The Indianapolis Public School Board tonight declined to renew the contracts of key department heads in the central office and four principals among 23 total administrators.
The recommendation from Superintendent Lewis Ferebee, a late addition to the board’s agenda, will remove some well-known IPS officials from top supervisory posts.
- Jacqueline Greenwood, executive director of secondary education. Greenwood, the former Arlington High School principal, was IPS’ first woman high school principal and earned national recognition in that role for fostering community development. The school’s auditorium was named for her in 2009.
- Richard “Rocky” Grismore, director of student assignment and the former principal of Manual high school.
- Joan Harrell, executive director of elementary education, and a 44-year district employee.
- Yvonne Rambo, director of turnaround schools, and a 24-year district employee.
Other key posts will be left vacant by the move, such as the heads of the district’s magnet office and school turnaround effort. The board voted to approve the plan 6 to 1 with only Michael Brown voting no.
Ferebee said the moves were necessary to streamline district operations. Some of the jobs will not be refilled. Instead the duties will be folded in to other positions.
Those who were non-renewed can apply for other administrative or teaching jobs within IPS. But if they are not selected for other work they will be laid off at the end of the school year.
“A lot of this is about ensuring we have the most talented individuals,” Ferebee said. “We need to be more efficient and effective in the services that we provide.”
Four principals and nine assistant principals are also among those who were not renewed. The affected schools largely coincided with lists of schools Ferebee and his team have identified as in need of intensive support and monitoring due to poor test scores.
For example, Deloris Sangster, principal of School 42, and Samra Rogers, principal of School 93, both were non-renewed. The schools both are among 11 “priority” schools Ferebee has cited as most in need of attention and where the district is focusing extra resources and monitoring.
School 42, on the North side, has been rated an F by the state the past two years and has had almost no test score gain in six years. On ISTEP last year, 42 percent of the school’s students passed English and math. The state average is 73 percent. School 93, located in Northeast Indianapolis, has earned three straight F’s with just 30 percent of students passing ISTEP last year.
John Marshall and Northwest high schools are also “priority” schools, based on the poor performance of their middle school students. Three assistant principals at Northwest and two at John Marshall are among those non-renewed.
School board member Sam Odle said the district has to be reorganized to be more productive so it better serves students.
“We can’t do that if we don’t make changes,” he said. “The current system just gets us what we’ve got. We are going to move as quickly as we can to make this system work better for all of us.”
The administrators whose contracts were not renewed included:
- Jacqueline Greenwood, executive director of secondary education
- Joan Harrell, executive director of elementary education
- Jennifer Botts, supervisor, Magnet Office
- Ruthanne Adams, supervisor, Forest Manor Professional Development Center
- Richard Grismore, director of student assignment
- Justin Hunter, director, elementary education
- Paul Mikus, director, Title One
- Yvonne Rambo, director of turnaround schools
- Elizabeth Owens, coordinator of alternative programs and principal of McFarland Alternative School
- Rhonda Akers, principal, School 49
- Montinia Donald, principal, School 63
- Kami Phelps, principal, School 70
- Samra Rogers, principal, School 93
- Eileen Bell, assistant principal, Northwest High School
- Michael Robinson, assistant principal, Northwest High School
- Alan Smith, assistant principal, Northwest High School
- Michelle Brittain-Watts, assistant principal, George Washington High School
- Joel Munoz, assistant principal, George Washington High School
- Angela Denman, assistant principal, John Marshall High School
- Brian Dinkins, assistant principal, John Marshall High School
- Retha Kay Swain, assistant principal, Broad Ripple High School
- Stephaine West, assistant principal, School 55