Citizens say they’ll back West Side principal at meeting tonight, call for standards for personnel changes

10:00 am | April 18, 2013

A group of concerned residents plans to express support for West Side Elementary Principal Doug Mitchell tonight at the Elizabethton Board of Education meeting – and call for new accountability standards for personnel changes.

The battle between Mitchell and Director of Schools Ed Alexander has drawn public attention since Alexander announced he had recommended Mitchell not be rehired as principal of West Side Elementary.

Several citizens have added their name to the board’s agenda to speak concerning Mitchell.

Rhonda Bolton, a former city school employee, is one of those on the agenda. She said she will speak in support of Mitchell, but will also ask Alexander to provide documentation for the reasons behind his recommendation.

Bolton said she taught in the city schools for 10 years and worked at West Side with Mitchell for the last four of those years. She said she left the school system on good terms, and had no hard feelings toward the system or Alexander.

She said Mitchell was a fair principal and was loving and caring to the children in the time she worked at the school. She said he communicated effectively and did not “micromanage” his staff.

“I had never been a witness to the things he was accused of doing in the years I worked there,” Bolton said. “The allegations of an affair are ridiculous. The allegations of drug abuse are ridiculous. I never once saw Mr. Mitchell impaired but I did see him in pain.”

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