Northeast principal Joseph Carducci Jr. says the controversy surrounding his dismissal of popular athletic director Bob Grimm two weeks ago is beginning to subside.

But nearly 100 Northeast supporters who gathered Monday night to renew discussions of Carducci's ouster andGrimm's reinstatement would disagree.

A committee of parents, teachers, athletic boosters and communityactivists met for the second straight week at the Woodland Beach Innin Pasadena, said past boosters president Roland Marsh.

"People are still very, very hot about this thing. It won't be long before thelid blows off this damn thing if it doesn't settle down," he said.

Earlier in the day, five committee members met for more than two hours with county school Superintendent Larry L. Lorton and Director ofHigh Schools Shirley Hicks to "discuss the concerns of Northeast," Marsh said.

And last Friday, Lorton, Carducci and Grimm met at the Board of Education building in Annapolis.

"There's been some dialogue, and there seems to be at least the beginning of the opportunity for discussion that may prove to be positive," Grimm said.

Carducci would not disclose what took place at the conference. Lorton and Hicks were not available for comment.

Marsh termed Monday's meeting with Lorton and Hicks "beneficial," adding he presented Lorton with a"package with Bob Grimm's record and what he has done here at Northeast, letters of recommendation from some of the neighbors here, some of his peers, some of his superiors."

"We had several concerns -- about eight or nine major concerns -- we felt needed to be addressed,or at least explained one way or the other," he said without elaborating on those concerns.

"But (Lorton) also told us at that time that he was not going to reassign Dr. Carducci. And we've had no indication that the athletic director is going to be rehired at this point."

Marsh said committee members are trying to arrange a meeting with Carducci.

"We have some problems with some things we have seen around here. We need some sort of explanation of what's going on. We can only get that from Dr. Carducci," he said.

Other concerns of the coalition, Marsh said, are "good teachers asking for reassignments,and some of the better administrators leaving Northeast if we don't get some of this dissension down."

Carducci blamed the press for printing "ridiculous rumors without any kind of substantiation."

"Ithink people now are coming to realize that these are ridiculous rumors and they couldn't possibly be true," he said.

Marsh still has not received word if the committee will be placed on the agenda for next Monday's board meeting.

"But it's a public meeting, so we expect to be there," he said.

When asked how many committee members would attend, Marsh said, "Hopefully, we'll be going in buses."

"We will continue on this drive as long as we see it's necessary. We're trying to get back to reality before this gets too far out of hand," he said.

Grimm learned last month he was not being retained as athletic director -- a position he held for 15 years -- through an unsatisfactory evaluation. The job of assistant athletic director, previously held by Bart Rader, also is being advertised.

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