Jul 25, 2013

A Principal's Bad Lesson Plan

When Zahorchak replaced Keith Falko as principal of Allen, this blog posted that it was a mistake. At that time I was in communication with several teachers, and knew what a masterful job Falko was doing with a difficult assignment. For today's post I have no such insider information, just his statements to the press. Apparently, Mr. Mayfield wasn't feeling the love from superintendent Russ Mayo. With that sort of attitude I don't think Mayfield's departure is such a great loss. When Mayfield was hired did he disclose that he needed to be bottle fed regular reassurance? Should students be encouraged to quit whenever they don't feel the love?  An article in today's Morning Call speculates that perhaps the turnover in principals at Allen is the fault of the school administrators, or even the school board. Much was written last fall about Mayfield being the first black principal at Allen.  Perhaps relevant experience should be the primary criterion.

UPDATE: Joanne Jackson, ASD School Board member, tells me that Mayfield did communicate his grievances to Mayo, to no avail.  Jackson believes that Mayo did undermine Mayfield, and likewise alienated other principals and supervisors.

photocredit:The Morning Call

8 comments:

Anonymous said...

Mike,

You sized up the departing principal well however had he stayed he could have continued to be a positive force at Allen.Instead he leaves only the excuses he gave to the press and circulated publicly. Not much of a legacy.

Scott Armstrong

Anonymous said...

Only because he is/was the first black principal in the city's history according to you the superintendent should have gone out of his way to make this guy feel welcomed.

michael molovinsky said...

your question is unclear to me. although the first black principal at allen, i believe that we had at least one black principal before, at central. mayfield told the press, both the morning call and express times, that he felt slighted by mayo on a couple of occasions. mayo claims he wasn't aware of it, and reassured mayfield that his job was secure despite layoffs. mayfield should have felt welcome enough just by being hired. one would think that a large urban high school principal would have thicker skin.

Anonymous said...

ASD had an african american principal at Harrison Morton for a period of time.

I find it hard to believe that Mayo would diss Mayfield as everyone was counting on him to direct Allen's progress. Additionally, as noted in a newspaper, mayfield was not a direct report. So, I wonder how much personal contact the two had.

michael molovinsky said...

@2:00, i added joanne jackson's take because she and others believe that a pattern of resignations has emerged, caused by mayo's leadership. i would think that even if mayo has indeed become caustic, it must be nothing compared to the politics and personality disorders that principals must deal with on a regular basis in larger cities.

Anonymous said...

The issues are that Mayfield was given a job to do... Which Mayo undermined.. Mayfield always was there for the benefit of the students, to help them, it is apparent that Mayo is there to hurt them... I got a phone call from Mayo recently to try to smooth things over, but there are questions which he (Mayo) must answer.. Also Mayfield said that after laying off most of his staff, he couldn't manage a destroyed school...
-Former School Board and Allentown HR Commission Representative

michael molovinsky said...

@8:20, i'm glad to host your comment, however the notion that mayo is there to hurt the students is absurd. the school board and mayo were forced to institute layoffs, because of reduced funds, from both harrisburg and washington. although mayfield may have been well liked by students, he apparently wasn't equipped to handle unforeseen difficulty.

Anonymous said...

The reasons that Mayfield gave so far for resigning were trivial. For example, he complained that Dr. Mayo wasn't involved enough at the "Meet the Principal" night. was at the Meet the Principal night when Rodriquez was appointed, and Dr. Z monopolized the discussion and didn't let Rodriquez say one word. Maybe there was a good reason why Dr. Mayo decided to lay low.

I would understand if Mayfield didn't want to run a school with depleted staff, but then he took a job as a Phila. high school principal where their staffs have been even more depleted.

Mayfield started job hunting almost as soon as he arrived at Allen. I think that tells you that he wasn't willing to give it a chance.

Also, Allen has lost almost all of their assistant principals over the last 2 months. One was offered his dream job as principal of his hometown high school, but the others seem to have taken jobs that were not major promotions. That makes a person wonder what is really happening.