CCSD cancels public meeting due to public backlash, McGinley evaluation

CCSD cancels public meeting due to public backlash, McGinley evaluation

CHARLESTON COUNTY, SC (WCSC) - The Charleston County school board is now expected talk about the superintendent's contract before the election next Tuesday.

Board members were supposed to learn results of their evaluation of school superintendent Dr. Nancy McGinley.

According to school board member Elizabeth Moffly, Monday's public meeting was cancelled because they were worried about community backlash, and they needed more time to review Dr. McGinley's evaluation.

The backlash is centered around how McGinley handled the

last week.

The superintendent is the only district employee hired by the school board. Her contract is reviewed every year, and board members evaluate her performance.

School board member Reverend Chris Collins says the board met in private meeting Monday to get legal advice on McGinley's contract. It is up to them to extend her contract, give her a raise or even fire her based on her evaluation.

Board members wouldn't go into much detail about what else was discussed during the meeting.

"At evaluation time anything can happen," said Collins.

Collins says the board has mixed feelings about Dr. McGinley's performance.

"The grades are steadily increasing, that's usually a pretty good sign, but when you start getting a lot of public concern and special interests; then we have to stop and look at where we're going and what are we doing," said Collins.

Moffly and Craig Ascue say they plan on talking about personnel issues when the meeting is rescheduled.

Ascue would not comment further, but he did say McGinley is a great superintendent and she's done well for education in the district."

Collins, who doesn't always agree with the superintendent, says most students are improving under her leadership.

"But overall, I think she put her heart into it and doing the best she can do," said Collins.

Board member Todd Garrett says the board has been advised by attorneys not to talk about anything until they find a resolution. He wouldn't clarify, and said they're trying to keep from getting sued until everything is nailed down.

Tom Ducker and Michael Miller say they were also told by attorneys not to speak.

Board chair Cindy Bohn Coats, Chris Fraser and Tripp Wiles did not return phone calls.

The board has the power to give Dr. McGinley a raise, extend her contract or fire her based on her evaluation.

 AMHS parents upset over meeting cancellation

A public statement released by the school district on Monday morning states the school board "has determined it most appropriate to postpone the evaluation meeting and the board meeting until the board meets again."

"Accordingly, the Board will postpone the evaluation matter," the statement reads. "In the interim, we will continue appropriate discussions with the Superintendent as to how the District and community may best move forward. We appreciate the understanding, patience and support of the Charleston community during this process."

Larry Kobrovsky, the attorney for Academic Magnet's Student Improvement Council said, "We're not going anywhere and again I want to emphasis you can run but you can't hide and the need to apologize, in our opinion has not ended."

about how the district handled the watermelon- smashing controversy.

Football coach Bud Walpole was fired last Monday, then hired back two days later. Some parents felt his football players were unfairly questioned.

Kobrovsky says Academic Magnet parents planned on coming to the meeting to demand an apology from school superintendent, Dr. Nancy McGinley. He says he feels she needs to apologize for how she handled last week. He says the cancellation of Monday's meeting only brings more questions for them instead of answers.

"For whatever bizarre reason they give, and nobody knows. Are they putting the next meeting off until after the election, a month, a day," said Kobrovsky. "It's still out there and we're still determined to get that in a public forum just like the press conference was held and has gone all over the country. It has created an inference about the school and these individuals, and that needs to be addressed.

School board members are hoping to meet again before the election and certification of newly elected board members. Board member Collins says newly elected board members would not be able to give Dr. McGinley a fair evaluation since they haven't worked with her.

McGinley's track record

Last year Dr. McGinley got an evaluation score right in the middle with 3.55 on a 5.0 scale. It's considered a good rating with a solid performance.

Dr. McGinley has been superintendent since April 2007. She is the longest serving superintendent in the district's history. McGinley oversees the district with more than 47,000 students, 84 schools, and 5,700 employees.

Her strategic plan, called Charleston Achieving Excellence, Vision 2016 highlights four basic priorities: Literacy based learning, educator effectiveness, innovative schools, and partnerships.

Prior to her time in Charleston County she was a teacher, and principal in Pennsylvania, and was the Chief Executive officer for the Philadelphia Education Fund.

Copyright 2014 WCSC. All rights reserved.