McCalister-Bolinger Case Transcripts

After months of wondering why Bay District School Superintendent James McCalister wanted Larry Bolinger out as principal of Bay High School, we finally have some answers.

Depositions taken last week from McCalister, Bolinger and 14 other witnesses shed some new light on the controversy that has divided the county's oldest high school.

The information comes as McCalister prepares for an administrative hearing, challenging the school board's decision to overrule him on the Bolinger decision.

Some of the transcripts are viewed here:


1 Deposition of James E. McCalister, Sr.
2 October 24, 2006
5 the witness herein, being first duly sworn, was
6 examined and testified as follows:
9 Q Good morning. For the record, would you
10 state your full name and address, please?
11 A My name is James E. McCalister, Senior.
12 My address is 514 David Avenue, Panama City, Florida
13 32404.
14 Q And how are you employed, sir?
15 A I am the superintendent of schools.
16 Q Have you ever had your deposition taken
17 before?
18 A Yes, I have.
19 Q On several occasions?
20 A Yeah, I would think more than twice, yes.
21 Q So I want it to be understood that I'm
22 going to be asking you some questions.
23 A Sure.
24 Q I want you to answer to the best of your
25 ability.
1 A Sure.
2 Q If you don't understand a question that I
3 ask, because sometimes lawyers tend to get
4 convoluted, I want you to stop and say, would you
5 reask the question, explain it.
6 A I understand.
7 Q It's important you understand what I'm
8 asking, so I can understand what you're responding
9 to.
10 A Okay.
11 Q The other thing I'll remind you probably,
12 because we all do it, is to be sure to answer
13 verbally rather than a nod or --
14 A Yes.
15 Q -- a gesture, because the court reporter
16 needs to take everything down.
17 A Okay.
18 Q Could you briefly tell me your educational
19 background, sir?
20 A Yes. I have, starting off with, a BS
21 degree from Florida A&M University. I have a
22 master's degree from University of West Florida. I
23 have an education specialist degree from the
24 University of West Florida. Just completed all of
25 my course work for doctorial program from the
1 University of West Florida, and just have to do a
2 dissertation.
3 Q In your spare time.
4 A Yes.
5 Q How about your employment history, could
6 you go through that for me?
7 A Yes, and I may be off a year or so.
8 Q Just the best of your recollection.
9 A Right. I graduated from Florida A&M
10 University in 1973. For three years I was at
11 Marianna -- Jackson County working at Marianna High
12 School for three years. I moved here --
13 Q In what capacity?
14 A I was a physical education teacher there,
15 and a basketball and football coach.
16 I moved from there in 1976 and went to
17 Rutherford High School as a physical education
18 teacher, and stayed there for nine years.
19 After nine years I was -- I applied for an
20 assistant principal's job and was granted that
21 position at Everritt Middle School, which is on the
22 same street.
23 After five years I applied for the
24 principal job at Springfield Elementary School, and
25 was there for three years, and at Jinks for another
1 eight years as a middle school principal.
2 Then I ran for election in 2000, and from
3 2000 to the present have been in the capacity as
4 superintendent.
5 Q So you're in your second term as
6 superintendent?
7 A Second term, yes, sir.
8 Q And the person you ran against -- or
9 persons you ran against in 2000 included
10 Mr. Bolinger and another person?
11 A Yes, that's correct.
12 Q Just three of you ran?
13 A No, there were actually four of us.
14 Q Who were the other people besides you and
15 Mr. Bolinger?
16 A Mr. Bennett, Mr. Bolinger and a gentleman
17 from the Navy base. I can't recall now his name,
18 but there were -- I think he was -- yes.
19 Q Okay. And when you ran for re-election in
20 2004, I guess that would have been, were you
21 opposed?
22 A Yes, I was.
23 Q By how many people?
24 A One.
25 Q And do you recall the name of that person?
1 A Give me a minute. Jim Barr.
2 Q Do you have any plans formulated as to
3 whether you're going to be seeking a third term as
4 superintendent?
5 A Yes, I plan on running for a third term.
6 Q Just using probably bad math skills, I
7 have you about 31 years in the education profession?
8 A Thirty-three, actually.
9 Q Thirty-three years?
10 A Uh-huh.
11 Q What is your understanding of the nature
12 of the legal proceedings which bring us here today?
13 A I petitioned for a hearing to -- for a
14 judge to make a decision whether or not I have the
15 legal authority to make transfers and make
16 recommendations to the board in terms of
17 administrative hires.
18 Q And besides your attorneys, because I
19 don't want you to tell me anything you've discussed
20 with your attorneys --
21 A Sure.
22 Q -- have you discussed the issues with
23 other people, both in the community and elsewhere?
24 A I have not discussed this -- the decision
25 that I've made, is that what you're asking?
1 Q Well, just the whole issue of your right
2 to challenge the decision made by the school board.
3 A No, I guess -- the answer is no.
4 MS. CHUMBLER: Other than with your wife,
5 correct?
6 THE WITNESS: Yes, I'm sorry.
8 Q Let me focus your attention, if I could,
9 back to the beginning of the 2005, 2006 school year,
10 and when I say the beginning, the period preceding
11 the July 1st start of that school year.
12 A Uh-huh.
13 Q And ask you, sir, whether there was a
14 vacancy that developed in a principal position at
15 Bay High School.
16 A Yes.
17 Q And how did that vacancy develop?
18 A The administrator at the time that was at
19 Bay High School had gone through what we call his
20 DROP program, and I just did not recommend that he
21 go back to Bay High School after that, after he
22 finished that period of time.
23 Q And that administrator was Fred Goodwin?
24 A That is correct.
25 Q Mr. Goodwin had been at the school
1 approximately how long?
2 A I would guess in the neighborhood -- I'm
3 just guessing.
4 Q Okay.
5 A Twenty-seven or so years.
6 Q And, as I understand the DROP program,
7 that's a program whereby an employee who reaches
8 retirement age can actually retire and then work for
9 an additional five-year period earning money that
10 would have otherwise gone to his retirement account?
11 A It's called Deferred Retirement Option
12 Program, indicating that once you enter that, that
13 they will take whatever funds you have and start
14 investing it for the five years, and after five
15 years you make a determination, but with the idea
16 that you will retire during that time.
