing if demoted in salary or type of position or dismissed.

Seniority does not matter in principal selection. The seniority provision in the CASA aareement just defines what seniority is and how it is calculated.

Where seniority would come into play is if there are "realignment demotions" because of budgetary reasons and lack of positions for existing principals and AP's. Then demotions would be based on seniority.

Principals and AP's can be demoted for cause though. All principals and AP's who are demoted or dismissed have a vested personal "due process" right to a hearing before the SRC before they are demoted or dismissed. If CASA is willing to take a demotion or dismissal to arbitration, a demoted AP or principal then has "an election of remedy" right of going through arbitration or the school board (SRC) hearing process set out in our School Code. Of course, they can always "consent" to the demotion or dismissal.

If a principal is evaluated through a reasonable, fair and impartial evaluation process, under the tenure law provisions of the School Code, they can be demoted. When I left the district in 2009, there was no evaluation process at all and I am sure there is no viable or practicable process to date.

In my book, Whose School Is It? the Democratic Imperative for Our Schools, I discuss and explain how democratic procedures, such as "site selection for principals" with term limits for their appointments is a far superior way than any other if we are to get our best leaders as princpals and then keep them. If a princpal is put in for a period of say three years, and then subject to reappointment or "reselection" through a predetermined democratic, inclusive "process," then good principals will be retained and not so good ones will be replaced.

The concept of the "lead teacher" was that a teacher would temporarily lead a school for a period of time, then another teacher would take the lead. That is cerrtainly a more collegial way of leading a group of teachers.

The process we use now is not a process at all. They do whatever they want for whatever reason they want. Princpals are almost never removed unless their schools are completely out of control and the mess hits the newspapers. What would you say if the President chose the governors and the mayors" We would say that is absurd. Well....

It is not rocket science. The best schools are those that are well functioning professional "communities." The best way for a "community" to choose its leaders is through "democracy."

That is part and parcel of "the democratic imperative" for our schools. Democracy is the "sine qua non" for Greatness in public schools.

It is about time we moved into the 21st century when it comes to our notions of school governance and leadership.

Submitted by Rich Migliore (not verified) on July 15, 2012 7:29 pm

I apologize for a couple typos in the above comment. Principals and AP's can be placed on special assignment "anywhere in the school district" without losing their status as principals or AP's. The School Code states that any loss of salary or type of position status is a demotion. If a principal or AP is demoted in salary or type of position they have a right to a hearing pursuant to the School Code.

However that does not preclude the SRC from demoting any principal or AP after a good faith and competent evaluation process.

The School Code just prevents arbitrary actions by a school board and protects the professional employee from, in the words of the PA Supreme Court "being subjected to unfounded charges." It protects teachers, principals and AP's from being subjected to charges based on political reasons.

Administrators, including the superintendent, do not have the legal authority to demote or dismiss a professional employe. Only the SRC has that power.

The CASA contract gives principals and AP's additional rights which are defined by the CASA contract. In Arbitration, the principle of "just cause" is normally applied. Arbitrators stick to contract interpretation, but an arbitrator may not issue a decision which is contrary to law.

The tenure provisions of the School Code only protect good teachers, principals and AP's from being subjected to "unfounded charges."

Tenure does not protect teachers or administrators from being removed after a professionally sound and competent evaluation process done in good faith.

I am fairly well researched on the legal issues because I do litigation under the School Code and I have written ten legal briefs on the subject in the last 3 years.

It is amazing how little is known about tenure law and how it works. I assure you the Boston Consulting Group does not know how it works!!! (Had to get that one in there!)

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on July 11, 2012 5:04 pm

Thank You.

Submitted by I Teach in Philly on July 12, 2012 1:04 pm

One bright side to being transferred out: would *you* want to work for Wayman?

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on July 12, 2012 7:33 pm

Wayman isn't even a serious person, let alone a leader with sense. She's an aberration, the poster child for critics of the School District, a person who has no business holding an 8th grade diploma let alone an MA.

Submitted by LS Teach (not verified) on July 11, 2012 3:37 pm

Does anyone know what "special assignment" means next to Robert Frazier's name? I know he was on the AD8 walkthrough team last year and filled in for principals in the region...

