Grier’s Gone: Community input wanted

UPDATED…

https://i0.wp.com/www.volunteer.blogs.com/winewaves/images/san_diego_postcard.jpg

So…our gang of 11 wants “active community input” on what they’d like to see in a new superintendent for Guilford County.

They can come right here…this forum is open 24/7, and we’ll give them ALL the input they need to get started. We know at least four GCS Board members read this blog on a regular basis, maybe we should e-mail this site’s URL to the other seven.

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Let’s start with this morning’s News & Record, where they report Board chairman Alan “pass-the-buck” Duncan appears to actively want community input.

N&R:

http://bjimg.sv.publicus.com/apps/pbcsi.dll/bilde?Avis=BJ&Dato=20080121&Kategori=NRSTAFF&Lopenr=613623641&Ref=AR&MaxW=146&Border=0 “We will work with the community and our staff in the Guilford County schools so that we involve all citizens in the process of finding a leader for the next chapter,” school board Chairman Alan Duncan said.

But can we believe him? By now, you know my thoughts on how I want this search to proceed (very cautiously…very slowly), but can we believe this Board to say they want community input, when they may turn around and hire someone who will simply “stroke the kitty?”

More:

The image “https://i1.wp.com/greensboro.rhinotimes.com/editorial/2008-01-17/170236.CP.lg.jpg” cannot be displayed, because it contains errors.(Rhino Times)

No matter how they go about finding their new leader, school board members said first they need to know what to look for.

Board members said this weekend that they expect to reach out to the community to help them identify traits they want in the next superintendent.

In 1999, when the school board spent several months searching for Grier, it held public forums to find those answers.

…And then they hired Grier, and then we got what we got.

More:

The image “http://tbn0.google.com/images?q=tbn:8WIUzvbOvh2sfM:http://www.gcsnc.com/boe/images/hebert.JPG” cannot be displayed, because it contains errors. School board members have begun thinking about what they want, too. School board member Garth Hebert said they first need to find someone who admits there are problems, then finds a way to fix them.

The image “http://tbn0.google.com/images?q=tbn:R-k8P1SwiyWlQM:http://www.gcsnc.com/images/garrett1.jpg” cannot be displayed, because it contains errors. “I want to find someone who can help heal the morale issues we have,” school board member Darlene Garrett said.

And employee morale is a huge problem within GCS. We must make strides to begin turning this around.

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From today’s High Point Enterprise

During his tenure, Grier’s toughest critics came from High Point. A huge contingent of parents from the north­ern part of the city vocally protested Grier’s leadership on numerous oc­casions, largely due to controversial reassignment plans endorsed by the school board. “Anti-Grier” parents helped produce a number of slogans and petitions, including bumper stickers like “Get Grier Outta Here” and “Have You Been Grier-ended” that still circulate around the city.
Other factions of the High Point community often cried that the city was treated like a “red-headed step­child” and overlooked in education­al issues.

Regretfully, it is still the case in High Point. These pictures tell the tale of the division in High Point:

https://i2.wp.com/blog.news-record.com/staff/chalkboard/archives/Halloween.bmp

http://bjimg.sv.publicus.com/apps/pbcsi.dll/bilde?Site=BJ&Date=20080120&Category=NRSTAFF&ArtNo=399562993&Ref=AR&MaxW=360&Border=0

The image “https://i2.wp.com/blog.news-record.com/staff/chalkboard/archives/honk-thumb.jpg” cannot be displayed, because it contains errors.

https://i1.wp.com/blog.news-record.com/staff/chalkboard/archives/chalkboard.jpg

The image “https://i2.wp.com/blog.news-record.com/staff/chalkboard/archives/bruce%27s%202.jpg” cannot be displayed, because it contains errors.

More:

High Point resident Martin Phil­lips hopes a new superintendent will be able to bring stability back to the city. “I think (Grier) ruined schools in High Point,” Phillips said. “The middle class is deserted in High Point. It’s really taken a hit.”

I couldn’t agree more, Martin.

Another excerpt:

It is unclear whether the district would use a search firm to hire a new superintendent. Board member Garth Hebert believes it is more sen­sible to select a leader from current central office staff.

Sensible thinking. I agree, Garth.

More mixed sentiments about Grier’s departure (see HPE sidebar story here):

The image “http://tbn0.google.com/images?q=tbn:gA6tiXD7qGb0GM:http://www.high-point.net/council/images/becky.jpg” cannot be displayed, because it contains errors. High Point Mayor Becky Smoth­ers said simply, “I wish him well.”

