Grier goes ga-ga over San Diego Interview


The image “” cannot be displayed, because it contains errors.

He might be leaving…this time, for good.

Not like last time, where he flirted with an interview with Charlotte-Mecklenburg early last year, only to say he was not going anywhere and weeks later, was presented with a contract extension and a raise. That job went to Peter Gorman, who is transforming Char-Meck by leaps and bounds.

Here we go…GCS Supt. Terry Grier has interviewed with officials with the San Diego Unified School District, the nation’s 8th largest school system, for a vacant superintendent’s position, according to confirmed published reports.

News & Record: Guilford County Schools Superintendent Terry Grier is interviewing for superintendent of the San Diego Unified School District.

It is his second flirtation with another school district. In April 2006, after making it to be a top three finalist, Grier withdrew from the race to be superintendent of Charlotte-Mecklenburg’s school system.

At the time, he cited a “moral conviction” to the children in the state’s third-largest district, Guilford.

Here is his full statement: “At their invitation, I have met with the Board of Education of the San Diego Unified School District (San Diego, CA) to discuss their superintendent’s position. SDUSD is the eighth largest urban school district in the country and the second largest district in California. San Diego has a national reputation for good schools, but face many of the same challenges that are found in Guilford County and other metropolitan systems.

“I want to be clear that I am not dissatisfied with my current position and enjoy working with our board of education. An offer has not been made; I am taking this process one step at a time.

“We’ve accomplished much in Guilford County, successes that are now being acknowledged and recognized across the country. I’m very proud of the progress our team has and continues to make – including:

The successful development and execution of the Mission Possible program – as a result of these efforts, five Mission Possible schools made Adequate Yearly Progress for the first time this year

Implementing Early/Middle Colleges – part of the district’s collective effort to enhance academic rigor for our students and provide learning opportunities to meet their myriad needs; the model has since been replicated by Governor Easley for his statewide Learn and Earn program

Establishing a dropout rate of 2.99, consistently among the lowest of all urban school districts statewide and nationally

Increasing our graduation rate to 79.7%, the highest of the five large school districts in the state

Increasing scholarships offered to graduating seniors that now exceed $68 million – a tremendous economic benefit for our community

Exceeding the state average and the average of the other large school districts in NC in the percentage of schools making Adequate Yearly Progress in 2007″

FOX-8 broke the story earlier this evening on its Web site: Guilford County Schools’ superintendent Dr. Terry Grier is among the candidates under consideration for the San Diego, Cal. Unified School District’s superintendent’s position.

The SDUSD is the second largest school district in California and eighth largest in the nation.


Let’s go to the source, the SDUSD Web site, and see just how their system has scheduled interviews:

Sept 20, 2007 Superintendent Cohn announces retirement resignation. Read his letter to employees

Sept 20, 2007 Board of Education initiates superintendent search process with Hazard, Young, Attea & Associates, Ltd., a search firm specializing in assisting boards with the identification and selection of superintendents. The firm remains under contract with SDUSD from previous superintendent search and will provide search services at no additional fee.

Oct 18, 2007 Special closed session of the Board of Education for meeting with Hazard, Young, Attea & Associates.

Oct 19, 2007 Hazard, Young, Attea & Associates, Ltd. to meet with district executive staff members and employee bargaining unit leaders.

Oct 20, 2007 Board of Education special meeting for students, parents, teachers, employees, administrators and community members to submit comments about the superintendent search process and desired qualifications of the new superintendent.

Oct 29, 2007 Board of Education special meeting to decide on the San Diego Superintendent criteria.

Nov 13, 2007 Board of Education regular meeting

Nov 26, 2007 Board Workshop on Interview Process and Final Stage of Search
Goal Setting
Board Presented Slate of Candidates for Interviews

Nov 27-28, 2007 Initial Interviews with Candidates

Nov 29, 2007 Board Identifies Semi-Finalists

Dec 2-4, 2007 Board Interviews Semi-Finalists

Dec 10, 2007 Board Identifies Finalist

Dec 10-17, 2007 Board Members Visit Home Site of Finalist

Dec 18, 2007 Announcement of Superintendent Appointment


Ironically, the GCS Board met this evening with a very cryptic agenda. One has to wonder if this was an item for casual discussion.