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on July 12, 2012 12:05 pm

It means that he's holding on for retirement and most likely will only be at assigned location until a short time.

Submitted by Lisa Lisa (not verified) on July 11, 2012 5:03 pm

This is not that big of a turnover when we consider the number of schools in the district. Actually, I think the percentage of TEACHER turnover is higher at most charter schools (because they burn out quicker).

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on July 11, 2012 8:12 pm

Lisa, Lisa-----The charters have a bad combination of treating their teachers with utter disrespect AND not paying them a reasonable salary. Naturally, people with sense, don't like it. Plus, charters can fire people without cause and in general do as they please. Charter schools are collectively a wart on the ass of life and I say that with all the charity I can muster right now. This charade will pass at some point, though and the real schools will begin to be valued again at least more than they are now.

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on July 11, 2012 8:57 pm

I would even say that this is really low turnover. I imagine that with the lack of having an actual Superintendant, very, if any, principals were pushed out, since there isn't really anybody running the District at this point. It's especially noticeable how few high schools or middle schools changed principals.

Submitted by Annon (not verified) on July 12, 2012 5:33 am

This might also be related to the proposed closings. I have no ideas which schools will be in the "40" in the first round of closings but I assume there will be a number of high schools which will be closed or turned over to Mastery/Universal/Aspira.

Submitted by Sargasso (not verified) on July 11, 2012 6:49 pm

Who are the mean/unfair/mediocre ones so I know which schools NOT to pick?

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on July 12, 2012 10:03 am

Don't choose Heston or Fulton. Their new principals are the WORST.

Submitted by Pam (not verified) on July 12, 2012 11:34 am

Don't choose Randolph!!!!!!!!

Submitted by Pseudonymous (not verified) on July 12, 2012 11:46 am

If the new principal at Carnell brings his AP along, WATCH OUT

Submitted by Annonymous (not verified) on July 12, 2012 12:31 pm

The new principal was at Gratz about 7 - 8 years ago and got booted from Gratz. Who knows why incompetent "leaders" are kept other than his mother was also a principal.

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on July 27, 2012 12:02 am

Details please! What's up with Pelzers AP? he is bringing her along!! Carnell teachers need to be prepared! Also, anything on Pelzer we should know?

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on April 5, 2013 5:57 pm
Ugh, you were right about Pelzers AP! She's awful!! What a bully! Incompetent bully!
Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on July 12, 2012 7:49 pm

Heston's new principal will send the school police around to check if staff are wearing their SD ID and if you aren't, you will get written up and it will be delievered by the same school police officer. Also, try saying "Good Morning" to her when you arrive at school and she is sitting in the main office--see if she responds to your good morning--she won't acknowledge you at all--unless she has changed. Make certain that your book shelves are always neat and tidy--if they aren't, expect a memo.

Submitted by Annony (not verified) on July 12, 2012 9:05 pm

Was the principal previously at McMichaels? If yes, she was only there two years. Why another move? Any principal that focuses on trivia like book shelves and an ID knows nothing about instruction, leadership, etc. They are a place holder.

This is why teachers do "shop around" for principals. The thought of an Attila the Hun attempting to lead a school is deadly. Unfortunately, too many Philadelphia principals only know how to "battle" the small stuff without knowing how to lead. They would never get positions outside of Phila. where they don't have connections.

Submitted by Anon (not verified) on July 14, 2012 1:27 pm

Yes, it looks like she was at McMichael previously.

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on July 11, 2012 8:49 pm

Anyone seen a list of AP's for the coming year?

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on July 12, 2012 7:18 am

Where are the PSSA results? Is there any update with cheating? How will results factor into leadership decisions?

Submitted by anon (not verified) on July 12, 2012 9:35 am

One of the principals moving to a new school had a sweet but completely unproductive child at my school. This principal never showed up for a conference, Back to School night, assembly, or sports event. I guess he was busy being an instructional leader.

Submitted by Annonymous (not verified) on July 12, 2012 9:40 am

I'm a single parent and teacher in Philadelphia. While I try to be at my children's events, it is difficult. Maybe the principal is trying to juggle things too.