17 Q So, basically, when Mr. Goodwin entered
18 into the DROP program, there was an understanding
19 that he had a five-year run and then he would be out
20 of the program, he would be retired fully.
21 A I guess that's what he could have assumed,
22 that after five years, that if he was hired back
23 every year, then that would be a true statement.
24 Q You don't have an entitlement during the
25 five-year period to continued employment; is that
1 correct?
2 A That's correct, as I understand it.
3 Q Yes, sir. And I'm not asking you for any
4 legal conclusion.
5 A Yes.
6 Q I'm just asking for your understanding.
7 A Sure.
8 Q So is it true that at the time that you
9 became superintendent in 2000, it was then known
10 that Mr. Goodwin was retiring and that there would
11 ultimately be a likely vacancy at Bay High School?
12 A Yes.
13 Q Now, at the beginning of the 2005, 2006
14 school year, at the end of Mr. Goodwin's five-year
15 DROP participation, I believe you testified that you
16 viewed the position of principal to be vacant.
17 A Yes.
18 Q How did you go about seeking to fill that
19 position at that time?
20 A There were -- we just advertised --
21 there's an advertising process to go through, and we
22 advertised for that position and then took
23 candidates who applied for it. They were
24 interviewed, and a decision was made.
25 Q When you advertised for the position,
1 again, I'm talking now 2005, do you recall how many
2 applicants actually applied for the position?
3 A No, I couldn't tell you.
4 Q Ball park?
5 A No, I couldn't tell you that either.
6 Q Does the -- I'm sorry.
7 A I know that there were at least five
8 people considered because it was narrowed down to
9 five and the interview committee interviewed five,
10 at least that's my understanding.
11 Q So, as I understand the process, you know,
12 basically people apply, I suppose their applications
13 are screened --
14 A Yes.
15 Q -- and some of them are screened out just
16 on the basis of an application, and then some are
17 selected for an interview process.
18 A That's correct.
19 Q And then the interview process resulted in
20 five recommendations coming to you as people --
21 A The five are then interviewed by a
22 committee.
23 Q Okay.
24 A That committee sends to me three
25 applicants.
1 Q And so that was the process that occurred.
2 A Yes.
3 Q And who were the three applicants who were
4 recommended to you in 2005?
5 A I can't remember the three, all of the
6 three. I recall, I believe, and I'm just -- you
7 asked the question today, so I believe Shirley Baker
8 was one, I believe Billy May was one of the top
9 three, and I cannot remember who the third one was.
10 Q Was Mr. Payne one of them?
11 A I think he was in the top five, but I'm
12 not sure if he made the top three.
13 Q When you received the top three
14 recommendations from the interview committee, what
15 process did you use in 2005, then, to select one of
16 them to be the principal, if you did?
17 A Oh, we did not. The -- those same
18 applicants also applied for other positions in the
19 district, and I filled those positions with --
20 beginning with who they recommended. And so the top
21 three was filled with other positions in the
22 district. So then that left, again, the opening for
23 Bay High School.
24 Q So like Ms. Bateman, for example, you made
25 her a principal at a middle school; is that correct?
1 A That's correct.
2 Q And the other two, as well, you --
3 A Billy May was at Cedar Grove, and, as I
4 said, I can't recall who the third one was.
5 Q Do you recall moving Mr. Payne from an
6 administrative position up to an assistant principal
7 position?
8 A Yeah, that was earlier in the year. He
9 had moved from an administrative assistant to an
10 assistant principal at Mosley High School.
11 Q So you went through the interview, the
12 screening, the application interview process. You
13 made recommendations placing the top three who were
14 nominated at different schools, and you still had
15 the circumstance where there was a vacancy at Bay
16 High School?
17 A Yes.
18 Q What did you do then to fill that?
19 A Then I pointed -- transferred Mr. Bolinger
20 from Merritt Brown to Bay High School.
21 Q Okay. And what position was he holding at
22 Merritt Brown?
23 A Principal at Merritt Brown Middle School.
24 Q Was that a position that he was put in
25 after he was defeated by you in the election?
1 A It was the second position that was moved.
2 I had originally moved him as administrative on
3 special assignment working with the Beacon Program.
4 And within, I guess, a year or so, probably less, I
5 then transferred him from that position to Merritt
6 Brown.
7 Q During your tenure as superintendent and
8 prior to the time that Mr. Bolinger went to Bay High
9 School, I'm talking about from 2000 until, I guess,
10 2005 --
11 A Uh-huh.
12 Q -- what kind of employee was Mr. Bolinger
13 for you?
14 A A good employee.
15 Q Were his evaluations satisfactory?
16 A Satisfactory.
17 Q Would you view him as -- at that time as
18 the kind of employee who --
19 A I do.
20 Q -- fully carried out the obligations and
21 requirements of his job --
22 A I do.
23 Q -- in a proficient way?
24 A I do.
25 Q What was the circumstances, you know --
1 how did you go about deciding to place
2 Mr. Bolinger's name for assignment at Bay County
of Jacke responsibility, because there may
23 be some criticism from me making this decision.
24 And -- but I will -- you don't have to say anything,
25 I will do it, and if anyone has a problem with it,
1 just let it fall on me. And I'll make the -- my
2 rationale for doing it.
3 Q Why did you feel that there might be some
4 criticism?
5 A Well, there was some -- I indicated to him
6 that there was an issue that had surfaced during the
7 campaign, our campaign, and I felt like there was
8 some folks who would be not understanding and may
9 want to bring that into effect. And my position
10 was, you understand I'm making the decision, and so
11 if that comes up, you just send all those questions
12 to me, I'll deal with them.
13 Q So I understand, during your campaign for
14 superintendent when you and Mr. Bolinger were
15 opposing one another, I guess that was five years
16 earlier then --
17 A Uh-huh.
18 Q -- what were the issues that you were
19 concerned with?
20 A Well, there was the issue with removal of
21 some political signs.
22 Q Where Mr. Bolinger pulled some signs out?
23 A Yes.
24 Q And because he had done that, you felt
25 that if you moved him to Bay High School, that that
1 would somehow be a problem?
2 A Yes, in fact, I said those words.
3 Q You said that to Mr. Bolinger?
4 A Uh-huh.
5 Q And who in the community did you have in
6 mind would have a problem with that?
