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Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Board extends contracts of principals

Thursday, January 8, 2009

The community spoke and the board listened.

Supt. Dan Schroeder announced at the Clay Community School Board of Trustees meeting Thursday that Clay City Elementary School Principal Jon Russell rescinded his letter of resignation and the board voted to extend a contract of renewal to North Clay Middle School Principal Jeff Allen.

The board then moved on to demolition and backfill of the transportation office. In a vote of 5-1 (Ted Jackson was absent) the board agreed to move forward with the demolition of the building (this does not include the bus hut where repairs are made).

Barrett Excavating, Center Point, submitted the lowest quote for $25,000 and the project shouldn't take more than approximately three weeks, barring any type of weather interference.

Mike Lawson, President of the Clay County Community Foundation presented a check to President Brian Atkinson in the amount of $92,220.00 to the school corporation. This was made possible through a 2001 Eli Lilly award and the $800,000 extension in 2005. The money will be used to continue funding for the LEAAP Center and Cumberland Academy.

"With the continued literary efforts of the LEAAP Center and Cumberland Academy, we are very proud to present this to the Clay Community School Corporation," Lawson said.

In a 6-0 vote, the board approved a request to purchase a portable batting field for the baseball program at Northview High School. The field will cost $3,800.00 and an additional $759.00 for the purchase of a television. The total cost will be subtracted from the baseball account.

The next regular session school board meeting will take place on Feb. 12, at North Clay Middle School in the Media Center at 7:30 p.m. A special session has also been scheduled to take place on Feb. 17, at North Clay Middle School in the Media Center at 7:30 p.m.

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Good move on the contract renewals. It seemed as though group-think had entered the decisions and board members need to resist this and be independent in their efforts. Some of the one-year contracts need to revisited for possible extensions.

-- Posted by scwh1974 on Fri, Jan 9, 2009, at 7:09 AM


-- Posted by sassypants on Fri, Jan 9, 2009, at 7:10 AM

Sassypants says WOW. ditto.

"the community spoke and the board listened"

Not exactly, but those who touted that the individuals were "nice guys" could say so publicly and those who had specific problems made the effort via channels to document problems with performance without making public accusations that are best left confidential.

It is obvious that both of these individuals had some sort of problem with their performance as the board would never have entertained the termination of their administrative contracts.

Only the board and superintendent can weigh the poor performance vs the good and make that decision. The waffling however does not portray levelheadedness and that standard procedure in dealing with the matter was followed either initially or finally in the latest decision. In that I am very disappointed in the board members who were not sure of their stand to the extent that they could be convinced to reverse their decisions. Life will go on, but I feel that without further explanation of why the initial decision was not solidly backed up with standard procedural documentation so it could be so easily reversed, that it can do nothing but cause damage to the board and all the other individuals involved and takes away an amount of confidence the public as well as the employees have in the entire process and organization. It at least makes the whole issue seem to be tainted. One way or another. A sad day has occurred and no one will know which day was the sad one. Last night or the day it was decided not to extend these contracts. On one of them a huge error was made and we are left wondering as well as about other decisions that are made. Yes a sad situation either way.

-- Posted by Jenny Moore on Fri, Jan 9, 2009, at 9:07 AM

I have never understand why so many things the CCSB does is seemingly mishandled. This issue is very serious and needed to be approached in a much more professional way. I was for both men being retained and I think now they both will feel micromanaged to the point of not being effective. You don't threaten action with proper provocation. The citizens deserve to know what brought this on in the first place. Our board needs better leadership and to be more forthcoming with any decision that effects our children.

-- Posted by cubbiefan on Fri, Jan 9, 2009, at 9:48 AM

I can not believe that the message boards are not exploding on this subject!

This is sad for all. To reverse this decision with no explanation is bizarre to say the least!

I feel sorry for these two guys. One month you are out and the next your back!

Welcome to Clay County!!!

-- Posted by sassypants on Fri, Jan 9, 2009, at 11:04 AM

What a shame. I thought we were going to get a real principal at Clay City. Russell keeps these kids from so many things. We need a principal that cares about the kids. The kids are at school before he even shows up. Only 1 dance a year ( he doesnt allow anymore. Why cause he dont want to be there). Oh if your kid gets in trouble just say theres marraige probles or a divorce , drugs & then your kid will just be from a bad home & they wont get in trouble no matter what. I am so sick of hearing that song & dance from him.

-- Posted by kd323 on Fri, Jan 9, 2009, at 5:53 PM

What a joke! I can't believe the board can't make a decision and stick with it. When you turn in your resignation, you are done. Russell has had 7 years to prove that he was capable of being a principal and has failed to do so. I guess it takes 1 more year to get it right. Only in Clay Community Schools does this kind of thing happen. No wonder we're the laughing stock of school corporations in Indiana. I think it's time for a new board that truly listens to the community. They have been told about the problems with the administration at Clay City Elementary. We can only hope that someday we will have another pricipal as good as what Mike Mogan was.

-- Posted by Lone Star on Fri, Jan 9, 2009, at 9:53 PM

kd323's post on "Council Looking into Animal Control Options"........."John & Chrystall way to go I will be stopping in to see if you all need help. Might have a couple rabbit cages for you. The Owens are very good People. But no matter what no one will ever please everyone."

