Community Supports John Tyler Principal - - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

1/22/04 - Tyler

Community Supports John Tyler Principal

While the future of John Tyler Principal, Dr. Aubrey Todd may be in doubt, but his support in the community is not. The TISD school board took no action tonight in regards to Dr. Todd or the position of principal. In fact, they didn't even mention Dr. Todd's name. But, members of the community sure did. The TISD school board was greeted tonight by around 200 people, all in attendance to support Principal Todd. Dr. Todd himself got up to speak on his behalf and defend his tenure as principal.

"In the past few days, much attention has been focused on the academic achievement or non achievement at John Tyler High School," said Todd, "and I'm here to set the record straight."

For every statistic that has been quoted showing declining numbers in things such as students taking college entrance exams, Dr. Todd countered with convincing stats of his own, like the $6.4 million in scholarships John Tyler graduates received last year.

"Your perception of the events and statistics shapes whether you think the glass is half empty or half full," Todd added.

As for the community, parents, teachers, students, and community leaders, all showed the school board there is no doubt who they want as principal at John Tyler High School.

"I think that tonight they've seen that North Tyler is stepping up to the plate, telling you that we've got one of the best resources that we've ever had," said parent and John Tyler graduate John Johnson.

"It takes a different type of person to deal with the John Tyler campus," said Reverend Darryl Bowdre, who was speaking on behalf of The Smith County Coalition of Black Elected Officials. "We believe that you found that type of person, when you hired Dr. Todd."

"Numbers cannot tell you the improvements," said John Tyler Student Body President Justin Newsome. "Statistics cannot tell you the improvements, moralistically, as far as safety wise, they cannot tell you that. But I can, because I've been inside, and I know, and I respect the changes that Dr. Todd has made in the school, and he's made nothing but great changes."

TISD Superintendent Dr. David Simmons did not address the issue during the meeting tonight, but his office did call our newsroom on Simmon's behalf to issue a comment. Dr. Simmons wants it known that he welcomes public participation at board meetings, and that he feels public comment is an integral part in the successful education of students.

Kevin Berns Reporting

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