Two administrators resign after transfers 60 reassignments have caused uproar


Two assistant principals who were transferred in a series of moves that caused uproars in some Howard County communities have resigned.

Barry Odell, who was transferred from Wilde Lake High School to Centennial High School, resigned effective yesterday. He plans to pursue another career selling time shares for a vacation enterprise in Williamsburg.

Superintendent Michael E. Hickey, who publicly read a list of hirings and resignations at yesterday's school board meeting, said Mr. Odell had been thinking about the career change for some time.

Dr. Hickey said he had offered a leave of absence to Mr. Odell, who has been with the school system for 23 years, but that the educator told him he wanted a "clean break" to start his new career.

The other resignation was that of Clarence Miller, an assistant principal at Glenelg High School who was transferred to Oakland Mills High School.

Mr. Miller, a three-year employee, left for personal reasons, according to a school board personnel report.

Neither Mr. Miller nor Mr. Odell could be reached yesterday for comment.

Both were among Dr. Hickey's transfers of more than 60 principals, assistant principals and teachers this past school year. The unanticipated moves have caused uproars in some communities, particularly in the Mount Hebron district, where the top three administrators were transferred. That community recently filed an appeal with the school board.

In a related matter, William Davis, a Centennial assistant principal who was slated to move to Ellicott Mills Middle School next school year, will now go to Atholton High School. And one of Atholton's current assistant principals, David Buchoff, will move to Centennial.

Also, a Centennial teacher who was reassigned asked that the school system look into the transfers.

"I feel the capricious and arbitrary transfer of so many teachers deserves investigation," said Robin Norton, an English teacher.

She also presented the school board with a list of companies whose policy is to work with employees before they are transferred. Ms. Norton asked the board for the names of companies that routinely use transfers as a management tool.

"Try the Yellow Pages," responded Dana Hanna, the board chairman.

"Other firms throughout this state, this county . . . do it as a regular thing," Mr. Hanna said, adding that he has not come across a private sector executive or employee who objected to transfers.

Copyright © 2019, The Baltimore Sun, a Baltimore Sun Media Group publication | Place an Ad