-- Posted by kd323 on Thu, Jan 8, 2009, at 8:45 PM

Perhaps you should reread your last sentence before making such broad, opinionated statements. You sound like a disgruntled person with an axe to grind. Have you done research to see how many dances the other elementary schools in CCSC have? If so, please enlighten us. You are aware that dances cost money, right? Your statement about children from bad homes is simply unbelievable. My favorite part of your comment, however, is the part about his arrival time. What do you do....sit out in the parking lot and keep a log book? If so, you have way too much time on your hands!

-- Posted by Bigpappy on Sat, Jan 10, 2009, at 12:19 AM

I dont have an opinion one way or the other about Russell or Allen. I found it hard to believe that the school board basically fired them then they turned around and (like nothing happened) extended their contracts. Again not my business, but it sounds like the boards is scared to back up their decisions(no back bone).

As for anybody saying that Clay City getting another principal like MIke Mogan. That statement is a joke. He is a joke. He can just stay down in Jasonville. Heck how many administration jobs did he have in his tenure in CCS and then in Central Office. They created that job in central office then basically, without saying it, fired him. He is a big joke.

I dont know russell so I wont talk about his character but if you wish for a true clown go ahead and want Mogan back.

-- Posted by BigCB20 on Sat, Jan 10, 2009, at 5:14 AM

I think the community is missing the real point of the story of how the principals are being treated in Clay County. This is how all employees are treated in Clay Community Schools. There is a complete environment of intimidation for all teachers, staff and principals at all times. Thank goodness the teachers have the union to protect them but many employees in the system do not. A perfect example of how we are treated is that on our last teacher work day they turned off the heat in the entire building to save money and it was freezing inside the building. No business I know of would treat their employees in such a manor.

-- Posted by 5longyears on Sat, Jan 10, 2009, at 8:36 AM

Mike Mogan was not a joke. I guess if caring about the students, faculty, parents and community is a joke, then he was. He did more for CCES in his short time there than Russell has done in 7 years. We couldn't get him back from Shakamak anyway, they like him too much. They don't want Russell in the north end, that's why we're stuck with him and his conflict of interest family(mother and cousin). kd323 is right, he doesn't show up before the kids if he's even there at all. When he is there he's locked in his office most of the day so no one can bother him. This all common knowledge to anyone who has any contact with Clay City Elementary. No wonder the moral is so low at the school.

-- Posted by Lone Star on Sat, Jan 10, 2009, at 9:47 AM

I would like the Times to elaborate more on the change in voting on this decision with the 2 principals. I was unable to attend this meeting.

I would like to know which board members changed their votes. Also why aren't they interviewed and asked why they changed? I will probably respect the ones that stuck with their decision than the ones that were swayed by some of the public.

It just doesn't show us that we have a strong school board. The problems they had with these two didn't just go away (even if some do not think there are problems), I hope they were given goals and expectations.

I think Jenny says it best.

BigPappy: I think what kd323 was trying to say was sometimes children that do not come from the best background are given more leniency. I have a child that has had problems with bullying at NCMS from children that NCMS faculty says "we give them slack, because they come from a bad home". What is this telling those children? That because of their background, it is ok to misbehave and expect leniency? That is the thinking that has caused so much crime in this county.

-- Posted by knightmom on Sat, Jan 10, 2009, at 9:56 AM

I'd also like to know how everyone feels about Mr Russel's outright lies concerning his resignation. It would seem that rescinding his resignation is proof of that as when interviewed by this same reporter he gave a whole set of reasons as to why he was resigning. If these were not the reasons for his resignation but a cover up to avoid embarrassment because the board had sufficient reason to make him feel that he had not performed adequately, it seems a travesty that he is now going to continue as principal.



The entire board accepted his resignation and now it seems that they allowed him to reverse that AFTER They had already accepted it. If nothing else they could have stuck to their guns about this decision as it is obvious that SOMETHING went on there that concerned them.

Now I do not want people telling me that I am out of line because Mr Russell is a veteran etc etc. In no way am I questioning his service to the country, BUT if he was unable or unwilling to do the job a short time ago, what has changed to make him able to now? This relates to his job performance, not how he performed in the military.

I would be quite concerned if I were a parent at Clay City and would want a more definitive answer for the safety and educational well being of my child for at this point I would wonder if it were a decision he made not to discipline a teaching situation or some other decision that might have put a child in a position of abuse or neglect?

As to Mike Mogen...We had him up here in Jackson and he was quite lax in documenting problems of teacher performance..Not that many teachers were lax. Most were great. Just that a few continued to be lax repeatedly...year after year. I hope that he realizes now that being present, nice, and smiling is not enough to be a good administrator. I know he can be but it is difficult to be smiling and "nice" and be "good" simultaneously. All those qualities are needed so he is on the right road but when at Jackson just not quite there yet. This is quite typical it seems in Clay County schools as I have experienced it at all levels here of many in administration. I had hoped that by the contractual action made recently by the board that this was being addressed. Maybe I was incorrect??? In any case it is good that many had good experiences with him being at Clay City. Everyone can change.

-- Posted by Jenny Moore on Sat, Jan 10, 2009, at 11:20 AM

I guess that we are all confused on this topic. Surely if someone resigns from a job, citing "personal reasons that would be to the benefit of ones family", and such resignation is received, and accepted by the governing board of completely capable and competent high-order thinking individuals (i.e. our illustrious school board) then there would be no going back. Reasonably, if a professional resigns and that resignation is accepted is it not true that the positon for that job is now up for a new hire, therfore the "resigned" individual is no longer eligible for said position w/o being "re-hired"?

Did Mr. Russell not resign on his own volition?