7 A I thought just the general public. I
8 think there was a feeling that there was nothing
9 done because of that, and then to advance someone,
10 the issue would probably surface that, you know, why
11 would someone -- and my position is, I'm the one
12 that's making the decision and, you know, if they
13 have a concern with it, that that needs to be for me
14 to deal with it rather than anyone else.
15 Q Did that issue come up when you moved
16 Mr. Bolinger to Merritt Brown?
17 A Yes.
18 Q And who brought it up to you?
19 A Specifically, I can't say. It was -- the
20 issue is general speaking, why would you do that
21 after this has happened? And, of course, I gave my
22 answer, the reason I thought that it -- why I was
23 doing what I was doing.
24 Q And what did you answer then?
25 A By rights he had a right based on past
1 history with superintendents who had left the office
2 that -- you know, that you place them in a position
3 of -- where they left from equal to that or better.
4 Q In fact, when you made the decision to
5 move Mr. Bolinger to Bay High School, did that
6 become an issue for you, the sign issue?
7 A For me?
8 Q Yes, sir.
9 A No, it had no --
10 Q Now, at the time in 2005 when you selected
11 Mr. Bolinger for Bay High School, the school grading
12 process, the accountability, the A-plus plan that
13 Mr. Bush put into place some years ago --
14 A Sure.
15 Q -- was all in effect, was it not?
16 A Yes.
17 Q And how would you characterize Bay High
18 School's progress as a school in terms of school
19 grading at that time?
20 A Bay High had been a C, along with the
21 other high school. Then they became a D because of
22 the -- they did not improve for a second term in the
23 low performing students, what we call the
24 25 percent. They had enough points to be actually a
25 C, but it doesn't make a difference. And so the
1 second year was the same thing, didn't improve in
2 that area. They improved by 35 points, but they
3 still didn't improve in the area of the lower 25
4 percentile. So they were a D a second year but had
5 enough points to be a C.
6 This last year --
7 Q We'll come to this last year.
8 A I apologize.
9 Q No, that's fine.
10 A I apologize.
11 Q No apologies necessary, certainly.
12 I'm just trying to understand that at the
13 time that you made the decision to move Mr. Bolinger
14 to Bay, Bay was not functioning well, would you
15 agree with that statement? I mean, it was a double
16 D.
17 A Yes, they were a double D, is what I'm
18 answering.
19 Q Yes, sir. And under the A-plus plan, as
20 you understand it, what are the ramifications of a
21 school having Ds two years in a row. Are they
22 entitled to vouchers?
23 A No.
24 Q Are they entitled to any kind of special
25 assistance?
1 A The district, and I say the district, had
2 put in place that if we had a school that was a D,
3 that we will assist them, but there was no
4 requirement.
5 Q Was there any other school in 2005 when
6 you made this switch that was performing at a
7 double-D level at the high school level, any of your
8 other high schools?
9 A Haney, probably.
10 Q You believe that Haney --
11 A Yes.
12 Q -- had two Ds back then, as well?
13 A Yes.
14 Q 2003 to 2004, 2004 to 2005?
15 A I think Haney is a double D, yes.
16 Q Let me take you back to the meeting you
17 were having with Mr. Bolinger when you asked him --
18 or you told him that you were going to move him over
19 to Bay High School. Did you give him the option to
20 stay at Merritt Brown?
21 A Yes.
22 Q What did you say to him then?
23 A I think what I said was if you feel like
24 I'm putting you in a bad situation, just tell me,
25 because I wouldn't want to try to do that and that
1 be a problem.
2 Q Was there any discussion between you and
3 Mr. Bolinger at that meeting that he had already
4 entered into the DROP program and, himself, was sort
5 of winding down his career?
6 A Not that I recall, that that --
7 Q No discussions --
8 A No discussion, that's correct.
9 Q -- about his DROP participation.
10 A Yes.
11 Q Was there any discussion at all with
12 respect to what you expected Mr. Bolinger to do in
13 becoming principal of Bay High School? In other
14 words, did you have some particular direction that
15 you wanted to give to him?
16 A Sure.
17 Q And what was that?
18 A And that was that we got to get out of
19 this status.
20 Q And this status, you mean the double D?
21 A The double D. We had to get out of the
22 status with the double D. And the way that is, and
23 the reason -- and I gave him the reason, the
24 rationale, because they did not improve in the lower
25 25 percent. They have enough points, as I said, to
1 do it, and all we have to do is concentrate on that,
2 and that will get us out of the double-D status.
3 Q And did you put any restrictions, when you
4 were having that conversation on Mr. Bolinger, in
5 terms of what he could do to attempt to get out of
6 that status, in other words, was he going to be in
7 charge of the school?
8 A Yes.
9 Q And that you were going to back him up on
10 the decisions he made to try and turn that school
11 around, did you have a conversation like that?
12 A Yes, I said I would support.
13 Q Did you have any discussion at all with
14 respect to how long you were giving him to turn that
15 school around?
16 A No.
17 Q Did you have any expectation as to how
18 long he would have to get it out of the double-D
19 status into a higher performing status?
20 A My assumption was that that could be done
21 after one year.
22 Q Did you have any discussions --
23 A No.
24 Q -- with Larry about that?
25 A No.
1 Q Was there anything else that was discussed
2 at that meeting?
3 A That's all I can remember.
4 Q Did Mr. Bolinger say to you that he was
5 willing to take the position at Bay, or what did he
6 say to you?
7 A I think the last conversation was that he
8 will -- he would be willing to do it. And the only
9 other thing he said was that -- when I talked about
10 the issue with the -- that may come up. He said,
11 "Well, no, I'll do it."
12 And I think we kind of bantered back and
13 forth. And I said, "No, it's my responsibility.
14 I'm doing it, and I'll do it." And I think it got
15 left.
16 Q So you finished that meeting -- was that
17 the only meeting that you had with Mr. Bolinger
18 about actually placing him into that position, or
19 was there some sort of --
20 A I think we concluded by me saying, "I
21 don't want you to say anything to anyone until I get
22 a chance to call the board members, because they're
23 not aware of this, and I want to just let them know.
24 And I wouldn't want this to get out in the community
25 and they hear it from someone else."
