Board urged to take role on school personnel

10:00 am | April 19, 2013

Residents called for policy reform and more oversight of personnel decisions Thursday when they addressed the Elizabethton Board of Education about the director of schools’ decision to not rehire a principal.

Eight individuals addressed the board, but dozens more attended the meeting. The speakers expressed their desire for Doug Mitchell to remain as principal at West Side Elementary School, and called for policy changes that would result in the school board having a decision in any similar personnel decisions in the future.

Director of Schools Ed Alexander had cited several concerns as reasons not to rehire the principal: he said Mitchell failed to follow directions from administration; that he had harassed a former West Side teacher and continued to pursue her after her transfer; that he made inappropriate jokes concerning drug use; and that he missed days from work.

Mitchell countered the allegations were “unsubstantiated” and that he had received the high scores on his evaluations and ranked in the highest level a principal can receive.

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