Administrators at Ashley High School are getting a lot of heat for low scores on a recent teacher working conditions survey. After several media requests, Ashley's principal is finally speaking out.
Ashley Principal Jackson Norvell said he's seen the low scores and is ready to make some changes.
"I understand that there is a certain amount of distrust that I've inherited as a new principal here," Norvell explained. "And again I am going to do everything in my power to combat this misconception."
Some Ashley teachers said Norvell has consistently punished those who spoke up in the school and that teachers are in fear for their jobs. Norvell said he didn't realize teachers had such a negative perception of him.
When asked about a few Ashley teachers who have been reassigned, Norvell said he didn't want to talk about personnel matters.
"I think there's been some decisions that have been unpopular. I think there's been some growing pains," ," Norvell said. "But all and all again I'm going to do what's best for students and I think I need to be in this position and I think we will endure this and in the long run Ashley will be the best school in the district."
After the state teacher working conditions survey came out, Norvell sent out his own survey to Ashley teachers. But some leaders from the North Carolina Association of Educators are warning teachers to not take this survey fearing that honest answers could result in retaliation.
"I would hope there would be no consequences for them. You know in a free and open society, we need to learn to respect each other's opinions even if they differ from our own," said Chris Meek, Vice President of the New Hanover County North Carolina Association of Educators.
Norvell said teachers can complete an anonymous survey. He also denies the retaliation rumors and says he welcomes the feedback.
"We've got the secondary, which is anonymous and we're going to continue to get feedback," Norvell said. "I've got a meeting planned with my school improvement team next week to take a look at what to do from here. I've got plenty of strategies in place. The teacher's have spoken, and we'll do everything in our power to fix this issue."
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