Submitted by anon (not verified) on July 12, 2012 11:35 am

You make a good point...but in 4 years, you'd think someone could juggle things in such a way that they actually show up once at a school event.

I think it shows how removed some of our instructional leaders are from how teaching actually happens.

Submitted by Annonymous (not verified) on July 12, 2012 12:35 pm

True - I try to get to at least 50% of the event and I have four kids.

I agree - there are principals who don't get it other than the power that has gone to their heads.

Submitted by Annonymous (not verified) on July 12, 2012 10:43 am

Did all of the schools with new principals have a committee made up of staff, parents/guardians, and community members interview candidates? Did they then have to select 3 candidates? Did Penny Nixon then chose who would be at which school? How many were just "placed" by Nixon?

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on July 12, 2012 5:13 pm

They were just placed.

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on July 13, 2012 4:42 pm

That's not true. Interviews did take place around the city, using a committee of stakeholders conducting the interviews.

Submitted by Annony (not verified) on July 13, 2012 5:08 pm

At every school? Many of these schools never posted an opening for principal? How do people apply if there is no posting? I'd like to know how many schools actually had a committee of staff (teachers, support staff), parents/guardians, and community members? "Stakeholders" in the SDP might mean Penny Nixon and her crew...

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on July 13, 2012 6:59 pm

The staff at the schools had no say in the principals that were placed there. Where are you getting your facts and do you work for any of these schools?

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on July 14, 2012 11:35 am

Interviews were conducted with stakeholders (ie. a parent, building rep, regional supt. etc) they could make reccomdendations, but ultimately it was up to Penny Nixon.

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on July 14, 2012 11:55 am

I'd like to hear from the building reps at all of the schools that got new principals for the upcoming school year. Please post here- State your name, contact information, and your school, so that what the above poster said can be verified.

Sorry, poster. I'll believe what you've posted when it's been verified by at least one reputable person from each school, especially since you've posted anonymously, and I have no way of knowing where you got your information.

Submitted by Frustrated Teacher (not verified) on July 14, 2012 12:32 pm

I know all the schools did not have an interview process. The interview team is to include the building rep., other staff/teachers, parent(s), community member(s) - not the regional superintendent. The regional superintendent attends the interviews but does not vote.

What is interesting is how when Central picked a new principal, it was in the newspapers. Other schools don't even get to benefit from the process of selection... only in Philadelphia?!?

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on July 14, 2012 12:40 pm

Funny how an anonymous poster would like other people to state their name. I will state my name when you state yours. Quite frankly, I don't care if you believe me or not. I know that we did not have a choice in the principal we have. Nor did we have a say in the last two principals. The last time we had a say was in 1997.

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on July 14, 2012 5:46 pm

This is a fact. You can believe it or not. Frankly, it really doesn't matter what you believe. I'm telling you that my school had three principal candidates (2 females and 1 male). There were more candidates but I believe the list was dwindled down by our regional supt Lissa Johnson. The interview was conducted during the school day (I think) with our building rep, president of the home and school association, and Lissa Johnson. Lissa made her recommendation but she said Penny Nixon had the final say. Lissa's recommended person is our new principal. As far as me posting anonymously you did also. Hello Pot my name is Kettle. Show me yours and I'll show you mine.

Submitted by Frustrated Teacher (not verified) on July 14, 2012 5:47 pm

The process is suppose to include a much larger committee (teachers/staff, community members, parents/guardians, etc.). The regional superintendent should only be there to ensure the process is "fair" - they shouldn't make a recommendation. They should give the recommendation of the committee to Ms. Nixon and, yes, Nixon has the the ultimate power.

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on July 14, 2012 7:29 pm

You're correct...recommendation was not the right word. But it was obvious out of the three candidates who she would select.

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on July 15, 2012 6:52 pm

It is possible that your new principal has been assigned on an interim basis and the selection process will take place, later. The goal of central office is to have a principal in every school in order to get training during the summer and to initiate a smooth opening for students and staff.

There are a number of people who had applied for a principalship and were not selected. If this be the case and gaining a principalship is a serious goal then keep trying. There are principals who apply multiple times before being selected into a position.

Get behind your new principal and give 100% effort with a great attitude 5 out of 5 days per week.

