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Elizabethton school principal to appeal transfer

June 14th, 2013 4:49 pm by John Thompson

Elizabethton school principal to appeal transfer

Ed Alexander and Doug Mitchell

ELIZABETHTON — The dispute between the former principal of West Side Elementary School and the superintendent of the Elizabethton City School System will continue on Tuesday night, when Doug Mitchell appeals his transfer from the West Side to a teaching position at T.A. Dugger Jr. High School.

Superintendent Ed Alexander announced the transfer during last month's school board meeting.

Mitchell has requested an appearance before the school  board in accordance with the board's policy appeals and appearances. In a letter to the board, Mitchell wrote: "Following Several earnest requests from myself, the West Side staff, parents, and students alike, Mr. Ed Alexander has still chosen the unpopular, unjustified, and arbitrary decision to finalize his plan for a transfer."

Mitchell said he plans to present "several significant professional, ethical and logical  facts and circumstances," in an effort to ask the board to consider alternative measures rather than the transfer.

Alexander declined to comment on Mitchell's allegations.

Mitchell lists five arguments for the board to consider:

• First, Mitchell says there is a grievance/complaint based on the alleged failure to conduct a state-mandated principal evaluation. Mitchell said his evaluation remains  incomplete.

• Second, Mitchell said his transfer does not make school operations more efficient. He said he received the highest possible evaluations from his supervisor every year and West Side was the highest rated school in the system. He said those accomplishments "does not merit transfer."

• Third, Mitchell said he received no written statements of deficiencies and reasonable opportunity for improvement. He said there is no written record of his job performance deficiencies in the first four and a half years he was principal. Mitchell said he still has received no "recognizable or substantiated written reasons for the transfer," as required by board policy.

• Fourth, Mitchell said board policy requires a transfer should consider several criteria, including contribution that can be made in the new position, length of service, individual's desire for the opportunity, and ensuring the move was non-discriminatory. Mitchell argued that none of the criteria were considered.

• Fifth, Mitchell said high standards were not maintained in several instances, including communicating through the local media while not communicating with the employee.

In addition to Mitchell's appeal, several citizens have requested to speak to the board about Alexander's contract and whether it should be renewed. Board member Catherine Armstrong said she was also placing the question on the board's agenda.

Related articles:


• Decision to remove Elizabethton principal confirmed


• Online petition targets superintendent of Elizabethton schools


• Parents criticize Alexander over decision on West Side principal


• Superintendent, principal spar at public meeting


• Health issues tie up 2 Elizabethton school board members

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