ELIZABETHTON — The controversial recommendation by Elizabethton City School Superintendent Ed Alexander to not rehire Doug Mitchell as principal at West Side Elementary School went through without any controversy at Tuesday’s meeting of the Elizabethton School Board.
With few of Mitchell’s supporters in the audience on Tuesday and with board members Catherine Armstrong and Connie Baker unable to attend because of illness, Alexander announced the personnel changes without any objections raised.
Alexander announced that Mitchell will be transferred to a teaching position at T.A. Dugger Jr. High School. The effective date is June 11.
Following the meeting, Mitchell had few comments, saying he will take each day one at a time.” His wife, Julia Mitchell, was more outspoken. She said, “Unfortunately, this is the proof in the pudding that success is not being rewarded” in the Elizabethton School System. She said Mitchell had been a very successful and popular principal.
The announcement created considerable comment and angry discussion last month at a public meeting at West Side and at the April board meeting, with many parents speaking in support of Mitchell. An online petition is being circulated calling for the school board not to rehire Alexander when his contract expires in September and threatening board members with recall.
In other matters, the board unanimously approved the new budget for the 2013-14 budget that includes no increases in funding from the city. The budget has already been approved on first reading by the City Council.
Since Tuesday’s meeting was the last of the school year, the board recognized a large number of students for successes in competition, especially at state level, where the Elizabethton High School Women’s Ensemble won a superior rating, the highest rating possible and several students achieved first place honors. Tese included Elisa Bird, Hannah Oliver, Cerri Bradley, Arian Scott, Courtnee Odom and Nickolai Simpson in their weight categories iin state powerlifting competition. Jennifer Birkner won a first place in state culinary arts competition.