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Dr. Price Let Go at Hazelwood

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    Posted: Aug 31 2012 at 3:22pm
HSD Board of Education appoints new leadership

The Board of Education of the Hazelwood School District has determined that new leadership is needed to guide the District at this important juncture. Dr. Grayling Tobias will replace Dr. Steve Price as interim superintendent of schools and Dr. Ingrid Clark-Jackson will serve as the interim associate superintendent.

“We appreciate all of the hard work our staff is doing to assure the success of our students, and our Board of Education shares that same commitment to our students,” said Cheryl Latham, president of the HSD Board of Education. “We have entrusted the leadership to Dr. Tobias and Dr. Clark-Jackson and are confident our district will continue to move forward. The Board of Education, in partnership with Dr. Tobias, Dr. Clark-Jackson and the rest of the Learning Leadership Team, will re-examine and review all improvement plans as we move forward.”

Tobias has more than 25 years of experience in education and currently serves as an assistant superintendent for learning for HSD. He has worked for HSD since 2002, previously serving as director of secondary education and assistant superintendent for accountability. Tobias also served as a middle school principal in the Riverview Gardens School District and middle school assistant principal, high school assistant principal and teacher in the Parkway School District.

He is a life-long resident of St. Louis. He has a Bachelor of Science degree in physical education from the University of Missouri-St. Louis, a Master of Arts degree in secondary school administration from Truman State University, and a doctorate in education leadership from Saint Louis University.

“It is an honor and privilege to serve our students and this community,” Tobias said. “We want to let our Board of Education, community, and our staff know that we are not going to let our students down. We want to reassure everyone that we will continue to move forward. We have trust and confidence in the people who work closest to our students and I know that our students will succeed at high levels.”

Clark-Jackson has nearly 32 years of educational experience, currently serving as the assistant superintendent for human resources for HSD. She served as the principal of Hazelwood West High School for two years. She was an administrator in the Ritenour School District for 13 years and taught English Language Arts for 10 years.

She has a Bachelor of Science degree in English from Northeast Missouri State University. She earned a master’s degree in business administration from Maryville University and a specialist degree in education administration from Saint Louis University. She earned her doctorate in education administration from Maryville University.

These changes are effective immediately.

http://www.hazelwoodschools.org/News/Pages/HSD-Board-of-Education-appoints-new-leadership.aspx

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote John Beagle Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Aug 31 2012 at 3:39pm
"The Board of Education of the Hazelwood School District has determined that new leadership is needed to guide the District at this important juncture."

Where have I heard that before?
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Stanky Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Aug 31 2012 at 4:24pm
Well that didn't take long. Price can just move back here since he still owns a home here.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote FmrMide81 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Aug 31 2012 at 7:59pm
He'll probably be hired by the city as a liasion to Cincy State what with all his educational experience and record of producing positive results!
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote VietVet Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Aug 31 2012 at 10:57pm
The Hazelwood school board has determined it needs a "change in direction". Took the Hazelwood people a year or two to assess Price's abilities. Took our school board 7 (?) years to assess the same person. Why the difference in the evaluation time between the two boards?

Good Lord I hope the man doesn't show up in any capacity in this town. Did alot of damage while here to student performance and to teacher and staff moral with little to no progress made. What scares me is that the people running this school district (and town) have made some incredible hiring decisions in the past, at times taking others rejects. (Kohler for example) Next thing we know, it is announced in the Journal that they hired one of these people for a position created just for them.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote chmoore1 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Sep 01 2012 at 1:42am
I heard somewhere that Monroe has an opening for a superintendent.   chmoore
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote John Beagle Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Sep 01 2012 at 8:50pm
Oh please no.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote HSD Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Nov 10 2012 at 1:24pm
I'm not sure if anyone will really care but I thought I would provide you with an interesting article in the Post Dispatch today. Many in our community have wondered what happened.

HAZELWOOD

Emails reveal discord prior to Hazelwood superintendent's dismissal

For weeks, the reasons behind the dismissal of Hazelwood schools Superintendent Steve Price have been somewhat of a mystery. And an expensive one at that.

The Hazelwood School Board disclosed Wednesday that the district will pay Price’s salary of $237,326 until he finds another job or June 2014, when his contract ends. At the same time, the board quickly promoted a new superintendent whose salary will be $212,000 this year.

Yet board members have refused to disclose specific reasons for the termination, declaring it a confidential personnel matter.

But emails obtained by the Post-Dispatch through the state’s open records law offer clues about the departure.

Days before Price’s dismissal, he faced questions from the School Board about a surprising surplus of money in the budget, his leadership in the wake of stagnant test scores and simmering tensions with staff.

According to the emails, School Board member Desiree Whitlock had more than a dozen issues she emailed Price about one week before his removal. She wrote that she had received several calls, including one about rumors that Price had told staff the board was trying to get rid of him.

“Teachers and staff asked why are you threatening to fire them? They indicated you have created a hostile work environment with your threats,” Whitlock wrote in the email dated Aug. 24. “Staff that called me were tearful and cried about this added stress of getting fired.” They said, “Hazelwood is going to H--l under the current superintendent’s term.”