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on July 14, 2012 5:17 pm

Frankly, it doesn't matter what you believe. This is a fact at MY school. There were 3 final candidates (2 females and 1 male). I believe there were more candidates but the list was dwindled down by our regional supt. Lissa Johnson. The panel consisted of our building rep., president of the home and school association, and Lissa Johnson. Lissa made her recommendation but stated that Penny Nixon has the final say. Lissa's recoomended candidate is our new principal. As far as me posting anonymously, I did so in order to speak the facts truthfully and fearlessly. You also posted anonymously, so hello pot my name is kettle. Show me your info and I'll show you mine.

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on July 14, 2012 5:52 pm

Didn't mean to post this twice. :)

Submitted by Pseudonymous (not verified) on July 14, 2012 12:11 pm

I've never heard of a staff or school community interviewing principal candidates. I haven't even heard anyone say they used to happen, or happened at a friend's school.

And I've been through 9 principals now.

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on July 14, 2012 12:05 pm

Principals used to be interviewed. We did it at our school approx. 15 years ago. To my knowledge it doesn't happen anymore.

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on July 12, 2012 11:09 am

Wait till the kids from Mansion, Rhodes and Fitz start kickin each others ass, then Wayman can get "real ghetto" with them, but as in the past, walk away and yell at her staff for failure to react sooner.

Can't wait till Sept.

Submitted by Deja Tu (not verified) on July 12, 2012 12:47 pm

Don't choose Penrose, he's a ballbreaker, real nitpicky.

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on July 12, 2012 7:24 pm

And you wonder why folks don't treat us like professionals - none of you making those comments would ever say it to the person's face. To think that you are responsible for children's education. No one knows what really goes on behind the scene except the teacher and the principal. If you do your job you won't have to worry about who the principal is.

No I'm not a principal!!

Submitted by MBA to M'Ed mom (not verified) on July 12, 2012 11:52 pm

As a parent having had to deal with a principal who was elitist, unprofessional, unethical, and also did not know how to manage a team, let alone a school, in addition to lacking principal credentials, a crappy teacher can get away with a lot if they work for a crappy principal.. I watched it. Where.a fair and effective principal who leads and supports teachers, parents and students, would not tolerate or work to remove crappy teachers, I watched that happen begets like...

Submitted by Pseudonymous (not verified) on July 13, 2012 5:44 pm

Everyone here making comments about specific principals probably IS a teacher who DOES know what goes on behind the scenes. That's why we are sharing the information, so that our colleagues don't get stuck working for a bad principal with more write-ups than sense.

Some principals make it impossible to do your job. When you spend your prep adhering to ridiculous policies by tyrannical principals, instead of using prep to prepare for lessons, you cannot teach. When you have to constantly watch your back, you cannot teach.

Bad principals ruin entire schools. There's no use protesting that, and none of us want to work in a toxic environment. Our jobs are hard enough already without having to deal with adults who behave worse than children.

This district is packed with principals who would never get a job in a district that hired its leadership based on skill rather than friends and college Greek membership. Those principals are completely ineffective and get shuffled around year after year.

We teachers are left with no defense but to avoid them, and try to get a job in a school with a good or decent principal. Getting stuck in a school with a bad one can ruin your life for two years.

Most principals are good or at least try to be. But the ones that aren't can be vicious, vindictive bullies.

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on July 12, 2012 9:03 pm

The teachers at H A Brown are lucky. I worked for her when she was an AP. She is a hard worker and very fair.

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on May 2, 2013 12:50 pm
I disagree...who knows she probably wrote this herself to make herself look good... Im sorry, maybe she was nice to you personally.. but she is nothing but a bully as well. She treats her staff like children. She claims she wants her school to be like a family. All she has done is divide her staff. No one knows who they can trust anymore. She Nitpicks on everything. She loves writing Memos all day long for the dumbest infractions. She will not even get to know you as an individual. She is the worst principle i have ever dealt with and i have been in the district 10+ years. I love working with children but because of her i am considering leaving the profession. H.A Brown has an excellent staff. Its horrible to see the staff morale so low.
Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on July 13, 2012 10:45 am

If anyone gets the opportunity to teach at Pennypack House, you are lucky. Barbara Wells is the epitome of an excellent leader. I had the pleasure of teaching on the staff at Strawberry Mansion High School this past school year under the leadership of Ms. Wells. She is fair, approachable, knowledgeable and has a genuine concern for the well being of her staff and students. I would jump at the opportunity to work with her again.