The image “http://tbn0.google.com/images?q=tbn:OEBcrw-VHt50pM:http://www.greensboro.org/CH/people/images/GCS_Mendenhal.jpg” cannot be displayed, because it contains errors. “I think he’s done a lot for the school system. He’s accomplished a lot,” said Susan Mendenhall, a former Guilford County school board member who served as chairper­son when Grier was first hired.

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So this leads to my next question to throw out there…who would you like to see as an interim school chief?

Some people come to mind, and we can play around with names here:

The image “https://i2.wp.com/www.gcsnc.com/schools/images/Eric%20Becoats2.jpg” cannot be displayed, because it contains errors. Chief of staff Dr. Eric Becoats?

The image “https://i1.wp.com/www.gcsnc.com/schools/images/debbiebarham.jpg” cannot be displayed, because it contains errors. Secondary instructional improvement officer Debra Barham?

The image “https://i1.wp.com/www.gcsnc.com/schools/images/lewis%20-%20headshot2.jpg” cannot be displayed, because it contains errors. Secondary instructional improvement officer Lewis Ferebee?

The image “https://i2.wp.com/www.gcsnc.com/schools/images/Folger,%20E..jpg” cannot be displayed, because it contains errors. What about Beth Folger, chief curriculum and organizational development officer?

How about a working principal out in the field?

The image “https://i0.wp.com/www.gcsnc.com/schools/images/Lori%20Balds%20-%20Welborn%20MS.JPG” cannot be displayed, because it contains errors. Lori Bolds from Welborn Middle?

The image “https://i1.wp.com/www.gcsnc.com/schools/images/Phyllis%20Martin%20-%20Dudley%20hS.JPG” cannot be displayed, because it contains errors. Revonda Johnson from High Point Central?

The image “https://i2.wp.com/www.gcsnc.com/schools/images/Revonda%20Johnson%20-%20HP%20Central%20HS.JPG” cannot be displayed, because it contains errors.Dr. Phyllis Martin from Dudley?

Of course, your nominations are welcome…

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UPDATE, 1/21/08, 10:45AM:

My top-10 traits in a new school chief:
1. An effective communicator
2. Someone to help improve employee morale
3. Someone to takes school safety seriously
4. Someone who’s not afraid to go into the classrooms (ALL of them) and talk with the teachers–not AT the teachers
5. Someone who can work with the community instead of against the community
6. Someone who values arts education
7. Someone who believes a WELL-ROUNDED education is more than a test score
8. Someone who takes responsibility, not pass the buck
9. Someone who can stand up to our Board, not stroke the kitty
10. An effective leader, not a “yes” man

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E.C. 🙂

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9 Responses

  1. Is anyone surprised at Susan Mendenhall’s comments? She was Grier’s number one apologist along with the News & Record.

  2. No surprise here at all…I’m actually surprised they’re still digging her up for quotes.

  3. As a parent who’s been a victim and has a child who has been a victim of the bullying and violence (on multiple occasions) in GCS and ignored when attempting to get help, I would like to see someone who actually cares about more than how to get a huge raise from year to year. But most importantly provide assistance to students who obviously suffer mental illness or they wouldn’t be violent in the first place.

    I cannot go into all that has happened to my child over the years in GSC, I can say that Terry Grier has been the superintendent since the beginning and not once has he ever returned a call to me when I asked for help. I continue to call and continue to be ignored.

    His right hand boys have made a joke of my most recent situation. Sad mistake on their part. I will continue to speak out regarding how parents and kids are treated in this district.

    I don’t hold much hope for GCS it’s been an 8 year nightmare for my family. The story is absolutely uneblievable. Yet not as horrible as the boy at Page that was beaten so badly and suffered such brain damage that he will never be the same again. One of SO MANY HORRIBLE STORIES IN JUST ONE SCHOOL.

    This crap that is all over the internet about how amazing and wonderful Terry Grier is, is absurd. It’s Greensboro’s way of drawing in unsuspecting victims. People move here from other states believing Greensboro School Board actually CARES about their kids when the reality is, the traditional schools are gang nests and the Superintendent knows how to juggle the books to make himself look good. Nothing more, nothing less.

    In acquiring legal counsel, I’ve had to leave this city because even the attorney’s are worried about what may happen to their practice if they were to participate in doing the right thing for these kids that actually WANT an education.

    This is NOT about “you can’t please everyone”, this Superintendent who has been fired from other districts in other states and despised by parents until he could be pryed out with a crow bar and explosives (metphorically speaking), hasn’t done much good anywhere he goes.

    I’ve spoken with parent in San Diego just a few minutes ago that stated that in their news paper there, it was mentioned that Terry Grier was fired from Sacramento School District, but they aren’t concerned with what happened 13 years ago.