Now, perhaps....as we all may suspect, his contract was in jeopardy of not being renewed. If that was the case, then surely our school board would have had sufficient basis for doing so and in that regard are truly looking out for the best interests of the corporation. However, it baffles me that Mr. Russell was not accomplishing the requirements of his position a few months ago, but all of a sudden is now?

This type of decision REQUIRES an explanation from the Superintendent and School Board. Congratulations to Dr. Allen who upon notice of his contract being in jeopardy fought for his job, and obviously what he deemed to be the right thing to do. If it works out that he will retain his job, then the fight was well worth the effort. However, Mr. Russell RESIGNED. He must have agreed that he was not going to be successful in the principal position, and after careful consideration with parents, staff and his family decided to move on. What do the parents and staff think.....were they even asked?

How can things have changed so fast?

I ask everyone whether you are for/ against / or indifferent on the topic to go to the next school board meeting, encourage the media to ask the tough questions and show this school corporation that they are suppose to be providing a service to the county and its children. The school board says that they can't get public support. What are they elected for? If the public tries to question, encourage or offer their support they are shut down. Attend a school board meeting. It is not public friendly! We need to demand that they listen to the public, and that can't be done with the current format for patron comments.

For some reason this school board rolled over,when they were finally making some head way. Good or bad, if Mr. Russell is the man for the job, this school board did him and everyone else an incredible injustice. How are the patrons of Clay City Elementary supposed to support the principal when obviously there is question about his suitability for the job?

-- Posted by __2--- on Sat, Jan 10, 2009, at 12:56 PM

I was told that this latest vote was held during executive session. I find this strange as the initial vote was reported to have been held during the public portion of a previous board meeting as reported in this very paper on December 4, 2008...read following from that article.

"Board President Brian Atkinson, Barr, Heffener and Kaelber voted in favor of nonrenewal, while King and Jackson voted no. Buell abstained.

Russell, who submitted his resignation from his position as principal, was voted in favor 7-0 with the option of staying within the corporation as a teacher."

So one of those at least who voted to terminate the contract flip flopped and 4 at least flip flopped on their decision to accept Russell's resignation. This alone brings into question Mr Russel's veracity and ethics as when would we think well of a student who told us one thing and then acted in complete opposition to his statement? If nothing else he is a poor role model for the students in his building as administrator or teacher. Is that behavior what we want our children to emulate? Never mind what the other issues are that made the board think about ending his contract. Mr. Russel has not only made fools of the board. He has made fools of those who stood up for him last month and said what a good, honest, trustworthy person he was. His actions proved that he was not what he presented as remarks as told to this paper's reporter last month and his actions just the other night. ..and no I am not hurting his reputation by stating these things publicly. He hurt his own reputation by being dishonest with the reporter of this paper. If he like Jeff Allen thought that the board's decision was unfounded, he could have said so. Instead his actions indicated that there may be some merit as to why the board took the action and wished to avoid the issues being aired publicly and accepted their decision without opposition. A good lesson for all. Once one lies, it takes more lies to cover them up and eventually the lies will be revealed.

On first glance one would think the vote be in executive session because it was a personnel issue but previously it was not. Another issue we need to determine which time was it correctly done and which time was it not?

Just what is going on here? I think we all need to ask the board just that.

Just a few short weeks ago I finally had some hope that this board was moving towards doing what was right for the students and community. My hopes have been dashed again as my confidence in their ability to be a steady, effective entity is again diminished.

What can we expect to happen next and how is it going to effect the quality of education if their decisions are not credible?

All I can say at this point is shame on you board members who flip flopped and shame on you Mr. Russell. Your integrity has been greatly damaged.

It is obvious that a proper job was not being done on several levels.

-- Posted by Jenny Moore on Sun, Jan 11, 2009, at 12:50 PM

Well stated Jenny. I think the board members have alot to answer about.

I also think the reporter who wrote this article did a disservice to some of the community by opening "the community spoke and the board listened". Not all the community was able to speak and not all were listened to.

I urge all board members to stick to your guns and not be bullied or swayed by some outspoken people. By backing down, you lose some respect and trust of some of the community.

-- Posted by knightmom on Sun, Jan 11, 2009, at 2:34 PM

Jenny Moore.......All action took place during the public meeting, not in executive session behind closed doors. The vote was 6-0. Perhaps there was information the Board took a look at that it failed to look at before taking the first action towards nonrenewals. Clay Countians should know by now how the rumor mill operates. The vocal minority stirs things up, rush to judgement takes place, poor decisions are made, reflection time happens, and sometimes corrections to errors occur....sometimes not. Maybe that happened this time. Who knows. I learned a long time ago not to listen to hearsay (ie. recent vote being behind closed doors), but to get the facts before believing anything. I would venture to guess there is far more to the Board's latest actions than the public will ever know.

-- Posted by annasnana on Sun, Jan 11, 2009, at 5:19 PM


Hmm. I got my info from someone who was present at the meeting. Were you there as well? Someone is misinformed that's for sure. From your info Atkinson Barr Heffener and Klaeber all changed their votes. King previously voted for retaining Allen and Jackson was not there this time.

Was there an actual vote to reverse the acceptance of Russell's resignation as well?

There is still the issue of Russell lying to Brazil Times reporter about his intentions and the fact that the board let him take back his resignation after it had been voted upon.

So when we don't like how the vote went, we can have a redo? I'll bet all the students would love to do that when they have a bad test day. What is the message we are sending?

This gets more and more disturbing the more we learn.