The newspaper requested emails between board members and Price for the month of August.

The emails reveal complaints and concerns brought up by Whitlock about the surplus money.

The week after Price’s removal, district leaders told staff a $9 million budget surplus would allow for an average 5 percent raise for teachers and other employees. Price and board President Cheryl Latham discussed the surplus on Aug. 28.

“I’d like for you and (Dwight Lindhorst) to provide the Board with an update on what and how this happened,” Latham wrote to Price on Aug. 28. “You should also be prepared to share written corrective action plan/steps that will address this issue.”

Latham and Price called an emergency board meeting for Aug. 30 to discuss the money. The next day, Hazelwood announced Price’s removal.

“Are you telling me there was more than adequate funds available to have given staff raises?” Whitlock wrote in an email earlier that week when she questioned Price about the money. “The staff and teachers were correct!!!!!!!!!!!!! I want an EXPLANATION!!!!!!!! This Sucks!”

The surplus stemmed from expenditures coming in 4 percent under budget for the 2011-12 school year, and revenue higher. Officiials had planned for 32 percent of operating expenditures in the district’s fund balance, a sort of savings account, but the actual balance at the end of the year was 38 percent.

About $5.5 million will be spent on salary increases for the 2013-14 school year, giving staff two steps on the salary schedule. In July, the district and the Hazelwood Education Association had agreed on a 1 percent increase, the same as the previous year. Individual raises will depend on a teacher’s experience and education.

The board dismissed Price as he began his third year with the district. He was on paid administrative leave while attorneys negotiated a contract settlement.

Grayling Tobias, previously assistant superintendent of learning, took the interim position and then was officially chosen as superintendent on Tuesday.

The settlement means the district will effectively be paying for two superintendents until Price finds another job, or June 2014, the end of his contract signed by the board in May 2011.

Board members have referred questions to Latham. She said she cannot comment on what led to the board’s decision.

Latham said that the board wants a narrow focus on student achievement and that in the 10 weeks since Tobias has taken the lead, the district has accomplished a “significant amount.”

“We believe that particular leadership change understands our community’s needs,” Latham said.

In the Aug. 24 email to Price from Whitlock, one of the accusations was that the superintendent did not care “about anybody but himself and is trying to get a pension from the district on the backs of our kids and teachers.” Price responded to her email the following Monday and said he had also heard that rumor.

“It is simply not true,” said Price, adding that he had moved his family here and his children were attending school. “I don’t want to pick up and move, my family and I want this to be our home for a long time.”

Whitlock did not return phone messages about the email. Latham said Whitlock has an extensive community network and has high expectations for the district.

“She is a passionate advocate,” Latham said. “I don’t know that I can say she was upset. I think that everyone on this board is very, very protective of our community.”

Price had previously served as the superintendent for seven years in Middletown City Schools, a district of about 7,000 students in Ohio. He left Middletown after a separation agreement in which he resigned two years before his contract expired.

He was criticized there for student discipline problems and the cost and effectiveness of a program on race and equity. In light of Price’s departure, Hazelwood also is now scaling back its own program integrating it into other staff training.

Price was hired in Hazelwood for the 2010-11 school year on a three-year contract at an annual salary of $235,000. He replaced Chris Nicastro, who left to become Missouri’s education chief.

After the board’s decision, Price said he was “surprised and saddened” by the board’s actions.

“My concern has always been, and continues to be, for the welfare and best possible education for the students of the Hazelwood School District,” he said in a statement issued through his attorney shortly after the decision. “I continue to have the highest regard for the students, parents, teachers, staff and administrative faculty of the district.”

He declined to comment this week.

Districtwide, Hazelwood’s test scores in communication arts and math have been relatively flat over the last two years, sitting below state averages. In math, for example, about 39 percent of Hazelwood students passed in 2012, compared with 55 percent statewide.

Some parents say they feel refreshed with Tobias at the helm. But a few want a better understanding of what happened.

“I don’t feel like a superintendent’s or principal’s removal should be hush-hush,” said Holly Vaughn, a parent at Hazelwood West. “But at the same time, we voted (the board) in to do the hiring for us.”

At a meeting in October for residents to meet Tobias, Vaughn and a small group listened to his focus on teaching and learning. “I want to let you know we are not going to let you down,” Tobias told them.

“We are moving forward,” Tobias said in an interview. “I can’t afford to exert any energy on anything else.”




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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote acclaro Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Nov 11 2012 at 6:36am
He walked with a payout of nearly $500,000., and this is a blog as if he was harmed? Outrageous. He took the Ms district backwards.

He'll be back in Ohio as head of the state system, the union mindset.

MCSD can't even remove a treasurer under state investigation. This market is where the cash and lifetime employment without consequence rules.

Can't wait for Jesse Jackson to visit Middletown next election, ergo Cincinnati State with Doc O dell.
'An appeaser is one who feeds a crocodile, hoping it will eat him last.' - Winston Churchill
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote VietVet Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Nov 11 2012 at 10:27am
"Days before Price’s dismissal, he faced questions from the School Board about a surprising surplus of money in the budget, his leadership in the wake of stagnant test scores and simmering tensions with staff."