1 Q Sure.
2 A So I said, "Other than your wife, if you
3 would, don't say anything until I have a chance --
4 an opportunity to talk with them."
5 Q And how long after that meeting was it
6 before you began calling the school board members?
7 A As soon as he left.
8 Q And did you reach all five school board
9 members that day?
10 A I think I reached everyone that day, and
11 there was one board member that was out of town.
12 Q Okay. Do you recall which one was out of
13 town?
14 A Mrs. Rohan was out of town, but I think I
15 called her late that afternoon or got ahold of her
16 that afternoon. I think I made a call. She was not
17 at the phone when I first called. And I called
18 back, I believe, as I recall.
19 Q And, basically, did you tell the board
20 members anything other than that you were -- you had
21 decided to make this appointment, or did you discuss
22 with them the reasons that you were doing that?
23 A No, I didn't discuss any reason why. I
24 just said I have made a decision on what I'm going
25 to do and I need for you to know that so you don't
1 hear it in another place. I think there was some --
2 one or two may have questioned, "Well, why did you
3 do that?"
4 And I said, "Well, it's in the best
5 interest of the district."
6 Q Did you get any kind of feedback in your
7 conversations with the individual board members as
8 to whether they thought that was good, bad, or
9 indifferent?
10 A I think most of them they were surprised.
11 Q Surprised because you had been a political
12 opponent of Mr. Bolinger?
13 A Yes, I think most of them -- most of them
14 said, "Well, I'm surprised, but it may work."
15 Q When you were meeting with Larry, let me
16 go back to the meeting for a moment, did you
17 describe your need to put him in Bay High School as
18 you had a problem that you thought he could help fix
19 or something in turning the school around?
20 A Typically -- I don't recall, but typically
21 those are -- what you just said are my words that I
22 use when I talk with anyone.
23 Q Got a problem, I think you can fix it?
24 A Well, no, I typically say -- I don't use
25 that -- the method of saying, here is what I'm going
1 to do, I don't want you to say anything, you just do
2 what I tell you to do. Mine is, I'm going to ask
3 you for your help, and this is what I'm going to do.
4 And basically those -- those words would be
5 consistent with everyone.
6 Q And then at the beginning of the 2005,
7 2006 school year, Mr. Bolinger began serving as
8 superintendent; is that correct?
9 A Yes.
10 Q Superintendent, I'm sorry, as principal, I
11 just promoted him.
12 A I thought I knew what you meant.
13 MS. CHUMBLER: Make sure you --
14 MR. MEYER: I'm sorry. I caught myself.
15 THE WITNESS: I did hear you.
16 MR. MEYER: Just smack me up the side of
17 the head.
19 Q After he became principal at Bay High
20 School, when was the next occasion that you recall
21 having an opportunity or a need to talk to
22 Mr. Bolinger about anything that was happening at
23 Bay High School?
24 A I believe I got a call from him,
25 indicating that he -- that one of the -- he had a
1 parent or -- was upset about something and may be
2 getting a call, kind of a heads up, that --
3 administrators will call and say, I have a problem,
4 I just had someone -- and they said they're going to
5 come see you, so I'm giving you a heads up.
6 Q Sure.
7 A So I think he gave me a heads up. And
8 immediately sometime after that I got a call from a
9 parent and said that she had met with Mr. Bolinger
10 and asked to have -- or called and wanted to set up
11 a meeting and asked to have a meeting with him, and
12 that meeting would be in my office. And he said he
13 agreed to it, and that's --
14 Q And was there such a meeting?
15 A Yeah, there was a meeting that was held
16 with Mr. Bolinger, myself and Mrs. Cramer. There
17 was -- we sat at the table. At some point I left
18 the room, I guess I got a call, an emergency or
19 something, I walked out. When I walked back in,
20 they said they had resolved whatever the issue was.
21 I didn't question it.
22 Q Do you recall what the issue was?
23 A I can't even recall now what the issue
24 was. I believe it had to do with AICE -- the
25 location of the AICE offices was being moved from
1 one place that it had been to another one, and I
2 think that was the issue.
3 Q And describe what the AICE office is.
4 A The Advanced Certificate of Education
5 Program that they have at Bay High School. And what
6 happened was is that apparently he was redesigning
7 where that office was going to be compared to where
8 it had been in the past, and apparently the people
9 who were involved in it were upset about the move,
10 and they had not been -- I guess it wasn't moving as
11 fast as they were going to do or something like
12 that.
13 Q And Mrs. Cramer, who was there, is Carolyn
14 Cramer?
15 A Yes.
16 Q And why was she there at that meeting, if
17 you know?
18 A I have no -- other than she wanted to --
19 said she wanted to meet, and set up a meeting with
20 the two of them to come to my office, but I guess it
21 was to complain that they don't believe that there
22 was going to be a support for the AICE program.
23 Q So Ms. Cramer was the person who called
24 and wanted to meet you and --
25 A I believe that's correct.
1 Q And so you had the meeting and it
2 concerned the AICE program.
3 A Uh-huh.
4 Q Was that meeting, you know, a meeting,
5 while you were in it, was there any discussion about
6 Ms. Cramer's now infamous chairs and whether they
7 were moved or anything, or did that occur at a
8 different time?
9 A After that meeting, apparently there
10 was -- which they didn't meet with me, but I
11 understood that in the red room at Bay High School
12 during the renovation or redesign of the front
13 office, there was some chairs that had been
14 purchased by Mrs. Cramer, had been moved into the
15 reception area.
16 Someone apparently from the school must
17 have called her and indicated that the chairs were
18 moved out of the red room there. And she went up
19 to, apparently -- this is what I hear now, this is
20 all hearsay, because I wasn't there, to see
21 Mr. Bolinger about having the chairs moved back into
22 the red room, but he was not available to see her,
23 and just told the secretary that the chairs would be
24 moved back in the room, and so that created an
25 issue.
1 Q I mean, are those the kind of issues that
2 a superintendent typically becomes embroiled in?
3 A Tend to be in my case, where you have
4 those kinds of things that I think that shouldn't
5 be, but people think if you're an elected official,
6 that you should listen to any complaints, and
7 whatever those complaints are, that you ought to
8 listen to them.
9 Q Now, was Mrs. Cramer involved in support
10 of your election campaign?
