Greenbrier teachers cite principal

Columbia County school leaders won't reveal details of letter Greenbrier High teachers sent

Friday, Sept. 24, 2010 3:12 PM
Last updated 5:36 PM
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A group of Greenbrier High teachers recently sent a letter to Principal Margie Hamilton complaining about her management of the school.

Calling it a personnel issue, school officials are refusing to release a copy of the letter to the media or discuss its contents.

"I can't discuss personnel stuff," Columbia County school board Chairwoman Regina Buccafusco said. "I can tell you that there are some (teachers) who are not happy with her."

Buccafusco said she received a copy of the letter on Wednesday. She didn't know when Hamilton received her copy. Also getting a copy of the letter was Superintendent Charles Nagle.

"He wouldn't be at liberty to discuss that," Deputy Superintendent Sandra Carraway said of Nagle and the letter. "It's between teachers and their principal."

Carraway did say that the letter didn't ask for Hamilton's dismissal or for her to be disciplined.

The board likely won't get involved, Buccafusco said.

"We're aware of it, but we're not in an investigative process," she said.

Instead, Buccafusco expects Nagle to step in.

For now, Carraway said the school will deal with the matter internally.

"(Hamilton) will be addressing the matter as she sees appropriate," Carraway said.

Hamilton did not return a phone message Friday.

Reach Donnie Fetter at (706) 868-1222, ext. 115, or donnie.fetter@augustachronicle.com.

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30cal
0
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30cal 09/24/10 - 02:40 pm
0
0
NOT smart should have sent

NOT smart should have sent copy's to all the local politican's and news media< maybe even a local attorney . would have got results and appeared more professional. and W/ an attorney to do all the speaking you w/get coverage.

LynxRHot
0
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LynxRHot 09/24/10 - 02:52 pm
0
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I disagree that it should

I disagree that it should have been sent to the politicians. They have their hands in enough business. Let the BOE and principal work out the issues before leaking it to the media. Whatever the issues are, the principal deserves not to be railroaded by the media blitz that would occur if they were privy to the information in the letter. Unless there is abuse of some sort involved with the students, there is no need for everyone in the county to know the specifics.

workingirl32
0
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workingirl32 09/24/10 - 03:07 pm
0
0
No body perfect. school

No body perfect. school principle is a human being. I hope things work out professionally. No pointing fingers.

Chillen
17
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Chillen 09/24/10 - 03:10 pm
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Well it's about time. I've

Well it's about time. I've heard stuff for years. There's a reason so many good teachers ran for the hills when Grovetown opened. If the school board would conduct a few "exit interviews" they might get a better picture of what's happening over there.

On a positive note about Greenbrier however, they just took Lakeside's spot as the "top" school in the county - boasting the top SAT scores last year. So it's not a bad school, I just think we need a fresh principal who can get along with the teachers, the kids & the parents. Time for this one to retire I think.

I too don't think the media & politicians should get a copy of the letter. Some of the allegations might not even be true. That's not fair to any of the parties involved. Dirty laundry should not always be aired.

782
Points
Barry Paschal 09/24/10 - 03:45 pm
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@ Chillen: Lakeside is still

@ Chillen: Lakeside is still "on top" for SAT score in Columbia County. Last year's Lakeside combined SAT was 1602; Greenbrier's was 1518, followed by Evans with 1469, Harlem with 1439 and Grovetown with 1364.

Chillen
17
Points
Chillen 09/24/10 - 10:08 pm
0
0
I was told they were higher

I was told they were higher by several people and if that isn't true then the principal should go. She's not making the best of the bright kids she has.

FallingLeaves
27
Points
FallingLeaves 09/24/10 - 04:04 pm
0
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MistaChuckD, just happened to

MistaChuckD, just happened to note, you misspelled the school name. It is spelled Greenbrier as GreenbrierBaseball spelled it, even though it is not the usual spelling of briar.

