Avanti Helton, a Temple High School graduate, spoke during the time allotted for public input at Thursday’s board meeting, saying the system’s job postings are more exclusive than other systems in the state.
Helton stressed that the bullet point included in administrative positions’ job postings that says the applicant “must possess an L-5 (Level 5 of educational leadership ranking) or higher level.”
“That is not being inclusive,” Helton said. “You have qualified teachers who want and should go into an administrative position, but they can’t because of that wording.”
For comparison’s sake, Helton brought a similar job posting for a Paulding County Schools assistant principal position, which says an applicant “must hold a minimum of a Georgia L-5 certificate in educational leadership or be eligible for an NPL (non-renewable performance-based educational leadership) certificate.”
Helton said that second phrase was crucial, in that it allows aspiring administrators to get into the system, which can be difficult in these times of budget cuts.
“This new rule is good because it is performance-based, but it’s flawed because it is not inclusive,” Helton said.
Assistant Superintendent of Human Resources David Goldberg said Helton’s complaint has credibility, and that the system’s policy on postings will be inspected.
“If someone wants to come into our system, they can certainly come in, and if they knock our socks off, they will get an interview,” Goldberg said. “We’ve got plenty of people in our system who are on their way to reaching the requirements to be an administrator.”
Helton said he was motivated to speak on the issue after the system posted an open position for assistant principal at Bowdon Elementary that included the so-called “exclusive language.”
“A lot of people have scrapped the idea of getting a degree because they can’t even apply because of the wording,” he said.
Several of the board members said afterward that they were grateful Helton brought up the issue because it was something they hadn’t even noticed. Helton was told that the policy would be looked at.
“An opportunity was given to each of you,” Helton said, speaking to the board members. “I ask that you look at this so you can extend those same opportunities to everyone.”
Also during Thursday’s meeting:
• The board recognized the 17-year-old Bowdon High student named to the state superintendent’s Student Advisory Council earlier this fall.
Jena Lane, a senior at BHS, was one of 50 Georgia students selected for the state council. Her first meeting will be on Nov. 28 at the Georgia Department of Education office in Atlanta.
Board member Bart Cater told the rest of the board that Lane would like to take comments from the system’s elected officials for where improvements are needed. Cater urged his fellow board members to send in their comments before Lane’s meeting later this month.
• The APPLE Award, given to the system’s support person of the month, was given to the Central Elementary secretary Nancy Power.
In his recognition of Power, Goldberg said Power was “overwhelmingly nominated” by many within CES.
“Every entry that was sent mentioned what a wonderful asset she is to Central Elementary School, going over and beyond the call of duty as a secretary,” Goldberg said. “She gives her all to those she serves — teachers, students and parents.”