11 A Did she donate to my -- yes, she did.
12 Q Besides donating, did she participate in
13 any other way?
14 A Not that -- no.
15 Q Attend any functions?
16 A Not that I'm aware of.
17 Q Did you have ongoing discussions with
18 Mrs. Cramer from time to time during the period
19 after Mr. Bolinger became principal?
20 A Did I meet with her?
21 Q Yes.
22 A No, I never met with her.
23 Q How about telephone conversations?
24 A I had some telephone conversations.
25 Q Ever about Mr. Bolinger?
1 A Typically it was about her daughter and --
2 but not about Mr. Bolinger.
3 Q Do you recall a meeting -- or an issue
4 coming up near the beginning of the 2005, 2006
5 school year involving the need to reassign one of
6 the school resource personnel who was at Bay High
7 School?
8 A Yes.
9 Q What do you recall about that?
10 A What I recall was is that I got a call
11 indicating that Myron Guilford was being reassigned
12 to Rutherford High School by the -- his -- I'll say
13 captain. I'm not sure if that's the --
14 Q Some superior in the sheriff's office.
15 A Some superior was moving him there, but
16 the idea was -- is that they felt that -- that was
17 something that -- the call I got was that
18 Mr. Bolinger was requesting that he be sent.
19 Q And who called you and told you that?
20 A I can't remember.
21 Q Was it Captain Barr?
22 A No, I believe it may have been Myron
23 himself.
24 Q And he told you that he believed that
25 Mr. Bolinger had requested that he --
1 A Yes.
2 Q -- be transferred by the sheriff to
3 Rutherford?
4 A That's correct.
5 Q Again, is that something that you, as a
6 superintendent, would normally become involved in,
7 or is that something that is more left to the
8 school-level decision and the sheriff?
9 A Well, when they call, I give them the
10 answers, as I understand it, that the -- we don't
11 have any say so. If the sheriff decide to move his
12 personnel to whatever, that's -- you know, they are
13 just contracted with us, and whoever he puts in
14 there -- typically they try to work with us to help
15 decide who that is, but if he decides tomorrow that
16 he wants this one over there, I don't think we have
17 the say so in determining who that is. So that was
18 my -- that was my decision.
19 Q Did you ever discuss that with
20 Mr. Bolinger?
21 A I believe I did. I believe I did make a
22 call and ask him. And what I learned was, in fact,
23 what had been said was not true, that he, in fact,
24 requested that Myron stay. But that's just how you
25 get in over there at Bay High -- Bay High School,
1 and it was strictly they had two sergeants at one
2 school and it's their belief that that kind of
3 organization, they didn't want to have two sergeants
4 at the same school, and he had requested to move
5 him.
6 And I think I called Myron back and said,
7 this is what he said, and that was the end of it.
8 Said that the other principal was excited about him
9 coming, and what you need to do is just go, and
10 that's what happened.
11 Q Did you ever discuss that with Mrs. Barr?
12 A I believe at some point that that was
13 brought up by Mrs. Barr, yes, I believe she called
14 and said, you know, I'm not sure things are going
15 well at Bay High School, and gave a list of things
16 that they thought was going poorly, and that was one
17 of them -- one of the things.
18 Q So Mrs. Barr called you and said that she
19 didn't believe that things were going well at Bay
20 High School.
21 A Right.
22 Q Did she say that she was speaking just for
23 herself or were there other people, or was it the
24 magnet school program speaking -- what capacity did
25 you --
1 A Well, it was the magnet -- it started with
2 the magnet program.
3 Q And what other concerns did she articulate
4 that were things that were not going well at Bay
5 High School?
6 A It was just basically the magnet program,
7 felt like it was not being supported.
8 Q Did she give you any specifics during that
9 conversation?
10 A One -- yes, the specific thing was -- two,
11 I think, things at that time was, one, there was --
12 a magnet school guidance counselor had been assigned
13 to do substitute duties for a period of a couple of
14 days or whatever the case is, and -- was one of the
15 issues, and one of the issues was -- is that some
16 students -- and this had to do with some scheduling
17 issue that occurred, and one of the assistant
18 principals had came to her, and because it was a
19 magnet -- the students were magnet students, she was
20 asked to go out and search for these students and
21 find out. She felt like that that was the duty of
22 an administrator and not a magnet coordinator, so
23 those two things.
24 Q So she raised those two things with you,
25 feeling that Mr. Bolinger should have been having
1 someone else do those things other than --
2 A Well, it wasn't him. It was Mr. Payne, I
3 think, had said something to her, but felt like it
4 should have been -- that that's the duties of an
5 administrator and not necessarily a magnet
6 coordinator to do those kind of things.
7 Q So I'm clear, the relationship between the
8 magnet program and Bay High School, I mean, the
9 magnet program is a part of Bay High School,
10 correct?
11 A That is correct.
12 Q And the principal of Bay High School,
13 then, is technically where the buck stops, if you
14 will, with the magnet program just as with the
15 conventional program.
16 A He makes the decisions about what occurs
17 at school.
18 Q And that includes staffing decisions --
19 A Exactly.
20 Q -- directing staff, student decisions?
21 A Exactly.
22 Q I mean, I guess what I'm looking for, so
23 I'm clear, is that the principal, whoever it is at
24 Bay High School, would have the same responsibility
25 with magnet school students and staff as he does
1 with the other students and staff at the school.
2 A That's correct.
3 Q And that would include the right, if you
4 will, to supervise Mrs. Barr, Mr. Browning, who at
5 the time --
6 A Exactly.
7 Q -- when they're there, were people who
8 were subject to his oversight just like other
9 employees.
10 A Exactly.
11 Q Do you recall when you had the
12 conversation with Mrs. Barr about the concerns that
13 she had about covering class -- you know, using -- I
14 guess it was Mr. Browning to cover classes for a
15 couple days?
16 A Well, the initial came from a parent, and
17 then you can make an assertion how that got -- a
18 parent had called me and said that he had gone up to
19 see the counselor and was told that the counselor
20 was subbing and was actually getting onto to me why
21 would I do that for a magnet counselor when we don't
22 ask.
23 And I said, "Well, wait a minute, now, I'm
24 not sure what you're even telling me, but just let
25 me find out -- call and find out."
