‘He’s always engaged in our classrooms’: JCPS students show support for principal following KDE’s report

LOUISVILLE, Ky. — Six JCPS principals could lose their jobs, after the Kentucky Department of Education said they are incapable of turning around their schools.

The schools are Doss High School, Atkinson Academy and elementary schools King, Wheatley, Roosevelt Perry, and Mill Creek.

The evaluation of 15 CSI (Comprehensive Support Improvement) schools were released to JCPS Superintendent Dr. Marty Pollio on Thursday. Schools were given this designation if they were among the 5 percent of lowest-performing schools in the state.

“This does underscore the challenge that we have in filling principal vacancies in our high-needs, at-risk schools,” Pollio said. “It’s something we’re definitely looking at because it is a difficult process for principals to know they can face this every couple of years.”

One of them is Principal Todd Stockwell at Doss High School.

“He’s always engaged in our classrooms, he’s always helping our peers, he’s always there, and there’s never a day you don’t see Stockwell,” senior class president, Kobe Guy said. 

Guy and his peers collected signatures from students Friday showing their support for their principal.  

“Everyone needs to know Stockwell is here and we need him here,” Guy said. “We don’t need him removed, he is one of our biggest assets, our biggest advocate, and he is a great leader.”

Guy will graduate this spring with two college scholarships. 

“I can’t give anyone else credit but Doss High School,” Guy said. “I learned a lot here and my scores have improved from sophomore to senior year.”

Guy’s mother Maisha Guy, said it took several lows to reach this point. Before attending Doss, Guy’s behavioral issues clashed with his academics. 

“To hear them come out and say a principal is incapable of turning students around and I myself have a personal story of my son turning around it was very hurtful,” Maisha Guy said. “To not give recognition where it’s due doesn’t help our children because it actually discourages them.”

KDE highlighted strong internal support at Doss in report, saying faculty worked to meet students’ emotional and social needs. 

The state also noted how Doss leaders need to be more intentional in its efforts. Classroom observation data showed a lack of clear expectations and feedback.  

Pollio says these reports from the state are challenging for everyone. 

“I don’t think that reducing a person’s work that they do at a school down to one report is necessarily fair,” Pollio said. “That’s why I think that it’s so important that I take a comprehensive look at everything.”

Pollio said he will review this year’s recommendations and will meet with the six principals before making a determination. 

To view KDE’s report for each school, click here

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