Chillen
17
Points
Chillen 09/24/10 - 04:31 pm
0
0
I can't find the 2010 sat

I can't find the 2010 sat scores online, they are well hidden by the GA Dept of Educ. But I did find 2008. Lakeside was 1637 but now down to 1602 (according to Barry). Greenbrier was 1491 now up to 1518.

I also found 2010 Graduation Test rankings. Greenbrier #47. Lakeside #86.

Riverman1
98515
Points
Riverman1 09/24/10 - 04:55 pm
0
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Lakeside has the highest SAT

Lakeside has the highest SAT scores, but it also draws from the highest socioeconomic area. Greenbrier's district includes the poorer areas out Washington Rd. Lakeside is almost a hundred points higher than Greenbrier. That's significant.

But to the point, the same thing happened at Greenbrier Elementary a few years ago with the teachers rebelling openly, writing letters and wearing protest ribbons. Remember that?

To the baseball parent, I'll bet your son didn't start.

dooger
6
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dooger 09/24/10 - 04:57 pm
0
0
Ever stop to think why a

Ever stop to think why a small group of educators might be inclined to attack the integrity of their principal? Could we have a group of educators with poor performance? We hear about poorly performing educators in the news all the time! Maybe if they leave, SAT scores will go up even more!

Chillen
17
Points
Chillen 09/24/10 - 05:03 pm
0
0
Greenbrier continues to be

Greenbrier continues to be the county red-headed step child. We've had 4 principals at the elementary school in the last 7 years. The middle school just lost their principal to a county promotion so they'll get their 3rd principal in 5 years. The high school lost MANY of the best teachers to Grovetown.

Despite that, the schools are excellent. But they could be better with a little consistency. County officials, please, just leave the schools alone for a little while. Geeze.

Riverman1
98515
Points
Riverman1 09/24/10 - 05:13 pm
0
0
When some Greenbrier

When some Greenbrier Elementary teachers banded together a few years ago, wrote letters and wore "protest" ribbons, Tommy Price came to the school and investigated. What finally came out of it is that the principal was removed after a contentious hearing.

johnston.cliff
2
Points
johnston.cliff 09/24/10 - 05:49 pm
0
0
The "it's a personal matter"

The "it's a personal matter" response by the school board is weak.
The Columbia County voters may wish to adjust their voting.

Vouchers would allow parents to have a say in the quality of the schools.

Taylor B
5
Points
Taylor B 09/24/10 - 06:08 pm
0
0
Vouchers would create another

Vouchers would create another blanket of government involvement. Tax credits are the way to go, cliff.

galaxygrl
1384
Points
galaxygrl 09/24/10 - 06:16 pm
0
0
It is true that a lot of the

It is true that a lot of the best and brightest teachers left when Grovetown opened. Ms Jackson is a much better people person. Ms. Hamilton runs the school like a nazi prison camp. If you disagree with her she tells you it is for their own good. She even censored the school paper to keep student opinions from coming out.

Riverman1
98515
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Riverman1 09/24/10 - 06:28 pm
0
0
The Internet has changed life

The Internet has changed life as we know it for the better.

Riverman1
98515
Points
Riverman1 09/24/10 - 06:42 pm
0
0
Johnston said, "The "it's a

Johnston said, "The "it's a personal matter" response by the school board is weak."

They were talking about personnel matters which can be considered off limits, but I'll bet that letter surfaces right here in one form or another.

scoobynews
3896
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scoobynews 09/25/10 - 05:13 am
0
0
That is one letter I would

That is one letter I would love to read. Often times these principals are promoted because they were poor classroom teachers who have managed to put in the required years of classroom duty and got their leadership degree. ANYONE can get a leadership degree but that does not make you a good leader. I know several schools were this has happened and left a few because of it. My first year as a sixth grade teacher I remember being in a Richmond County school were the principal would come over the intercom to chastise the teachers with the students there. Later on in another school a dictator roled in and pretty much set down the rules her way or the highway. I later heard after I left that she made several inappropriate comments during faculty meetings and "went" after several teachers she did not like.