1 The initial was actually was to, I guess,
2 were censuring me about the fact that I was not --
3 that I was not providing substitutes, money for
4 substitutes for schools when teachers are out,
5 that's how it got started. And, of course, I was
6 unaware. They came up to see the counselor and was
7 told that, "Well, he can't see you because he's
8 doing duties."
9 Q Do you recall who that parent was?
10 A No, I don't. I think, but I -- so I won't
11 give the name because I could be wrong.
12 Q Well, who do you think it was?
13 A I think it was the person who said they
14 were the president of the -- of the magnet, I guess,
15 boosters, I want to say. If you call them -- I
16 can't recall the name now, but if I hear it, I'd
17 probably say, yes, that's who it was.
18 Q And so the complaint that came to you was
19 that substitutes weren't being provided and didn't
20 think it was appropriate for magnet counselors to be
21 used to cover classes.
22 A That's correct.
23 Q What did you do to investigate?
24 A Well --
25 Q Or did you?
1 A Yeah, I did. I originally called
2 Mr. Payne and asked was that the case, and he said
3 yes.
4 And I said, "Well, why did you-all do
5 that? Because they're assuming we don't have
6 funding."
7 And he said, well, we just thought it
8 was easier -- we didn't have -- and I think he
9 said it was -- he thought that it was not in
10 funding.
11 So I said to him, "Well, look, here is
12 what we'll do I'll pay him from the district office.
13 I'll find out. Just get a sub out there for the
14 teacher and let him go back so we don't hear all
15 this issue about a sub."
16 And so he said, "Fine". And that's what
17 he did.
18 Q As far as you know, the problem was
19 resolved?
20 A Well, it wasn't resolved because after I
21 told him that, he said, "Fine, that's what we were
22 going to do."
23 Two days later the parent called me back
24 after I called them and said, well, we got it taken
25 care of, and I apologize, we didn't do it, and that
1 sort of thing, but it's taken care of.
2 And he called me back two days later or so
3 and said, "Well, I think you misled me, the same
4 thing is happening again."
5 So I said, "Well, give me an opportunity
6 to call."
7 So I called him back, Mr. Payne back, and
8 said, "I'm sorry, but here is the mixup."
9 "Yes, I did what you told me to do, but
10 another situation came and Mr. Bolinger didn't know
11 the conversation that you and I had had, and he
12 simply put him back in, not knowing that the
13 conversation was, you know, we would take care of
14 the money for it." And he said -- so he -- he put
15 him back in over there, and it was an honest
16 mistake, but it wasn't anything we were trying to
17 do. It just happened.
18 Q Did you understand that that involved like
19 a very small guitar class --
20 A Yes.
21 Q -- or something like that of students?
22 A Sure.
23 Q There were eight kids who, I guess, the
24 teacher left or was absent.
25 A Do I understand that? Yes.
1 Q And so you thought you had solved the
2 issue. Mr. Payne thought you solved the issue.
3 But, as I understand it, Mr. Bolinger, without
4 knowing about your conversations, assigned
5 Mr. Browning again to cover the class.
6 A That is correct.
7 Q Did you ever talk to Mr. Bolinger about
8 that?
9 A When I talked -- called, because I had
10 talked to Mr. Payne, he said when I went and told
11 him, he immediately said, "Oh, well, I didn't know
12 it." And he went and -- and let's say this is
13 before the day was out, it was taken care of, just
14 as we had said.
15 And I just called back and said, "You
16 know, we just made an error, I just made an error,
17 but it's taken care of right now. If you go back up
18 there, if you want to see him, you can see him."
19 But it was not that I was trying to do anything.
20 Q And that resolved the problem?
21 A That resolved, as far as I knew.
22 Q Right. Did Mrs. Barr ever talk to you
23 about that?
24 A No, other than originally --
25 Q Originally --
1 A -- that was one of the things that was
2 said.
3 Q And do you recall approximately when that
4 was in the school year?
5 A This was early on --
6 Q Okay.
7 A -- in the school year, I would say. You
8 know, I could be mistaken, but --
9 Q Did there come a time early on in the
10 school year, September, October, sometime around
11 then, that you had occasion to have another meeting
12 with Mr. Bolinger, the subject of which was
13 Mrs. Barr?
14 A I'm trying to think of the time of the
15 year, and I can't recall when that was. But there
16 was a conversation that I think I had with
17 Mr. Bolinger, Mr. Payne and Mr. Garrigan.
18 Q You don't recall a -- or do you recall a
19 meeting on or about October 19th in the morning
20 where it was just you calling Mr. Bolinger to your
21 office to discuss his interactions with Kathy Barr?
22 A No, I don't recall.
23 Q Do you recall ever having a meeting with
24 Mr. Bolinger where you -- where you called him to
25 your office solely for the purpose of discussing --
1 or primarily for the purpose of discussing Kathy
2 Barr and his relationship with her?
3 A No, I do not recall that. Every time --
4 there is only one time -- twice that I recall ever
5 talking with Mr. Bolinger, and it has not been with
6 anyone else -- someone else in the room. One day I
7 went over to the school at the end of the school
8 year to talk to him about an issue, and that was --
9 but every time that I talked with him during that
10 year, except for those two times, there has been
11 someone else in the room with me, he has brought
12 someone else.
13 Q Did you ever, either in a meeting with
14 someone else in the room or during one of the two
15 meetings that you said that you believe you had
16 where you were one on one, ever tell Mr. Bolinger
17 that he has to get along with Kathy Barr or words to
18 that effect?
19 A I never said that.
20 Q Nothing like that?
21 A Never said those words.
22 Q And so, to your knowledge, there was never
23 a conversation between you and he where you laid out
24 what you expected of him vis-a-vis his interactions
25 with Ms. Barr and the magnet program.
1 A No.
2 Q Okay. When was the next time that you
3 recall meeting with Mr. Bolinger about anything
4 that's substantive, any problem -- or were there any
5 other meetings or other problems at the school?
6 A I don't know what -- what the -- the
7 meeting -- as I said, I met with he and -- well, I
8 called and asked him to meet with me, and when he
9 came, he had Mr. Garrigan and Mr. Payne with him,
10 but the meeting was called for him to meet me in my
11 office. When he showed up he had them, and so I
12 just went ahead and discussed with him what it was
13 that -- my concern.
