Superintendent, AEA disagree over assistant principal

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, September 18, 2002

The issue of the position of an assistant principal at Demopolis Middle School was raised again at Monday’s meeting of the Demopolis City Board of Education. Board member Eddas K. Easley has brought up the issue in two past meetings.

DMS does not have a full time assistant principal despite state funding for the position. James Green, a Uniserve representative for this area from the Alabama Education Association, has spoken to the board in person and in writing about the need to fill the assistant principal position.

Dr. Wesley Hill, city school superintendent, said the system decided to go with paying for teachers at the middle school instead of another administrative position.

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Coach Chris Tangle is utilized as a half-time assistant principal at DMS, Hill said Tuesday, and there is another staff member who is designated by the principal to look after the school lunchroom in an administrative capacity.

The state has looked at the full picture, Hill said. "They know that funding is restricted. They try to give a little leeway."

With the change to block scheduling and the teaching of math year-round, there was a need for more teachers at DMS.

Hill does not feel the Demopolis system is in danger of losing funding. "There’s never been anything hidden from the state….The state knows that what we are doing is with good intent."

The state guidelines are the benchmark, Green said. "You really can’t make arbitrary decisions. There’s no room for that….We have to advocate for the position of the state.

Green said there could be possible sanctions against the school system. "It is sort of a protective measure to say this is what it is – so as a board – and you guys are responsible for things that go on to a degree in this system."

If state officials told the superintendent he had to hire an assistant principal for DMS, he said he would do so.

Hill said he didn’t question the need for an assistant principal at DMS, "(however) I’ve recommended a staff each year that’s been more slanted toward the teacher needs," the superintendent said.