AHS principal process has state input - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

AHS principal process has state input

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David Maschke David Maschke
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ALBANY, GA (WALB) -

The state is turning up the heat on the Dougherty County School system and now the Georgia Department of Education is again questioning how money's being spent.

Not only that, the state plans to oversee the hiring of a new principal at Albany High to make sure a qualified person is hired and in a timely manner.

And if they don't comply, hundreds of thousands of grant money could be taken away. It's a decision some school board members were hoping to make on their own.

But now state officials are directing the school board on how to hire a principal at Albany High.

By the end of this month a permanent principal will be in place at Albany High School. But it's a decision being made by the state department of education.

"It's because they're making a large investment into Albany High, millions of dollars and they want to have some input to help make sure that the school turns around in the way that the funds are intended to help do that," said school board member David Maschke.

School improvement grant money is given to Dougherty County Schools to help turn Albany High around, but this grant requires a full time principal in place for accountability.

For the past nine months Scott Horton, the assistant principal has been serving as the interim principal after Angela Shumate was removed from her position, when she was named in the CRCT cheating scandal.

School board member David Maschke says now that the investigation has wrapped up, the superintendent was ready to name a permanent principal, but the state has already stepped in. "Did anybody know how long the CRCT investigation would take? No. The superintendent doesn't have a crystal ball, neither does the board to know that. So naturally we would of all liked to have a principal in place earlier, but the circumstances could not be foreseen and did not allow for it."

By Friday school officials must set a meeting with DOE to screen and interview candidates. Then by the 19th, a final recommendation needs to be made and that candidate must start immediately.

"Frankly I see it as also a positive thing because with their input and review of candidates, I think they're going to help get a selection made that will be the best fit to most effectively administer that school," said Maschke.

While the extra help can be as a plus, some school board members are worried about the continuing involvement from the state.

"I'm extremely concerned that it appears that almost on a daily basis that the state board of education is becoming more involved in normal decisions," said school board member Darrell Ealum.

Maschke says the school board and superintendent have every intention of complying with all of the deadlines. 

The Albany High principal position has been posted. And Scott Horton, the current interim principal, Angela Shumate, or any other qualified person can apply.

Monday night, the school board renewed Angela Shumate's contract, but she hasn't been assigned a position with the school system.

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