-- Posted by Jenny Moore on Sun, Jan 11, 2009, at 6:16 PM

Jenny.......You wrote, "I was told that this latest vote was held during executive session." Whoever told you that was either not truthful or completely inattentive as it did take place during the public meeting under the personnel agenda item. The voting was 6-0 with Jackson absent. Seems to me someone is definitely confused.

-- Posted by annasnana on Sun, Jan 11, 2009, at 7:24 PM

Jenny you hit the nail on the head. One thing most of us agree on is that the board rolled over for some unknown reason and that Russell doesn't tell the truth. I know that for a fact because he has lied to me at different times in the past.

I second that he is not a good role model and should have been removed from his position as principal and probably from the school system period. I believe that everyone who has concerns should attend the next board meeting and request an answer to the board's decision.

I was told that they grouped this topic with maternity leave, etc. to vote on and that some of the board members didn't realize it was going to be done in that format. If that's the case, I would think that someone would have spoken up and request it be voted on seperately. I don't think they have anything to do with each other. Just another way to try and sneak one by.

You would think that Mr.Jackson would have been at that meeting since it concerned his home school.

-- Posted by Lone Star on Sun, Jan 11, 2009, at 9:39 PM

Perhaps Mr. Jackson did not attend because it DID concern Clay City Elementary, and he didn't want to take a stand in public so he chose to be absent. Or, could it be he had things "more important" to do?

-- Posted by annasnana on Sun, Jan 11, 2009, at 10:45 PM

I guess the basketball game at the high school is more important than the children in the elementary. Mrs. Heffner attended the meeting and I believe she had a child playing in that game.

I guess it doesn't matter when you live in Clay City and send your children to Jackson Elementary. Maybe there's a "reason" for that. Probably because Jackson Elementary has an excellent principal, unlike Clay City Elementary.

-- Posted by Lone Star on Sun, Jan 11, 2009, at 11:18 PM

Lone Star, why must you start dragging the teachers of CCE into the mud slinging? In my experience CCE has a wonderful staff that genuinely cares for the well being and education of the students. If I have heard correctly the "mother" which you are referring to (I believe is actually no blood relation) was transferred to CCE by no power of her own or Russell's. As for the "cousin," (who I believe is also no blood relation) if I remember correctly, was hired while Mr. Russell was in Iraq. Meaning the "caring" Mr. Mogan hired her. Would someone you see as such a wonderful principal hire someone that they didn't want to be stuck with in the North end? As far as family connections are concerned, there are many more that could be talked about at CCE and perhaps some connections to school board members that could be questioned as well.

-- Posted by sportsdad10 on Mon, Jan 12, 2009, at 3:29 PM

Lone Star, why must you start dragging the teachers of CCE into the mud slinging? In my experience CCE has a wonderful staff that genuinely cares for the well being and education of the students. If I have heard correctly the "mother" which you are referring to (I believe is actually no blood relation) was transferred to CCE by no power of her own or Russell's. As for the "cousin," (who I believe is also no blood relation) if I remember correctly, was hired while Mr. Russell was in Iraq. Meaning the "caring" Mr. Mogan hired her. Would someone you see as such a wonderful principal hire someone that they didn't want to be stuck with in the North end? As far as family connections are concerned, there are many more that could be talked about at CCE and perhaps some connections to school board members that could be questioned as well.

-- Posted by sportsdad10 on Mon, Jan 12, 2009, at 3:44 PM

Lone Star, why must you start dragging the teachers of CCE into the mud slinging? In my experience CCE has a wonderful staff that genuinely cares for the well being and education of the students. If I have heard correctly the "mother" which you are referring to (I believe is actually no blood relation) was transferred to CCE by no power of her own or Russell's. As for the "cousin," (who I believe is also no blood relation) if I remember correctly, was hired while Mr. Russell was in Iraq. Meaning the "caring" Mr. Mogan hired her. Would someone you see as such a wonderful principal hire someone that they didn't want to be stuck with in the North end? As far as family connections are concerned, there are many more that could be talked about at CCE and perhaps some connections to school board members that could be questioned as well.

-- Posted by superdad on Mon, Jan 12, 2009, at 4:18 PM

Sorry my comments posted more than once...one username kept bumping me out so I tried another. My apologies.

