Dayton Public Schools held a public grand opening for the new Meadowdale High School Sunday Aug. 29. This is the 17th building to open in the new school construction program. The new building features cutting edge classroom technology, large windows that allow natural light and is a certified LEED (Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design) GOLD by the United States Green Building Council.
Photo: Lisa Powell
Photo: Lisa Powell

New Meadowdale High School principal abruptly resigns; interim named

UPDATED @ 9:01 p.m. See bold section (Sept. 19): New Meadowdale High School Principal Jacquelyn Pope resigned abruptly Sunday night in an email to school leaders, then announced the move publicly Monday in an automated phone callout to school parents.

Dayton Public Schools Superintendent Rhonda Corr addressed the issue Monday night as part of a previously scheduled “listening tour” meeting at Meadowdale.

“(She told us) Sunday night, and that doesn’t give anyone too much to have someone in place. I always talk about putting kids at the center of our decisions,” Corr said. “When I think about loving and caring and committed adults, that’s not my definition. … If there were issues, there should have been conversations.”

Corr said Pope’s “unapproved robocall” blamed DPS’ central office for a lack of support. Corr called that a “total untruth,” saying the chief of schools had been out several times, as well as leaders in the special education department. Corr cited student complaints about incomplete schedules and not being challenged. Corr said the school team “wasn’t getting the job done.”

Pope responded late Monday night, saying she wasn’t told until after she started the job in late June that the previous school leaders had done no work on the master schedule last spring. She also said Corr was aware of problems at Meadowdale, and first talked about “putting supports in place” but then canceled a planned meeting between the two.

Pope started with DPS as a kindergarten teacher in 1999 and later became assistant principal at Ponitz CTC before leaving the district in 2012 for a job with Columbus City Schools.

Pope had just taken over as Meadowdale principal this summer.

Corr said Bob Buchheim, one of DPS’ two chiefs of schools, will serve as Meadowdale’s principal for now. Buchheim, the district’s former curriculum director, took the chief of schools post a month ago, and that job included overseeing most of DPS’ high schools.

Meadowdale also has an issue with its new assistant principal, Taylor Porter. The agenda for Tuesday night’s school board meeting shows a planned vote changing Porter’s assignment from assistant principal to “dean of students” at Meadowdale.

Porter was hired as assistant principal July 25, with school board approval Aug. 2. But the Ohio Department of Education website shows that his July 14 and Aug. 4 applications for a one-year Alternative Administrative License as a principal were both declined.

Corr said Monday night that Corr still has a class to complete, and that his principal’s license should be approved in December. In the meantime, he can serve as dean of students without that license.

“He is an up and coming, great young African-American male, and we need good, solid people,” Corr said. “So he’s going to be dean of students, because they still need the support here. We’re trying to recruit and retain great talent.”

Porter spent last year at Middletown City Schools, where spokeswoman Destini Burns said he was an intern through a state program to train new administrators. Prior to that, Porter worked for the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services.

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