Parents at Shepherd Elementary, upset by the abrupt dismissal Friday of principal Galeet BenZion, will meet this evening to formulate a response to Chancellor Michelle A. Rhee.
Leaders of the school's PTA will ask parents to vote on a series of resolutions that would roll back the firing and essentially place BenZion on probation--and under the direction of principal "coach" Jamie Miles--until Feb. 1, when her status would be reassessed.
BenZion's sudden departure, announced late Friday afternoon before a three-day weekend, has exasperated Shepherd parents, who have now been through four principals in the last year. Rhee, who is scheduled to meet with Shepherd parents on Thursday night, has not provided a reason for firing BenZion, her handpicked choice in July to lead the high-achieving school. DCPS, citing confidentiality laws, generally does not discuss specific reasons for firing administrators.
Another resolution under consideration tonight asks Rhee to provide details of the decision to dismiss BenZion to PTA president Earl Yates; local school restructuring team chair Rhonda Davis-Smith; Board of Education member and Shepherd parent Sekou Biddle; Council member Phil Mendelson (D-At-Large) and an unidentified DCPS parent.
If after discussing the details, "they advise the Shepherd PTA it is in the best interests of the Shepherd School community" that BenZion not return, Rhee would affirm the appointment of Miles as interim principal and begin a national search.