-- Posted by superdad on Mon, Jan 12, 2009, at 5:48 PM

First of all, if you have a child in this school corporation, then your child is being affected because all of the principals in this corporation is being looked at. All of their jobs are at risk, but just because 2 come in the lime light then this county decides they are bad people. Maybe we need to look deeper and go to the school board and revise that board or maybe the school superintendent. He is the big kahuna so lets take a look at his integrity. He has had issues before because he had a contract not but one county away and they bought him out because of how bad he was for their corporation, but our county is just plain stupid so we hire him. DUH!!! There are people in this world that are out to get others in trouble and will go to any lengths to do so whether it is a lie or not. These two principals lives have been torn apart and then our board decides maybe it was to harsh. Why even mess with people's livelihoods? There is absolutely no one on here that would want that for themselves so think about that before you go making statements like some of you do. As for Kd323's statement that Jon Russell is not for the kids, well have you actually been to that school and seen firsthand that he is all about the kids. I suppose you have a child there that gets into trouble, so you only see it one-sided. I love it when parents think that when their child is the one that gets into trouble all the time. Why not take some responsibility of your own and not point fingers at others? A good student's foundation comes from home. With the way things are at homes these days it is no wonder that our county is just spiraling downward with all the problems.....such as DRUGS! As far as having 1 dance, is that all your worried about? Then my suggestion to you is organize a dance for them. It is not like it is cheap to hold. The school corporation also has one of those things called a BUDGET, so it is hard to have things such as that. Mr. Russell and Dr. Allen have my full support and if I were them I would have told this county to shove it and moved onto something else. Since most on here think that this job is sooo easy then maybe you should become the next principal and then we will talk about what is required to actually do the job. As far as the Kindergarten issue at Clay City, I have talked with other Kindergarten teachers and guess what they have about the same number of students as this school does so what is the gripe because you have the teaching assistant just like the others in this corporation. Most of the gripes just need to be kept to themselves and not made public. Also there is this thing in the workforce called SENIORITY, so those of you that are lower will have to be placed somewhere you might not want to be. DEAL WITH IT AND KEEP YOUR MOUTH SHUT!! If you dont like it move to another school oh that's right you have been at other schools and it just didn't quite work out for you at those schools either, HUH??? I don't think that citizens of Clay County need to be looking at how bad or good these principals are, but to look at the board itself and the superintendent. I think everyone needs to attend one board meeting just to see how pathetic some members are at doing this job. Of course when the two principals jobs were at stake, the supposed people that called in all the complaints.....guess what weren't there. Well like I said I definitely support the two that have been torn apart.

-- Posted by srdd on Tue, Jan 13, 2009, at 7:08 AM

Many people are upset about this event. Whether you are for the principals or not, everyone has an opinion. Remember, the principals do have families and are not bad men or they probably wouldn't have lasted in this profession as long as they have.

Let's also remember the people on the school board are part of someone's family, someone's parent, and are good people too. All involved are doing their job because they want what is best for the county and children.

We are not all going to agree or like decisions made, but we need to respect the ones who are making the decisions. We need to at least treat them with some sort of respect.

We need to show children and young adults how to cooperate, work together as a community, and show others respect.

-- Posted by knightmom on Tue, Jan 13, 2009, at 6:20 PM


You are so right that this is not an issue about someone being good or bad but it is an issue about whether or not some are doing a good job at what they were hired [or voted in] to do. I think that is where some are having doubts.

People can be nice and still unable to do a specific job. That is why this issue arose. Something about job performance is in question here.

And to SRDD:

In no way would it try to step into a teacher's or a principal's shoes any more than I would expect or accept them to try to perform a job of another professionally trained person. Your remark is not relevent. What I DO want, are teachers who teach and administrators who make sure that teachers are teaching effectively and considering every opportunity for every student every day. Though most teachers are on board with this, there have been problem teachers who have not been corrected year after year. This is my biggest complaint of the corporation and when the building administrator does not do his job, it's up to central administration and board to then do their jobs and document and eventually fire those who don't. I hope that this has finally now been documented and those involved have taken notice that they are on task to improve their performance in the future as whether or not the performance was poor enough to result in non renewal of contract, there were definately issues of non performance there for the board to take this action. Of that I have no doubt as though I might not agree with the board members at times, I cannot believe these people would not take action without any cause at all. Remember they are people just as the corporation employees are. No different. I have equal support for both board and teachers and administrators. No I am dismayed with the flip flopping and yes I'm dismayed at the opportunity the board missed by letting Mr Russell rescind his resignation as I know of instances down at CC school where he made questionable decisions to say the least. I have also been involved with at least two issues at North Clay where issues were not resolved over a period of years and witnessed where students were not treated respectfully. I cannot tell you about any one else's experiences there. Only mine but to go into detail at a public meeting would have been inappropriate. I brought my complaints several years ago so hopefully they were part of the record via their superiors at that time. I WAS there at the meeting when many spoke about the two men being nice guys. I DID speak, not about the two men in particular but to thank the board for doing their job and asking them to now provide time for those principals who remain to effectively correct problem teachers. Maybe you weren't listening?

I do think some principals have left the corporation. Maybe there were some good ones but I think they left for reasons other than how they might be reprimanded for not doing their jobs but for the way benefits were distributed and changed as that has become a huge determination of the amount of total benefits of a position.

Again the flip flopping is what most distresses me. I will be sure to ask each of those who did so as to why before I place my next vote on election day.

-- Posted by Jenny Moore on Wed, Jan 14, 2009, at 6:41 AM

And to Jenny:

I would say that we all have our own opinions formed, but then you have the nerve to say I wasn't listening at the meeting well we just won't go into that because it is irrelevant to the subject at hand. I have never had issues at North Clay, but then again my child is not in trouble. My child attends school and follows rules. That is what school is all about....TO LEARN. Those that have disruptions all the time then that affects others and the focus and concentration is gone. School is like law enforcement...if you dont make a name for yourself then you will not be noticed. If you have made a name for yourself then you are going to be gunned for. That is just how it is so you either like it or change the way you do things. As far as what went on in CCE, majority of that was based on gossip. How foolish? And for the Kindergarten issue, Mr. Russell only did what he was told to do from his boss which is who? The Kindergarten issue was resolved but we still had some that thought it needed to newsworthy. Some people feed off of the press. I personally dont, but when there is an issue that strikes a nerve then I am not afraid to blog.

