Prep parents rally to save principals
BY LINDELL JOHN KAY
Sunday, June 17, 2018
A group of determined parents gathered Saturday to talk about how to save the jobs of two popular principals at Rocky Mount Prep.
LaToya Alston, mother of a rising senior at the school, said she found out on graduation day that High School Principal Maurice Moore and Middle School Principal Adonis Blue were being released after only one year.
The parents started an online petition, which has generated hundreds of signatures calling for the school's Board of Trustees to meet with parents to discuss renewing the principals' contracts.
The parents agreed Moore and Blue did phenomenal jobs as principals.
Alston said Moore was transparent and increased communication between the school and parents. Moore improved notification of events, advocated for students and displayed impeccable leadership and integrity.
"He's there by 7:45 a.m. every morning and leaves every evening about 6 or 7 p.m.," Alston said of Moore. "He lives an hour away and has a family of his own."
The parents said they're livid that Head of School Todd Pipkin and Chief Academic Officer Chaunte Garrett decided not to renew Moore's contract.
The parents said it's time for new leadership at the top, meaning Pipkin and Garrett.
Elise Webb, a parent of students at the school for the past 12 years, said Blue insisted his teachers care for the entire student, not just their ability to perform on tests.
Webb said there's already been too much staff turnover at the school. She said at many schools, students have teachers who taught their parents, but not so at Prep.
"My youngest son, who is six years younger than my oldest son, has never had one teacher that my oldest had," Webb said. "That is a problem. This means that no teacher stays longer then five years."
Webb said Moore and Blue needed more then one year to turn the school around.
"They need to feel that they have trust in the administration and are not fearful of loosing their job," Webb said. "I could not work somewhere that I felt my job was on the line and neither can they or anyone else."
Webb said in her time as a parent of students at the school, Prep has been through four headmasters and dozens of principals.
"Removing Dr. Blue and Mr. Moore will cause more parents to leave, which is something Prep can not afford," Webb said.
Alston sent emails to school board Commissioner Ricky Parks, who replied by saying he was out of the state but planned to relay the board's final intentions by the end of business Tuesday.
Parks said the board plans to have a meeting June 25.