14 Q Do you recall approximately when that was?
15 A No, I don't.
16 Q Could it have been in January of 2006?
17 A It could have been.
18 Q Does that seem like -- I'm not trying to
19 pin you down to something that you can't recall.
20 A I can't recall. I can't recall.
21 Q But you do recall a meeting where
22 Mr. Payne and Mr. Kerrigan (sic) accompanied
23 Mr. Bolinger to your office.
24 MR. HARRISON: Garrigan with a G.
25 MR. MEYER: I'm sorry. Yeah, I said
1 Kerrigan. Garrigan, thank you.
3 Q Who is Mr. Garrigan?
4 A He's assistant principal.
5 Q So Mr. Payne and Mr. Garrigan are both
6 assistant principals at Bay High School --
7 A Right.
8 Q -- or were during that time period.
9 A (Nods head.)
10 Q What was the purpose of your calling that
11 meeting with Mr. Bolinger?
12 A I don't recall what prompted the meeting
13 for me to call, but I know the conversation
14 surrounded -- before he left, was me saying to them,
15 look, we're having all of these criticism and let's
16 just don't give people reason for that. And if --
17 if there is a problem with a teacher, you understand
18 I have the authority to move the teacher at the end
19 of the year, just -- that's not the issue. Let's
20 focus on what our issue is. And our issue is, is we
21 want to make sure that that lower 25 percent of
22 students are making progress, and that's all you
23 have to do. That's all I'm asking you to do is
24 don't worry about this peripheral -- things that are
25 being said or done. Let's do that.
1 Q Okay. I'm sorry. I didn't mean to cut
2 you off.
3 A And they all said, "You're right."
4 Q Now, do you recall whether that meeting
5 followed Mrs. Barr taking a leave of absence from
6 the school?
7 A I know she took a leave of absence,
8 sometime either that month or the next month, I
9 believe that's correct.
10 Q When Mrs. Barr took a leave of absence,
11 did you approve that?
12 A Yes.
13 Q How -- what is the process, normally, for
14 an employee at a school to apply for an extended
15 leave of absence? Does that go through the chain of
16 command or does that go directly to you?
17 A Typically it goes through the school, to
18 the principal. The principal fills it out, sends it
19 to me, I sign off on it, and we take it to the board
20 the very next regular board meeting after that.
21 Q With respect to Mrs. Barr's leave of
22 absence, was that the process that was followed?
23 A I think Ms. Barr came out, signed the
24 paperwork, which is not unusual for a teacher to do
25 that. My signature probably was on it before the
1 principal's signature is on it. That's not unusual.
2 That happens all the time, someone comes out and
3 says, "Would you -- I'd like to take a leave of
4 absence, and would you consider it?"
5 I say, "Yeah, fill out the paperwork, and
6 I have no problem with it."
7 Q So, to your recollection, that is the
8 process Mrs. Barr used, she came to the
9 superintendent's office and -- or to this
10 building --
11 A Well --
12 Q -- the administrative building to fill out
13 the leave of absence, brought it to you. Did she
14 personally bring it to you?
15 A I don't know if she brought -- personally
16 gave it to me or gave it to the secretary, but it
17 was on my desk to -- for signature.
18 Q And you signed it?
19 A And I signed it, I'm sure I did.
20 Q But the principal had not yet signed it?
21 A At the time I'm sure that --
22 Q How would a principal know that one of his
23 employees is suddenly gone and on leave?
24 A Well, the leave is not approved until the
25 board approves it.
1 Q Okay. Is it your understanding that
2 Ms. Barr came back to work after she had you sign
3 the paper?
4 A I don't know what her status was, why she
5 was out there. I couldn't tell you that.
6 Q When she came to get the leave signed or
7 sometime in -- you know, shortly thereafter, did you
8 and she have any conversation about why she was
9 asking for leave, what she was planning to do, or
10 any problems at the magnet program at Bay High
11 School?
12 A Well, I think what she had indicated, that
13 she was not -- she felt she was not wanted to be at
14 Bay High School. That was her feeling, that she was
15 not --
16 Q That she felt she was not wanted or that
17 she didn't want to be there?
18 A That she was not wanted.
19 Q And did she say by whom?
20 A She thought the administration -- she
21 didn't feel like that she was wanted and would
22 really prefer to -- for her to leave Bay High School
23 and go other places.
24 Q And did she give you any specific things
25 to support why she felt unwanted?
1 A Other than -- yes, she did. She said that
2 when it came as a coordinator and all the other
3 coordinators would help with decisions concerning
4 their programs, and she was left out of the loop
5 with these decisions that are made. They're just
6 made, and they just come to her and said, this is
7 what's going to happen, and that was it. And she
8 just had to do -- and my response is, that's -- the
9 principal has the authority to do it, but that's the
10 way -- that's the way the system is set up.
11 Q Did her communicating those feelings to
12 you, she didn't feel wanted, that she was left out
13 of the loop and your explaining it's the principal's
14 call --
15 A Uh-huh.
16 Q -- I mean, did that cause you any
17 consternation or anguish or it didn't cause you to
18 direct any negativity toward Mr. Bolinger?
19 A Not at all.
20 Q Up until that point when Ms. Barr left in
21 January, approximately, of 2006, was there -- was
22 there -- was there anything that you perceived
23 Mr. Bolinger was doing or not doing that you had
24 expected him to be doing or refrain from doing?
25 A Well, as I said, either that meeting or
1 the meeting after that, there was other issues
2 from -- other complaints that were being made, and
3 my rationale was, let's don't give the nay sayers or
4 the people who are trying to prevent things from
5 occurring positively, don't give them any ammunition
6 for it.
7 Q So when you say at that meeting, that was
8 the meeting with Garrigan, Payne and --
9 A That's correct.
10 Q -- Bolinger you had that conversation.
11 I mean, did Mr. Bolinger and/or the other
12 two express to you some of the kinds of concerns
13 that they were having with Mr. Browning, for
14 example?
15 A They did.
16 Q And what were those concerns?
17 A Yeah, they said that they felt like
18 Mr. Browning was not doing his job, that they had
19 gotten calls from parents that said that their
20 students were not receiving any -- the kind of
21 counseling that they thought, particularly with
22 graduations.
