Crowd fills West Side gym to hear reasons for ouster proposal

10:27 am | April 5, 2013

Ten years ago, now-Director of Schools Ed Alexander found himself at the center of controversy after being removed asPhoto by Danny Davis<br /><br /><br /><br />
Cooked Elizabethton High School principal.

Thursday night he again found himself at the center of controversy over a principal’s position, this time facing community criticism after recommending Doug Mitchell not be rehired as principal of West Side Elementary.

A standing room-only crowd filled West Side’s gymnasium with residents, many on hand to show their support for Mitchell – and their frustrations with Alexander – during a meeting hosted by Alexander to explain the reasons behind his recommendation.

Mitchell was there to answer Alexander.

Photo by Danny Davis<br /><br /><br /><br />
Cooked“We have been quiet for too long,” Mitchell said as he took the podium to answer the reasons listed for his removal as principal. “You may fool some of the people some of the time but you can’t fool this group tonight.”

Alexander read from an email he had sent to Board of Education members explaining his recommendation to the school board members and answered questions from community members.

One of the issues Alexander cited was what he described as Mitchell’s lack of communication with him and the other administrators in the school system. Alexander said Mitchell did not respond in a timely manner to emails and phone calls made by the administrators.

Mitchell said when Alexander was asking about communication he did not ask him about communications with the administrators. He said a cell phone given to him by the school system for safety reasons did not work inside the school, and that he had to rush outside to use it when getting a call. Photo by Danny Davis<br /><br /><br /><br />

He said most of the calls made by the other administrators were to his cell phone, which again would not receive them in the school.

Mitchell said he also had a stack of emails on file that he had sent to the other administrators in the system.

He detailed two situations where he said he reached out to the central office through email and had yet to receive a response.

One email concerned having a reward day for West Side Elementary after it had been named a state reward school earlier in the school year. He said he sent the email twice to arrange the event but never received a response; he said the school still had not had a reward event for the students.

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