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on July 13, 2012 9:31 pm

You are correct - however, other than talking about principals what can we do collectively? Doesn't it make since that our teacher leaders should covey our concerns as professionals rather than disgruntled union workers?

Just looking for a solution that is a win for students and teachers. Not all of us can transfer to other schools.

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on July 14, 2012 2:20 pm

The sad thing is that the PFT reps seem to think telling you to try transferring to another school is the solution. When I report to mine that the principal is deliberating violating the contract they need to act on it instead of the excusemaking we're getting. There are some teachers are that discussing plans to defend themselves against bully principals and VPs. Teachers who suddenly aren't performing up to the expectations of the principal, even thought they have been fine for decades, are targets. These excuses for principals that the district is dumping into schools are faultfinders, not improvement motivators. There needs to be a principal review that is made public so parents can know that it is the principals, not the teachers, that is responsible for what goes on in a school. Teachers follow the steps for discipline only to have principals ignore the violations. The PFT needs to get angry about principals trying to bully teachers into giving up their lunch periods to run detention on their own.

Submitted by Education Grad Student (not verified) on July 14, 2012 3:58 pm

The solution is to terminate the employment of the ineffective principals. However, if the PFT were to advocate for better evaluation of and streamlining of the process for principals, then in order to be consistent, the PFT would have to accept those same policies for ineffective PFT teachers.

Submitted by Pseudonymous (not verified) on July 14, 2012 3:40 pm

There is NO evaluation of principals.

Submitted by Frustrated Teacher (not verified) on July 14, 2012 4:36 pm

Principals get evaluated by school performance - about 1/2 is based on PSSA results. So, many "failed" this past year but that doesn't seem to shuffle the deck. If principals "fail" two consecutive years, are they fired? No, they are either shuffled or stay in place. While I don't think a school should be rated 50% based on test scores, there should some consequences for evaluations that indicate low teacher/staff, and family satisfaction. There are schools with high staff turnover and declining enrollment that should count for something. Simultaneously, just because a magnet school makes AYP does not mean it has "sound" leadership. There are incompetent, bully principals in magnet schools who are placed because they are "friends of Penny," in the right sorority/fraternity, part of the right alumni association, etc. There are exceptions - but too often the collaborative, collegial, fair, competent and hard working principals are not recognized.

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on July 17, 2012 12:41 am

Ineffective teachers and effective teachers are terminated in Philadelphia. There is no system in place for removing incompetent, bully principals. How come you don't know this fact? Once in a while a principal who is caught doing something like sexual harassment or stealing and will be "advised" to resign. We had a regional superintendant doing that and was allowed to slink away like a thief in the night. Sometime they go on "medical leave". Lousy administrators are the Achille's Heel of the Philadelphia School District.

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on July 15, 2012 11:11 pm

Poor Webster..

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on July 16, 2012 8:38 am

Why poor Webster??

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on July 17, 2012 12:58 am

Poor Fulton.

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on July 17, 2012 1:00 pm

The principal from Webster left. Does anybody know if she will return. She hasn't been reassigned to another SDP School.

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on July 17, 2012 3:37 pm

She is going to a charter school.

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on July 17, 2012 3:31 pm

Where did Frangipani go? Back to 440?

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on July 17, 2012 8:13 pm

New Jersey, got a chance to open his own school, last I heard

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on July 18, 2012 7:49 am

What the principal from Lowell? Where did she go?

Fact that we are asking such questions show a lack of transparency.

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on July 20, 2012 3:27 pm

Congrats to Mayfair in getting a well needed breath of fresh air. I worked with their new/incoming principal while he was an AP at Meehan. He is young but has worn many hats (teacher, SEL, administrator). He is energetic, bright, considerate, and has a great rapport with students.

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on July 27, 2012 12:24 am

Catharine teachers! Watch out!! Dont ask her any questions in the morning and make sure you know the meaning of nepotism! Also, don't expect students to be disciplined and be prepared to be embarrassed in front of coworkers and students!