Asitisinaug
4
Points
Asitisinaug 09/24/10 - 06:58 pm
0
0
Principal holds teachers

Principal holds teachers acountable and does not accept medocrity = Teachers complain and write letters about the Principal. Nothing this Principal has done even rises to the need of the involvement of the Board of Education. Shouldn't even be news.

Riverman1
98515
Points
Riverman1 09/24/10 - 06:58 pm
0
0
Recently, there was an

Recently, there was an opening in Columbia County for an Assistant Principal's position and a BOE member's wife was selected.

galaxygrl
1384
Points
galaxygrl 09/24/10 - 07:11 pm
0
0
If you make your employees

If you make your employees miserable, then you should be held accountable. Leadership is about bringing everyone in, not having your way. Asitisinaug it does deserve a look, especially when you get to the point even the parents don't care for your management style.

ARC fan
187
Points
ARC fan 09/24/10 - 07:21 pm
0
0
Interesting about Greenbriar

Interesting about Greenbriar baseball - sounds very similar to the situation at Richmond Academy a couple of years ago.

evans-resident
0
Points
evans-resident 09/24/10 - 07:27 pm
0
0
ive been to several

ive been to several highschools and dr. hamilton is the most controlling of all principles ive had.

bone1
0
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bone1 09/24/10 - 07:34 pm
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0
very interesting. i doubt

very interesting. i doubt that the teachers who wrote the letter are weak teachers or teachers that could have their credentials discredited: knowing how caustic the atmosphere would likely become, i think they must have decided that their careers and records would protect them. the j.p. blanchard motto"if you work for a man, WORK for him" motto doesn't seem to apply in this case, huh? i've heard enough stories about margie to think that she would not be a pleasant principal to work for, but i find it difficult to argue with the consistent high performance of the school under her leadership. guess we'll know more about this soon enough...

RogueKnight
221
Points
RogueKnight 09/24/10 - 07:43 pm
0
0
I was a GHS parent for 7

I was a GHS parent for 7 years. Does ANYONE recall the mass exodus of teachers (school year 2005-6) when approximately 30 - 40 teachers resigned from Greenbrier, including at least one of the three assistant principals? WHY do you think they resigned? Because they couldn't work with Hamilton. A lot of GOOD teachers (and good people) left because they couldn't work with her. I'm surprised the board didn't investigate the exodus of 2006, or if they did, they supported "the one" instead of "the many."

J.W.
2
Points
J.W. 09/24/10 - 07:51 pm
0
0
I've already popped the corn

I've already popped the corn and poured myself a large glass of tea....going to sit back and watch this one unfold. It should be interesting.

corgimom
41317
Points
corgimom 09/24/10 - 08:06 pm
0
0
I want all of the people who

I want all of the people who insist that there is a teachers' union in Georgia ask themselves this question- why isn't the teachers' union involved in this?

That would be because one doesn't exist- hence "A Letter to the Principal".

What a terrible example to set for children.

She makes the numbers, and schools and school districts now live or die by the numbers.

corgimom
41317
Points
corgimom 09/24/10 - 08:08 pm
0
0
"Leadership is about bringing

"Leadership is about bringing everyone in, not having your way."

You are applying a business model to a school. In a school, it's all about test scores. Period. End of story.

Unless she's doing something illegal, nothing will happen to her. She does her job and brings in the results. The fact that the teachers don't like her- it's not a popularity contest.

evans-resident
0
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evans-resident 09/24/10 - 08:10 pm
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yes but imagine how good

yes but imagine how good results could get if everyone got together in harmony

galaxygrl
1384
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galaxygrl 09/24/10 - 08:14 pm
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no, it's a business model.

no, it's a business model. She has to make her "numbers" just like other businesses and keeping her employees/customers(parents) happy is part of her job. And the numbers for AP dropped this year because she lost her best AP teachers. Besides, it looks to me as if this story is allowing her to be tried by the public and then she'll get her sentence. That is very typical of Columbia County.

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