“Teachers and staff asked why are you threatening to fire them? They indicated you have created a hostile work environment with your threats,”

"In the Aug. 24 email to Price from Whitlock, one of the accusations was that the superintendent did not care “about anybody but himself and is trying to get a pension from the district on the backs of our kids and teachers.”

"Districtwide, Hazelwood’s test scores in communication arts and math have been relatively flat over the last two years, sitting below state averages. In math, for example, about 39 percent of Hazelwood students passed in 2012, compared with 55 percent statewide."

WELL, LOOKS LIKE STEVIE PRICE IS BUILDING HIMSELF A NICE LITTLE PORTFOLIO AS A SUPERINTENDENT SCREW-UP.....NO MATTER WHERE HE HANGS HIS HAT. GOOD LORD, FOR THE SAKE OF THE KIDS, THE SCHOOL DISTRICTS AND THE GENERAL HEALTH OF EDUCATION IN OHIO, I HOPE HE DOESN'T SHOW UP IN THIS STATE AGAIN. THIS GUY APPEARS TO BE POISON NO MATTER WHERE HE GOES. NEEDS TO BE A STATEWIDE COMPUTER NETWORK SETUP THAT LISTS THE HISTORY OF SUPER/TEACHER CANDIDATES LIKE THIS SO THAT OTHER DISTRICTS WON'T WASTE THEIR TIME AND MONEY HIRING FAILURES.
I'm so proud of my hometown and what it has become. Recall 'em all. Let's start over.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote John Beagle Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Nov 12 2012 at 4:53pm
It's sad to see someone fail. He showed much promise when he first came to Middletown Schools. Very quickly his true demeanor (arrogance)came to light. He put himself in too many adversarial positions with too many people. It got to the point that no one wanted to work with him.

Looks like his method of management continues to hurt his career. I wish him well and hope he learns that working with people works better than against them.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote jsmith2011 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Nov 12 2012 at 7:13pm
Dr. Price is back in town. When I voted he was standing at the voting booth right beside me at Miller Ridge. I'm not sure how that was possible.

Also, he has been seen roaming the halls of the high school.

Maybe Middletown City Schools will hire him as a "consultant". I would expect nothing less from our school board.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote VietVet Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Nov 13 2012 at 6:19am
Originally posted by jsmith2011 jsmith2011 wrote:

Dr. Price is back in town. When I voted he was standing at the voting booth right beside me at Miller Ridge. I'm not sure how that was possible.

Also, he has been seen roaming the halls of the high school.

Maybe Middletown City Schools will hire him as a "consultant". I would expect nothing less from our school board.


Bad news for Middletown just to have him around. The School Board fired him.....hopefully, they are smart enough not to include him in any capacity within this district. Consultant? Good idea to hire the person responsible for most of the academic woes and disharmony within the district. Playing with fire if he is hired. Surely, the School Board is not that ignorant. Would eliminate ANY credibility the school board has with the community, wouldn't it?
I'm so proud of my hometown and what it has become. Recall 'em all. Let's start over.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote jsmith2011 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Nov 13 2012 at 8:00am
You aren't that naive that you think the school board allows the taxpayers to know who they are paying for what and how much are you vet? They only way we find out the truth is by someone else finding out for us. And as always....the standard answer "a final determination has not been made at this time"...
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote John Beagle Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Nov 13 2012 at 9:08am
Originally posted by jsmith2011 jsmith2011 wrote:

You aren't that naive that you think the school board allows the taxpayers to know who they are paying for what and how much are you vet? They only way we find out the truth is by someone else finding out for us. And as always....the standard answer "a final determination has not been made at this time"...


I think that statement is untrue. Why even the president of the school board posts updates and her opinions on here. For that I am grateful.

Xponex Media receives better communication from the Middletown School Board than the Monroe School board.

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote swohio75 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Nov 13 2012 at 9:40am
Originally posted by jsmith2011 jsmith2011 wrote:

Dr. Price is back in town. When I voted he was standing at the voting booth right beside me at Miller Ridge. I'm not sure how that was possible.

Also, he has been seen roaming the halls of the high school.

Maybe Middletown City Schools will hire him as a "consultant". I would expect nothing less from our school board.
 
Doubtful. 
 
Dr. Price stiill owns a home in Middletown, and if I am not mistaken, has high-school aged kid(s). 
 
Perhaps he never purchased a permanent place in Hazelwood--waiting until his Middletown home sold.  Since it was still on the market, why not move back into it?
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote jsmith2011 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Nov 13 2012 at 1:36pm
If you read more about what he said to Hazelwood board members, he told them that he had just moved his family there and enrolled his kids in their school system.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote swohio75 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Nov 13 2012 at 1:59pm
You added the word just.  It wasn't in the article.  He didn't indicate when he moved his family.  It's easy to move them back and enroll in another school system.  This is nearly four months later....
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Pacman Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: Nov 13 2012 at 10:59pm
Jsmith,

at least as far as salaries go, you can usually find the city employees and the school system employees listed on the middletown journals website.  You may have to dig around to find but they are there.

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