Submitted by Philly Teacher (not verified) on July 29, 2012 4:15 pm

we received a new AP and he was appointed by Nixon personally. There was no interview, no meeting or discussion at all (the building principal has not met him). He has NO high school experience and NO experience running the DOL grant. It is going to be a mess.

On another note, I think the district is hiding money from the DOL grant.

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on August 5, 2012 9:15 pm

The School District of Philadelphia continues to appoint people through friendship, connections, and cronyism. One of the newly appointed principals, Shauneille Taylor, was the DOL AP at West Philadelphia High School last year. She was clueless, and flat out stated she didn't wan't the extra responsibilities of the grant. She was then moved to Germantown as an AP this year by Nixon and company, because she didn't want the DOL "responsibilities." And this year, she gets a Principal job when other AP's were clearly qualified with more experience and genuinely care about the district..... What a joke... How does Linda Wayman automatically move back in to a Principal job? How does her assistant move right into an AP role with her? Half of these Principals have been awful at other schools. Why does Philadelphia continue to just move them around? They need to start building capacity in the young leadership within the district, instead of recycling this useless junk... Also, why are the vast majority of administrators being appointed African-American? 2/3 of the PFT is Caucasian, however, 2/3 of the administrators are African-American...How many "special assistants" will they allow to be hidden in Nixon's office making $100,000+ ??

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on August 10, 2012 6:26 am

Shauneille Taylor is not the only incompetent appointed by Penny. Central Office senior administration continues to grow as a dumping ground for friends of Penny. Danielle Seward , Chris Johnson, Lissa Johnson, Karen Dunkley, Donna Runner and Reginald Johnson all friends of Penny. New hires but people got laid off last week. Dr. Hite please clean house.

Submitted by Annony (not verified) on August 10, 2012 7:59 am

Add LaTonya Miller and Nancy Bratton. There is NO ONE in Curriculum who knows anything about high school. There has been no support re: the Keystone Exams.

Nixon has supported her friends since sh etook power. Simultaneously, the SDP has took a dive. Nixon and her crew need to go!

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on August 11, 2012 3:18 pm

The presentation of the Common Core from Curriculum and Instruction on Friday was disastrous. I wish Dr. Hite could have seen it.

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on August 11, 2012 4:24 pm

Look at Nixon's friends who run curriculum - it is a joke.

Submitted by Annony (not verified) on August 10, 2012 7:03 am

Nixon is also hiring people for walk through teams. Apparently, all they will do are high school walk throughs. If these "teams" are anything like Nixon's friend Linda Wayman's walk through teams, they will be punitive and pointless. Wayman's concept of good teaching is drill and kill. Will Nixon's walk through teams do anything other than produce reports?

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on August 11, 2012 3:19 pm

The position for Asst. Supts was posted. I can guarantee you they will all be friends of Penny. Dr. Hite where are you??????Please stop Penny right now.

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on August 27, 2012 11:39 pm


Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on August 9, 2012 4:58 pm

Congratulations to Mayfair on their newly appointed principal. Mr. Lowery is a knowledgable administrator who always puts the needs of the children first. Mayfair will benefit greatly in many ways with the appointment of Mr. Lowery. The Mayfair community and students are very lucky and are in great hands.

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on August 9, 2012 4:14 pm

Too bad all the schools with new principals this year are not as fortunate.

Submitted by Annony (not verified) on August 9, 2012 5:11 pm

Any word on which schools made AYP? Why is this news under wraps? What about charters? I thought the PDE report indicated drops in scores across the state.

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on August 11, 2012 3:57 pm

Wait until next week and you will find out not more then that!!

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on August 27, 2012 11:25 pm


Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on January 2, 2013 4:54 pm
Comm Tech finally got a dedicated, competent principal and now the school is closing and programs going to Bartram. much for valuing hard work and commitment - she is not even given a chance to really turn it around!
Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on February 7, 2013 7:13 pm
Fatima Rogers was a great principal and leader at John B Kelly. She had made great strives and connections with the students, parents and the community. She is truly missed and any school that has Mrs.Rogers as their the leader should be proud and do well, if the follow her lead.

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