But if the SD Board kept to the above posted schedule, Grier may very well be a finalist for this job. Here’s a recent San-Diego Union-Tribune article on the superintendent search:

S.D. school board to begin interviews for superintendent job

By Helen Gao


November 26, 2007

SAN DIEGO – Nearly 50 candidates have been identified to fill the superintendent’s job in the San Diego Unified School District, a district consultant said Monday. Superintendent Carl Cohn is stepping down Dec. 31 and the school board is scrambling to find a replacement by the end of the year to lead the state’s second largest public education system.

Bill Attea of Hazard, Young, Attea & Associates, an Illinois firm handling the search, said all the candidates have experience running urban districts or districts with more than 50,000 students. Two-thirds of the applicants were recruited by his firm, Attea said. He said they are from all over the country, but would not specify where.

Some community leaders have strongly suggested to the school board that it should consider local talents instead of importing out-of-towners who don’t know anything about San Diego’s history and politics.

On Monday, the board met behind closed door to review resumes. On Tuesday and Wednesday, trustees are scheduled to interview candidates in person or by video link in closed sessions.

“All the candidates they will be talking about are highly qualified people. We’ve weeded out the rest,” Attea said. “San Diego is a very attractive school district.”

The school board is keeping the names of the candidates secret, having been told by Attea that public disclosure would scare away applicants.


Needless to say, we will monitor this very closely.


UPDATE: 12/11/07, 9:06AM:

Updated story from today’s N&R…click here.

Some excerpts follow:

Representatives of the San Diego Unified School District were in Guilford County two days last week, interviewing local parents and school employees about Grier.

One San Diego school board member said they are “very seriously considering” Grier for the top job in their district, said Terrina Picarello , head of the Guilford County Council of PTAs.

What interests me about all of this…is this: did Grier sign a confidentiality agreement? Did the SD school board members sign a confidentiality agreement? This is a big deal and a very big leak.

More: San Diego board trustee Katherine Nakamura said Grier has “impressive credentials,” but she declined to say whether Grier is a finalist or when the school board will choose a replacement for its current superintendent, Carl Cohn. His last day is Dec. 31.

Grier has been Guilford County superintendent since May 2000. He earns nearly $203,000 a year. His contract expires in 2010.

Katherine, you just don’t know! Grier is salt of the earth! Please roll out the red carpet for this man. Because if he decides to play the flip-flop game like he did last year with Char-Meck, he will not get a raise/contract extension from me.

More: Grier’s tenure has also had its lows — such as facing “Get Grier Outta Here” bumper stickers after a High Point reassignment plan in 2004.

The image “” cannot be displayed, because it contains errors.  Some residents would not be disappointed to see Grier leave, school board member Garth Hébert said.

“I think it’s time for a change,” he said. “He experiments with kids. It’s the program du jour, and we need a bit more stability.”

Thank you Garth. You took the words right out of my mouth. By the way, I’m still on the hunt for any more of those bumper stickers/signs, should he decide to stay/not get the job.

Here are my thoughts, and they are simple: many around here think he’s God’s gift to education. I respectfully disagree. After working in GCS, and noticing the climate our teachers work in under Grier, you can see why he’s not the most popular superintendent, especially among the rank-and-file. I feel he has helped to destroy public education in Guilford County, to a point where I wonder sometimes if I’m doing the right thing by keeping my daughter in a Guilford County public school. We can do a whole lot better, our schools have the chance to shine and really be the best.

If Grier is offered the job, I truly wish him the best. But at the same time, 2008 will be the time of our renaissance. It will be Guilford County’s time to shine in the spotlight and hopefully bask in the glory of student achievement in our public schools. With new leadership at the top, and on the school board for that matter, let us not squander this golden opportunity to do just that.

We’ll continue to monitor events from both here, and in San Diego.

E.C. 🙂


One Response

  1. Dear Lord is it possible we might actually be getting rid of this piece of “whatever”? I do not use profanity! No I don’t! But if we ever get rid of him it will be because he actually left on his own because our school board will never fire him for his incompetence . It reminds me of our military bases in the Philippines. Everyone yelled, screamed, begged and pleaded to get out of the Philippines because they were just a drag and of no use to us what so ever. The government and the Pentagon wouldn’t listen. Finally there was a volcanic eruption and the entire Air Force base was demolished with no money to replace it. Guess what? We really had no need for the base and the Philippines have been free to have their little internal frays and spats and corrupt governments all with out us standing by and getting in the way.

    Guilford County does not need an egomaniac like Grier who has used tax payer money to build his resume. Now with some luck we can get someone in there who will care enough about the students to reduce the bloated administrative staff and bring back the teacher aids and personnel we need in the schools. BB

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: