Then there is Dr. James Young of Ribault who had a reputation of turning around struggling schools. A dear friend of mine worked for him for two years and would say he was often strict but fair, he didn’t play favorites and if you needed help he made sure you got it. She said; we really felt respected and valued.
Both of these men believed in supporting their staff, not bullying them or ridiculing them and if results on standardized tests are the bottom line then they both did a good job there as well.
Neither of these two is in the district anymore. Confused? Well both of these men clashed with Education Directions the EMO brought in by Pratt Dannals and managed by his friend Steve Hite. Sticking up to them and sticking up for their staffs probably factored greatly in why they are no longer employed by the county.
Iranetta Wright on the other hand isn’t just still in the district but apparently she is moving up the ladder. Sadly she also has a reputation of cajoling, bullying and intimidating her staff (a reputation too many principals in the district have) and furthermore her numbers don’t back up a promotion to a district position where she will be in charge of other schools.
Under our last super things like leadership and ability were secondary to who one knew and many of us dared to hope things were going to change under superintendent Vitti.
My questions to Vitti and the district are isn’t there another principal who has the data and who is respectful to their staff as well? Is our bench so shallow that we feel the need to promote Mrs. Wright and there are no other qualified candidates? Is this a racial thing and he wanted an African-American in the position? If that’s the case I think he has misjudged the African America community of Jacksonville who would have preferred that the district reached out to James Young. Or is it something else because there are plenty of rumors about her and a former assistant superintendent.
I think the people of Jacksonville many of whom are scratching their head over this one need an answer and hopefully that answer isn’t same old same old.