Something is fishy in Bertie

Published 8:30 am Thursday, December 13, 2012

To the Editor:

A recent issue of the Bertie Ledger-Advance reported the hiring of Mrs. Elaine White as BCS permanent superintendent for the next two years. On the second page, Mrs. Pamela Chamblee was reported to have resigned and then hired as Freshman Academy Director/English teacher.

The School Board discussed and approved this move in one afternoon. They did say that Mrs. White’s contract was discussed the Monday before. That was the Monday before the elections.

Something is fishy and downright sinister about this last minute decision. I used to have some respect toward board members, but this time it’s gone. I applaud Ms. Emma Johnson for voting no to the Superintendent’s contract. Kudos to you Mrs. Johnson for having the “spine.” I really suspect an “I’ll scratch your back, and you scratch mine in return” scenario before the decision was made. What a shame.

The issue as indicated by Board Member Johnson was the timing. Any logical and morally inclined citizen would agree.

About a month later, two new Board Members took their seats. The first semester EOC test results will be publicized in January. Does the present Board know that the results might not be favorable to White’s leadership and focus? Was there a formal evaluation (on paper) on Mrs. White’s performance?

There is a bigger and downright stinking issue with Mrs. Chamblee’s hiring. It would not take a rocket scientist to figure it out. The director’s job was created and handed on a platter to Mrs. Chamblee. No one else was interviewed or much less given the chance to apply.

The English vacancy was intentionally left open for a month until Chamblee resigned. I hope Chamblee has a full license and is highly qualified as defined by the No Child Left Behind law.

Was it proper or in line with the Board’s hiring policy and procedure? I certainly doubt it. In fact, I challenge the Board to explain it in writing.

Fellow citizens of Bertie, the policy is on the Bertie County Schools’ website. I heard BCS is required to keep a pool of applicants for a year. Was any one applicant asked to come in for an interview?

I hope Human Resource was not in collusion with this. Was it an in-house assignment? It cannot be. Was the director’s position advertised? Why did the Board approve Mrs. Chamblee’s contract on the same afternoon that she resigned and I guessed applied for the position(s)? Is there a Board policy on this?

You check it out.

I can’t believe this appalling and blatant blunder.

Charles Angel


(Editor’s Note: Pamela Chamblee was originally hired by the Bertie County Board of Education to serve as a freshman English teacher and as a volunteer Director of the Freshman Academy. Due to positions already filled in the English department at Bertie High, Chamblee was placed in a senior English classroom where she serves only as a teacher.)