One of Mike Sentance’s early hires was Jermall Wright of Philadelphia, PA. Sentance told the state school board in March that Wright would head the new office of school improvement/intervention. The superintendent gushed about Wright, “He has an amazing set of experiences in other school districts in Colorado, Washington D.C. and Florida and a breadth of experience in turnaround school strategies.”
“Amazing?” Who knows? His resume’ says he was an elementary principal in D.C. from 2009-13. Then he was Instructional Superintendent for Denver public school 2013-16. Then he was in Philadelphia for less than a year before coming to Alabama. And after just a few months in Montgomery, he is once again moving on.
Supposedly he is going to the Birmingham city school system, though he has indicated to some that this is just one of several options he is considering.
What is interesting is the trail he left while with the state department of education. Most of which had to do with the ill-fated Montgomery school intervention. Here is what Jermall Wright posted on July 12 on social media:
“I am elated that we have recruited and assembled a super star team of educators to join the Montgomery Public School Intervention Leadership Team. Keith Miles, the former PG County Teacher of the Year; accomplished high school turnaround principal in Philadelphia and Camden, NJ will be joining us as Principal Manager for our Innovation High Schools. The infamous Evan Daniels, from Duuuuuuvvvvvall; who lead Andrew Jackson High School to the grade of B will be joining us as Principal Manager of our Innovation Middle Schools. Dr. Stephen Bournes, all the way from Chicago via Camden, NJ was selected to be our Chief Academic Officer. And last….but not least, Aaron Dukes, will be joining me at the state department as our Director of Professional Learning and Performance. This is truly an #ATeam. Excited to work with and learn from these awesome leaders. Montgomery….watch out!!!!”
Miles, Daniels and Bournes are today listed on the Montgomery “leadership” team. Dukes also works for MPS.
Sources say that Wright was also instrumental in a contract for $210,000 to bring a group known as the Achievement Network (ANET) to Montgomery this past summer to train teachers and principals.
This training was led by Vaughn Thompson, a former principal in New York City. However, Thompson’s background is certainly suspect According to newspaper articles and a court document (In the matter of Vaughn Thompson COIB case no. 2009-845) He stole $9,000 from the school system he worked for and agreed to never apply for another job with this school system.
And we bring him to Alabama to train educators?
Interim state superintendent Ed Richardson is now trying to unravel what has happened in Montgomery since Sentance kicked the local school board to the curb last January. He told the Montgomery County school board tonight (Sept. 28) that he will be reviewing the roles of those in Montgomery’s central office next week.
One has to think that Jermall’s friends who followed him to Alabama are now having second thoughts. And it is all just one more example of why those state school board members who decided Mike Sentance was unqualified to lead our schools were correct.