    My extreme sympathies are with the San Diego School District. I mean that from my heart. I can only believe that they will remove him soon if he attempts to do the horrific damage to their district that he’s done here and in other districts in other states.

    I don’t know what he’s doing to get any respect at all much less make “Superintendent of the year” but I intend to find out.

    Being in this school district has been hell from day one for my child. I’ve never seen such a disaster in all of my life. I hope I never do again.

    I laugh each time I see someone say that Terry Grier is a progressive thinker. Progressive like a bad cancer I think. Hopefully with some long term chemo, we can beat this.

  4. Hello “user”. Thank you for your series of comments yesterday concerning Grier, especially the one above. Thank you for your courage to speak up on the problems plaguing GCS. I’m so sorry to hear what you and your child had to endure. The hallmark of my campaign is to address school safety and school violence and it is stories like this that are coming in all too frequent lately. I hope by me running for the Board (and hopefully winning), we will be able to start addressing the issues of what needs to be focused on within GCS.

    Thank you for finding my website, please stay connected and involved and in touch.

  5. I live in GC and I will be in line at 1:00 AM to be the first to vote for you, thow some other like thinkers and doers, if you will and I’ll vote for them too.

    I don’t know what will ever come of this disaster. Once I’m in a position to do so, I will post here and everywhere, ALL that has happened to not only myself, and my child, but scores of others as well.

    Today, I’m not in a position to do so, but believe me, when I am, everyone will know. It’s fightening here. I’ve never seen such insanity in all of my life.

    I look at the protection of violent students in this district, I can’t believe it happens anywhere in America. Come to the South thinking that there will be hospitality, think again. Beyond the nice little accents, there’s nothing charming here!

    I know that people from all over the country are visiting these blogs. I’m directing people whom I know have thought of moving here to see the realities.

    If there isn’t a complete fresh start, there will simply be more of the same. The school board runs the show, so they say, if so and they want credit for the monster they’ve created with this Terry Grier character, fine, but they need to be removed, all of them.

    Perhaps Terry can find jobs for all of them and take them along. One can dream eh?

    I don’t choose to continue to invite bad things to happen by entertaining them in discussion. But there is simply no way of solving these issues without starting over completely.

    There has been nothing “progressive” except violence and corruption. The gangs have taken these schools and created hell in all of them.

    There are middle colleges, but my question is, why don’t middle college values apply to ALL of these schools? Middle College is a priveledge to be in, but why shouldn’t ALL schools be this way? Why should ALL kids understand that if they cannot behave, they cannot remain in school. That’s how it used to be all over the country!

    Now the KIDS run the show! Teachers have to be exposed to violence, angry kids and parents and the kids who want a life of any kind are at the mercy of these students.

    Since when has it be OK for kids to abuse an educator??? Since when has it become OK for students to threated adults??? Since WHEN is it OK for a school district and a few idiots at the “top” to create environments whereas the kids have to become gang members in order to acquire any degree of safety and then get murdered when they realize it was the wrong thing to do???

    THIS FOLKS is what IS GCS whether you choose to believe it or not, THIS is what your children are exposed to day after day of their lives! This crosses ALL BOUNDARIES! The rich can place their kids in private schools, but the majority of us can barely afford to pay the taxes and pay for all of these BS “programs”.

    Even when the programs are created, the criteria excludes regular kids that should have a right to good education too! The kids that want educations are the minorities. Kids and parents alike are giving up on education and simply throwing kids into GED programs. And the truth about THAT is, in GCS, this is the best that they can do!!

    If they want their kids to LIVE, they have to pull them and get GEDs. These kids aren’t losers, they’re simply tired of having to run past fights in the hallways. Or eventually, needlessly becoming a target for no apparent reason.

    It come to the point that one must choose a bogus education from exhausted and frightened educators who are so over it all, or let our kids die in a gang ridden war zone.

    I assure you that there is dirt all over this school board and this school district ESPECIALLY all over Terry Grier so much so that they even have the News and Record tied up. What news we DO get is bull and greatly colored because the editors make the calls on what can be reported.

    I advise ALL parents to call, call, call administrators! Ask MANY questions! Never stop asking questions! Report what you learn to be legitimate and provable information, if you aren’t suing the school district by then and it would be a problem.

    These jerks KNOW that we are so busy we can hardly find time with our families and that we will quickly become overwhelmed and will stop, but DON’T STOP!