-- Posted by srdd on Wed, Jan 14, 2009, at 10:21 AM


All four of my kids went through North Clay and not one EVER had a disciplinary issue. The issues were what I observed while eating lunch with my kids there as well as two specific instances of non performance and the lack of documentation of same over the course of multiple years of which I went through proper channels to document.. One time Dr Allen was directed to deal with it a full year before my complaint but he had not. You are correct to state that kids are there to learn but it goes beyond that. Teachers are there to teach and when they don't, it needs correcting. It has nothing to do with discipline except for the lack of it when it comes to the few repeat offender teachers. It is not enough that most of our teachers are very good. If they all aren't doing their best the unfortunate student who gets stuck with them looses a chance at being all they can be for the time he is in that class. Education is too important for that kind of wasted opportunity.

I have had this happen to at least one of my kids in each school they have attended here. The fact that it happens is not the bad thing. The bad thing is that it is allowed to continue over the course of two generations in some cases. That is what I find deplorable.

As far as Mr Russell having been requested to move a 5th grade teacher to K level in order to make those classes smaller I was present at the board meeting last fall when board member Terry Barr talked about one of the goals of the corporation being to keep the lower grade classes smaller even if the higher grades had more students in them. To that the superintendent stated that he would talk to Mr Russell about that happening. It didn't. Instead Russel shifted an aid around. An aid is helpful but is not a replacement for a teacher and not what those at the meeting expected. Sure seems to me that he didn't do what was asked and it doesn't speak to the issue of his lieing about his later reason for resigning his post. He knew full well that he had been in the wrong by his act of resigning. Whether enough for that to be combined with other offenses was enough for warrant dismissal only those privy to his personnel files know. Seems he thought there were.

As for the relevancy of what I said at the meeting supporting the non renewal of contracts, you stated no one supported the decision did so publicly. Either you didn't hear what I said in my patron comment time or you didn't understand it. I can send you a copy if you like or you can go watch the tape. Then your comment about no one publicly coming forward to speak about the support of the board's actions will be shot down as mine are there as part of the public record. They were there without reference to specific names as that is the rule when a patron speaks.

-- Posted by Jenny Moore on Wed, Jan 14, 2009, at 12:25 PM

It seems to me that it is extremely easy for people to bicker and gripe about things they know nothing about. Regarding the Kindergarten issue: don't be naive enough to think that those numbers throughout the county were not discussed. The other Kindergarten classes with comparable numbers of students (which were still less) had full time instructional assistants. Our "full time" instructional assistants were there around 3 hours per day. Our "full time" also had to be pulled out for other things....EACH DAY for lunch duty, recess duty, to substitute in other classes, on and on. Would you seriously consider being responsible for 30 5 year olds? The teachers are wonderful and caring and they are reaching the students but that is because of the caliber teacher they are. Do you know how long a line of 30 children is? Our classes are not only large, but exceptional this year. There are MANY...MANY who need extra attention. It is an unusual percentage to say the least of special needs, and attention problems, and emotional problems too. Our school is full inclusion, yes, BUT also for a child to be deemed severe enough to go all the way to Forest Park for Special Resources is not being followed through on as it should be. Some of these kids are requiring 1 on 1 all the time, what about the other kids? Too bad I guess. I know its easy to bulk the issue together, but this Kindergarten scenario for this year is a special case. Extremely different than just.....woe is me, 30 kids. These 30 kids are something else.

My point is that you do not have good infomation. When Mr. Russell was asked point blank if he was getting the support he needs, he said "I ask this man [Dr. Schroeder] and he gives me what I need." Obviously, Mr. Russell was pulling someones leg. Either the staff and parents, or the administration. He is not known for being terribly aggressive in regards to fighting for the things that this school needs. He does not defend or support the things that he should. Lone Star has it right. The board rolled over for some reason. They have lost respect and momentum in regards to being a viable voice and enforcer of policy. Russell resigned, parents have complained for years and now what do you do? Mr. Russell is a "nice" man. A "Principal" he is not. He said he wanted to get back in the classroom. Let him try it. He hasn't rolled up his sleeves and went in the Kindergarten room yet. Maybe now? He's been given a second chance.....I guess we'll see.

As far as parents weren't at the board meeting.....that's what the school board members are elected for. They knew the score, something must have changed their minds, and they need to explain themselves. Parents call board members, speak their mind, and are shut down. Ever attend a school board meeting.....not very patron friendly. Trust me....most people do not complain unfoundedly. Get your information straight!

Contact your board members.

-- Posted by __2--- on Wed, Jan 14, 2009, at 2:49 PM


Myself and everyone that attended the administration/parent meeting heard Russell make the statement that Dr. Schroeder gives him what he needs. So I ask you why Russell would get up and say this in front of everyone if it wasn't true? Also, how do you know that what has taken place at CCE is just "gossip"? By your blog your child or children evidently attends or attended NCMS, so I don't know how you could possibly know what has "actually" taken place at CCE. As far as the kindergarten issue being resolved, I don't think so!

-- Posted by Lone Star on Wed, Jan 14, 2009, at 3:40 PM


You are correct in saying that aids are many times pulled for other duties in the schools. you are also right on when you say there are capable [more than capable actually] teachers working here or even less would be accomplished in the classrooms-K through 12. It's the 1% of staff that ruin it for the unfortunate student who is in contact with them. Same goes for the staff member who has to work with a non performing staff member. For the building administrator not to do all he can to be an advocate for his teachers and students is deplorable and directly effects the morale of all the staff in his building as he does not appear to go to bat for them. Just as it is when he doesn't correct a situation where a staff member is out of line where performance or student safety is concerned. I have no problem with teachers enforcing rules to deal with discipline problems. A few on this list think that my dismay is linked with teachers not being "nice" to my kids. Not at all. I just want ALL of the CCSC to do their jobs and a few just are not.

