Mary Lin Elementary School principal Brian Mitchell resigns

The AJC reported last night that,

Brian Mitchell, principal of Mary Lin Elementary School, announced Thursday he would be “taking his talents elsewhere” for the 2015-16 school year, according to a letter posted on the school’s website. According to the letter, his resignation is effective June 30, 2015.

District spokeswoman Jill Strickland said that APS has accepted Mitchell’s resignation and “appreciates his commitment to continue in his role through the end of the school year.” The search for a new Mary Lin principal will start early next year.

Mitchel posted his resignation letter on the Mary Lin website, the full text is as follows:

December 4, 2014

Dear Mary Lin Staff and Community,

The purpose of this letter is to inform you of my intentions for the 2015-2016 school year. My specialty is recruiting and retaining excellent teachers. I will be taking my talents elsewhere for the 2015-2016 school year.

It has truly been a pleasure serving the Mary Lin community since 1995. I am dedicated to working hard to make the rest of this school year successful for the students, teachers and parents. My resignation from the district will be effective June 30, 2015.

Maureen Downey, education blogger at the AJC also reported that many Mary Lin teachers support Mitchell and sent a letter to APS leadership in which,

…they supported Mitchell, and that the views of critics should not be heeded. They praised his leadership and said Mitchell had raised teacher morale.

 Downey’s post also contains a quote from a member of the Mary Lin community that indicates,

 “There is a division of parent support at Mary Lin and the ‘anti-Dr. Mitchell’ group has been extremely vocal and has had the ears of Carstarphen and White since the beginning of the school year.” 

Per the AJC, Mary Lin Elementary is a highly rated school in APS and it,

…received a score of 86.4 under the state’s school rating system, the College and Career Ready Performance Index. That’s higher than all but about 10 Atlanta elementary schools and significantly higher than the district’s average score of 67.1 for elementary schools.

Mitchell’s comment in his letter of resignation – “I will be taking my talents elsewhere” – may indicate that there may be more to this story than is currently being reported.

Updates as I receive them.

[Follow me on Twitter @Financial_Decon & Facebook]

3 Responses to Mary Lin Elementary School principal Brian Mitchell resigns

  1. AndSoItBegins says:

    How does APS expect to attract and keep talented personnel when this is the example that is set by CLL administration? What has not been mentioned is that neither Carstarphen nor David White has bothered to respond to the staff. It’s odd that time has been taken to meet with naysayers, but the same respect to the staff or supporters of Mitchell has not been extended. It has been demonstrated by Carstarphen and White that they will not support school staff when it really matters, but will be the first people to pose for pictures and attempt to exhibit their unilateral support when eyes are watching. I don’t blame Mitchell. Who would want to work for people who have two personalities…one for the media and the real one when they believe nobody is looking? Who could trust leaders who take the time to have clandestine meetings, yet can’t find the time to reply to and support their own personnel? No school-based staff is safe in what continues to remain a retaliatory and threatening culture in APS. Be assured that it comes from the very top down.

  2. Beverly Fraud says:

    Without knowing the first thing about the situation at hand, why does one get the sinking feeling, when it all comes out in the wash, APS will be WRONG yet again?

    I’m not sure that APS as an entity could empty water out of a pail, even if you printed the directions on the bottom of the pail.

    • As I noted in an earlier response to another comment, I have looked into the matter quite extensively. It is pretty clear that, while Mitchell did have support from some parents and teachers, their support was not substantiated with any real facts – just nice words. However, the parents who have been raising concerns for several years now have presented a detailed and factual case for the many items of concern and the lack of any significant movement by Mitchell in addressing either educational outcome or operational concerns. In fact, it appears that instead of the number of issues being reduced, Mitchell’s recent actions only accelerated the parents concerns.

      Additionally, from what I have learned, the current and previous administration’s appears to have acted appropriately. Numerous meetings were held with admin officials to hear the parents concerns and the concerns were addressed with Mitchell. The administration placed a principal mentor in place all last year to assist Mitchell in overcoming the problems that were being raised. Further, the parents specifically raised issues directly with Mitchell and, when they felt their concerns were falling on deaf ears, appropriately escalated their concerns to the next level. Most recently, as new significant issues arose and the cohort of concerned parents increased dramatically, it is likely that Mitchell found his position to no longer be tenable. It also appears that the administration – which had a very thick file on issues at the school – may have lost confidence as well and did nothing to try and change Mitchell’s mind. They simply accepted his resignation and the matter is now closed.

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