    Find an hour a day or even a few minutes to call and leave messages to your favorite school board idiot and even Terry Grier until he leave and let them know you will CONTINUE TO CALL THEM, have petitions signed against them, pull your kids out if you have to!!!

    They only get so much of your money, but the money they DO GET is paid to them to DO THEIR FREAKING JOBS! PROTECT OUR KIDS AND THEIR EDUCATIONS!

    Just EVALUATING Mr, Huey, isn’t enough, IMMEDIATE ACTION must be taken to help the EDUCATORS help our KIDS!

    Right now, one of two things can happen. Terry Grier and his marrionettes will either begin doing some good, because he will still be under a microscope her AND in CA OR, none of them will care whatsoever and things will deteriorate.

    The board members CAN BE MADE TO MAKE A DIFFERENCE! We aren’t living in IRAQ with Suddam Hussein in power, we are IN AMERICA and it is WE THE PEOPLE who REALLY have the power!

    These idiots may THINK they have power since we’ve ALLOWED them to get by with this. Until WE change it, we’re going to get exactly what we deserve by leaving them to do nothing.

    How many of these board members have kids that attend these public schools??? I don’t want to hear about how they ATTENDED these schools, they are old and who cares? I WANT TO KNOW HOW MANY BOARD MEMBERS HAVE THEIR KIDS IN THESE SCHOOLS AND HOW MANY HAVE GRANDCHILDREN IN THESE SCHOOLS????

    I don’t want to hear that they go to PRIVATE SCHOOLS in Guilford County, I want to know HOW MANY OF THE BOARD MEMBERS AND IF TERRY GRIER ACTUALLY HAVE KIDS OR GRANDKIDS IN THESE SCHOOLS THAT THEY SEEM TO TAKE SUCH BS PRIDE IN!

    Would ANY of the Board members or Terry Grier be willing to answer this question?? I would like to invite answers to these questions!

  6. User,

    This is truly a disturbing story, but the truth is that this school board does not hold any real power. Terry Grier has been enabled and protected here by higher powers in the Greensboro establishment. Grier was brought here to mend the “image” of this school system to facilitate economic development in Greensboro, not the reality, but just the image. You might have seen the television ads that they run promoting how great the school system is under Terry Grier. It is done to attract employers to relocate to Greensboro. Go back and read the 1999 McKinsey Report that said that one of the most important actions that needed to be taken to promote economic development in Greensboro was to fix the “image” of the local school system. terry Grier was hired shortly thereafter to fix that image.

  7. Welcome aboard, Billy.

    To wholeheartedly agree with you…yep, we’ve seen the effects of economic development here. Despite this area growing population-wise (overtaxing our police/water/city services/schools), we continuously see local companies announce job losses and layoffs. I read the Kinsey report…it said if we don’t halt our brain drain, we will be in trouble. Almost 10 years later, we still have a brain drain, and the young professionals that do stay, that have degrees, are forced to choose from $9 to $10 an hour jobs because there are not enough good opportunities for our young professionals to choose from. Don’t believe me? E-mail me offline and I’ll tell you about my seven-month job search that’s still ongoing. Like you all, I’m sick of the lies and the spin and the surveys and the conferences…it’s all crap. Let’s work together to fix our schools, get a real school chief in here who will do something, replace our school board, work to replace some in city hall and the county board, work hard to get some real companies with good paying jobs in this town so I don’t have to drive a cab, and replace the status quo because it is that status quo that’s ruining this area. And some still wonder why Raleigh and Charlotte continue to bypass us economically.

  8. Billy,
    Thank you for your reply. I would like to say that some of what you’re saying is true, but who voted his huge pay raise?

    How much did his “Superintendent of the year” status cost us/him? There are so many problems in GCS, parents are scared to death for their kids and this man gets Superintendent of the year?

    Who made THAT decision? His peers? Are his peers our peers? NO. We are the worthless unheard tax payers.

    I have been in these schools one especially, day after day. Each time I drove up, nearly any time of the day the ONE SRO was without fail, breaking up a fight.

    I can’t even tell you how many times I prayed that these kids all came out alive and safe and you know what?…. most days, that prayer simply wasn’t answered.

    OK so he was hired to “improve the image”, it didn’t happen, he’s a thief. He stepped on all of us and ground the faces of our kids into the dirt.

    Something’s wrong here, TERRIBLY wrong and we need to find out what in the WORLD happened!

  9. I STILL want to know if any of Terry Grier’s kids ever attended a PUBLIC SCHOOL where HE was Superintendent.

    I still want to know if any board members have children or grandchildren in these wonderful schools or do they know better and just have the money to put THEIR kids into private school?

    I will continue to ask these questions until I get an answer.

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