I have delayed writing to the board because I was hoping that the paper would have further information or would have interviewed them ...I guess that isn't happening. I guess writing is next step, especially as to why they accepted Russell's retraction of resignation. I REALLY can't understand that one.

-- Posted by Jenny Moore on Wed, Jan 14, 2009, at 3:52 PM


FYI-My children have never been in trouble or had any disciplinary issues. I would hope though that my children do not just go "unnoticed". I want them to be the kind of people who are leaders and role models, and for that I want them to be taught at school (as well as at home) that when you do right and you follow the rules you are noticed. I want my children to lead by example and that is what I expect Teachers and Principals to do, lead by example.

The world is not always fair, but at NCMS (or any other school) all should have to follow the rules. My complaint is some do not have to, because they might come from a "poor background". That is not teaching those children or mine that everyone, regardless of your upbringing, have the opportunity to succeed in life and the duty to follow the rules/law.

-- Posted by knightmom on Wed, Jan 14, 2009, at 5:38 PM

In addition, it is the duty of all employees of the school corporation to follow the rules that the superintendant and the school board deem necessary. When a principal is informed to do something, that should be done. I do not know of any other position, job, or corporation that would allow their employees not to follow a supervisors direction.

Also, I do not think that CCE is the only one with large class sizes. There are other elementaries that have large kindergartens with troubled children. Some of this is caused by poor economy, budgets, and children starting school at too young of age (especially with all day kindergarten). Large class size is a problem of the times, but sometimes it can't be as simple as adding another class or teacher without looking at the budget and where you have to cut otherwise (such as losing an extra 5th grade).

-- Posted by knightmom on Wed, Jan 14, 2009, at 5:47 PM


On that we can agree. Class sizes are far too large in especially the lower grade levels. Saying that 30 students is the same as other Kindergartens in the corporation, so it must be alright is not even close to being a good analysis. We have got to reach these kids when they are young. 30 is too many and I don't care if you are in Clay City or tinbuktu. That is not the question. In regards to the problem that seems to be in the limelight of whether or not Mr. Russell was given the directive to move a 5th grade teacher (why are we focusing on that???) He says he wasn't, some say he was. Moving a 5th grade teacher seems like the cure-all when clearly it is not. Maybe in some instances a 5th grade teacher can be just as effective in Kindergarten, but not always. How unfair to that 5th grade teacher to be pulled from her curriculum and comfort zone to be put in such a different atmosphere. They are licensed to teach in multiple areas, however I wouldn't want my cardiologist to be moved to the dentist office or vice versa. Mr. Russell did the right thing by not moving the 5th grade teacher, ESPECIALLY SINCE HE WASN'T GOING TO DO IT UNTIL WELL AFTER THE CLASSES HAD BEEN ESTABLISHED IN BOTH K & 5TH. That would be ufair to Kindergarteners and 5th grade.

The point is no one has tried to make the best of this situation. When parents tried to help, which by the way, many volunteer their time to help out, Mr. Russell encouraged parents to talk to Dr. Schroeder. How disappointing it is to find out that he, himself had never voiced any concern and blamed the situation on complaining parents.

Everyone from the PTO, staff, faculty, administration, and community members have had difficulty dealing with the current principal. Before the School Board changed the current momentum, why didn't they do some homework?? Why didn't they investigate and communicate with the people it affected?

srdd: I also agree that a lot of the problem is with the superintendent. He has not been an advocate for the students, nor has he proven to be a good leader. Maybe they should have fired all 3 of them?????

I still say.......contact the school board!

Jenny Moore: You are right....the Brazil Times needs to investigate this. Dr. Allen did the right thing to fight for his job, Mr. Russell getting a free pass on his coat-tails was not the right thing for our corporation!

-- Posted by __2--- on Wed, Jan 14, 2009, at 6:06 PM

Wow, it looks like Clay Community Schools upholds its reputation of being a "hotbed" once again. I got bored tonight and stumbled upon this horrendous situation. I really don't know what to think about all of this other than second what knightmom offered by making the comment posted: (Posted by knightmom on Tue, Jan 13, 2009, at 6:20 PM).

Unfortunately, I can't help buth think about the former fad bracelets sporting WWJD. Just in case you are too young or old to remember: What Would Jesus Do? Seriously, can EVERYONE here stop and reflect? Could everyone think of the children and what's best for them? Of course, that would mean putting your apparent hatreds aside.

Reading this is like watching a three-ring circus. I have developed the "train wreck" syndrome.....I can't seem to take my eyes off this page! It seems as if EVERYONE on here thinks they know EVERYTHING that did or did not happen at Clay City Elementary. I've been to a board meeting or two in my lifetime, and one thing I've learned is just because the board says an item will be addressed doesn't mean it gets addressed the way you want. Who is to say the board's directive to the superintendent to address the class size issue wasn't followed through? Isn't it possible he talked with the principal and told him to do the best he could with what he had? In the eyes of a superintendent, that would be considered "addressing" class size.

One thing I have learned from reading these comments is that you couldn't pay me enough money to be a principal in Clay Community Schools! Since I've lived in this community, I've followed news reports of parents/staff trying to oust principals from Meridian Elementary, East Side Elementary, Forest Park Elementary, Van Buren Elementary, Staunton Elementary, Clay City Elementary, Staunton High School, and Northview High School. Even Jackson Township Elementary parents voiced concerns about their principal back in the 70's!! So, no one school or person is immune to such attacks/movements.

I'm sure everyone here believes with all your heart that your information is 100% correct. It's human nature to feel that way. There are so many unknowns here, and I truly believe if Jesus Christ walked in to your home and told you the opposite of what you thought, you would deny Him, too! Come on people!!! Set the example He would want you to set and move on for the good of the children and the community.

-- Posted by littletad on Wed, Jan 14, 2009, at 8:51 PM

Okay obviously some on here are not understanding what I am saying. I said that those that obviously call all the time to the superintendent did not show up to speak. I realize you stood up and spoke I am not stupid and no I dont need a copy of your statements. I BELIEVE YOU!! I am not commenting any further on this issue. I will just read what everyone has written. HAPPY BLOGGING TO EVERYONE!!

-- Posted by srdd on Wed, Jan 14, 2009, at 9:29 PM

I never said that 30 students in a class is ok. I made the "analysis" because I think people forget that the school is part of a corporation and there is a budget that the county taxpayers want followed. You can't just pull teachers salaries out of a hat, you have to look at the budget and usually that is going to cause a pull from some other area (such as 5th grade).

I think 30 students in a class is way too many for elementary and I never said it was ok because others had it. I was stating it is a county wide problem, not just one school.

-- Posted by knightmom on Thu, Jan 15, 2009, at 5:35 AM


Precisely my point, it is a county wide problem. Never just a Clay City problem, and I don't think the parents here were making it out to be. Across the board we need to get back to smaller class sizes. I just don't think that this superintendent is spending money with education needs first. We have a lot of expenditures that are a tad frivolous.

Making a good point in if teachers and principals aren't doing their job, we need to have a school board that will make sure that we are getting the most good for our money.

-- Posted by __2--- on Thu, Jan 15, 2009, at 8:15 AM

For your info No my child doesnt get in trouble. Only had some problems with bulls. Okay as far as going on the school im there quit a bit as I volunteer my time. Jon is a nice man personally. But he isnt a good principle. I do have a right to my opion because my tax dollars pay him just as yours does.But a child should not be allowed to bully other kids (or hit them) cause she comes from a bad home. But then your child told the will be suspened if they defend thereself & hit back. There is suppose to be a no bullying policy But its not inforced. Children are being taught that bullying is okay. Also the dances are paid for by the pto.Plus a principle should be there when the kids get to school. He doesnt know have the kids in the school .

-- Posted by kd323 on Fri, Jan 16, 2009, at 7:48 PM

This story HAS turned into a three-ring circus, that is true. However, many truths have been spoken amidst these opinions. (I am amazed at the way some of the opinions have been expressed, both in content and grammar/spelling, but that is a personal bias and another subject:) The way we express ourselves says as much about us as what we have to say...just food for thought!

I do think the board owes the county an explanation as to how and why these decisions were made. Jon IS a nice man but there have been so many problems with leadership, or lack thereof, at the school. It did not just happen this year. [I DO KNOW...MOST of the staff at CCES would agree with this statement. There is also obvious conflict-of-interest when Mr. Russell's mother, or foster mother, is a teacher at CCES. I have no problem whatsoever with her, but the conflict-of-interest still remains, and it does affect the rest of the staff! His small support system, of which she is one, would disagree with the leadership statement, obviously.] However, being a nice person and being a good principal are not one and the same.

Strangely, there have been positive changes on Mr. Russell's part since this story broke. One can only wonder what has happened behind the scenes with Mr. Russell, Supt. Schroeder, and the board. We probably will never know what directives were given since his reinstatement. Why did Mr. Russell resign if he really didn't intend to? Gut feeling is that he really wasn't given a choice, and that saving face was the more important issue at the time. The next obvious question is, why would the board give an ultimatum and then turn the entire issue upside down? It does appear that, for whatever reason, there has been an attitude change on his part, and a principal HAS shown up at CCES. It is a welcome change. One can only wonder if it came in time, or if it is too little too late...? It is sad that it has taken a seven-year journey to get the house in order. Perhaps we should take a closer look at the school board since it has taken so long for these problems to be addressed! There certainly has to be some responsibility placed in their court! Staff morale has been rock bottom. That will not be easy to change, if it can be changed at all. I guess only time will tell.

Last thought...the word "mercy" comes to mind, as does the WWJD sentiment expressed by another. At what point do we realize we have all made mistakes and wrong choices, and if we had not been shown mercy and given other chances, where might any of us be? If Mr. Russell remains at CCES, I only hope the new attitude he seems to have also remains.

-- Posted by mercyme06 on Sat, Jan 17, 2009, at 3:52 PM

I'm glad for Mr. Russell's sake that his "conflict of interest" mother/foster mother is a part of his support system. It wouldn't say much about her character if she wasn't. Besides, from all I've read, it sounds like he might need someone in his corner to help lift his spirits. It's a shame the corporation makes a practice of putting "family" members in the same building anyway, but I guess that's been a on-going practice for years and years. I'm sure I'd be defensive of my family members....right or wrong, especially if I felt the "attack" was unwarranted. I would imagine being at Clay City Elementary is equally difficult for the "mother/foster mother" teacher as it is for those teachers nonsupportive of Mr. Russell. This whole situation is just plain sad. I agree with mercyme06 about being shown mercy and given other chances for our mistakes. With that said, I hope mercy prevails for all at Clay City Elementary.

-- Posted by littletad on Sat, Jan 17, 2009, at 10:45 PM

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