23 And what I said to them, well, we can
24 easily determine who is right or wrong, because now
25 you got me in the middle of it and you're trying to
1 get me to decide who is telling the truth over
2 there, so let's -- what you do, you go back, and
3 we'll put it all in writing. You ask him to respond
4 in writing based on the things that you heard and
5 give him a deadline to respond to those inquiries
6 that you have, and that's what was done.
7 Q Did you make any statements to either
8 Mr. Bolinger or the other two that, you know, you
9 expected them just to leave Browning alone?
10 A Oh, absolutely not.
11 Q And so your recollection of the
12 conversation was that you told them, you know, put
13 it in writing, tell him what he's expected to do,
14 and you'll be ultimately the judge of whether he's
15 doing what is expected of him.
16 A I said, "It would be easy for us to
17 determine. He's saying one thing. They're saying
18 one thing." And I said, "It's easy to determine for
19 me. You put it in writing and have him to respond."
20 Q And, to your knowledge, did they do that?
21 A They put it in writing to him and gave him
22 a deadline. They called me back and said that he
23 said he couldn't do it.
24 I called him, and said, "Oh, yeah, you're
25 going to do it. I told you to do it." And, in
1 fact, he met the deadline as far as I was concerned.
2 Q Did he ask you to transfer him to some
3 other school?
4 A Yes, he did.
5 Q Did you tell Mr. Bolinger that -- tell him
6 what to do, tell him what you expect of him,
7 whatever your testimony was, your conversation was,
8 and that you were going to be moving him? Did you
9 have a plan to move Mr. Browning at the time you had
10 that meeting with Garrigan and Payne and Bolinger?
11 A No.
12 Q There was no discussion of that, that you
13 recall?
14 A I made the statement to them, that I had
15 the authority if a -- that I can assign a teacher to
16 any school in the district. I had the authority --
17 the board had just approved that, and if there is a
18 problem, we can easily solve it.
19 Q But you never said that you were going to
20 transfer Mr. Browning to another school at that
21 time.
22 A At that time, no, I did not.
23 Q How long afterward was it that you did
24 actually change him?
25 A I think he somehow or another went on
1 leave. I believe Mr. Bolinger and Mr. Payne had
2 said that they thought that he was not doing what he
3 was supposed to do, and I think at that time I said,
4 "Well, I'll just -- I'll transfer him."
5 Q I mean, do you have any recollection --
6 and I know I'm asking you something almost a year
7 old, but that it was like the very next day after
8 your meeting with Mr. Bolinger, Garrigan and Payne,
9 that Mr. Browning left the school on sick leave, or
10 whatever kind of leave, and basically was gone after
11 you transferred him?
12 A I think Mr. Payne -- and I'm just
13 recalling, called me and said, "Guess what he's done
14 now?"
15 Q Meaning that he, Browning --
16 A Yeah, had left and didn't have any --
17 hadn't put in or said anything to anyone about
18 leave, but just had left his -- the school.
19 Q Did you ever discuss that with Mrs. Barr
20 at all?
21 A No.
22 Q I believe you mentioned that there was a
23 meeting near the end of the year that you remembered
24 having with Mr. Bolinger one on one.
25 A True.
1 Q And that was the end of the school year or
2 the calendar year?
3 A Near the end of the school year.
4 Q So that would have been April, May of
5 2006, sometime in that time period?
6 A That's correct.
7 Q I'm not trying to put words in your mouth.
8 A Sure. I think it's probably late April,
9 maybe early May.
10 Q What was the occasion for that meeting?
11 A The occasion at that meeting, I went to
12 him and indicated to him that I had asked him to do
13 something that he didn't do.
14 Q What had you asked him?
15 A I asked him -- called him, and there was
16 an issue with a student and their GPA and whether
17 the student was going to be number 1 in their class
18 ranking or not. There was an ongoing issue with the
19 student, who had believed -- and he and his parents
20 had believed that they had told them that he would
21 be the number 1 ranked student at Bay High School
22 and now had been told that, no, in fact, you're not
23 going to be. And so we were working through the
24 issue.
25 I called Mr. Bolinger and asked -- I said,
1 Mr. Bolinger, I want you to tell me how late --
2 because he was concerned with other schools, other
3 high schools had put out their top 10.
4 Q Top 10 students?
5 A Top 10 students, had listed them in the
6 paper, and he was concerned that he had not done
7 this because of this issue was -- being investigated
8 and that sort of thing. And so I had called and
9 said to him, "What is the latest that you can hold
10 off and do this?" And we'll give the parent, who
11 says they want to come to the board and express
12 their concern to the board members.
13 They had come to me, and I had ruled in
14 favor of the school, that I don't think the school
15 did anything wrong, and, I'm sorry, but the grade
16 point is as it is. That's just the way it turned
17 out.
18 And, of course, then they wanted to make
19 an appeal to the board. He had indicated to me
20 that, okay, what I'll do is, yes, Friday -- it was a
21 Friday, and I don't know what the date was, would be
22 time certain. I said, "Okay, what we'll do is give
23 them an opportunity, let them come to the board, but
24 I'm telling you just from what I can see, I don't
25 see how the board could do any other thing. I mean,
1 the grades are what the grades are."
2 And he said, yes, he would do that.
3 So the Wednesday we had the board
4 meeting -- and, of course, the board listened to
5 him. And when he finished talking, they turned to
6 me and asked. I said, "Well, I already
7 investigated, and the child simply is not the top
8 student because of a grade that he had made an A in
9 it, but it was not one of those classes that would
10 give him quality points, and it was just a matter of
11 points. It just didn't. I hate it, but up until
12 that time he was the number 1, but he took a course
13 that didn't have any quality points, and the other
14 students who were behind him took a course that had,
15 it just" --
16 Q Bounced him out?
17 A It just bounced him out. That's just the
18 way it was.
19 But, anyway, so they came to the board,
20 talked to the board, the board asked me, and I said
21 to them in response to him, because he was looking
22 for a response, "I don't see anything that we can
23 do. You know, I feel sorry for him, and I've
24 already told him that, but he wanted to see you."
25 And so that's where it was left. That was on a
1 Wednesday.
2 Thursday morning at some event I get a
3 call from -- because the parent had called me. I
4 get a call from the parent that said, "You know, you
5 lied to me, you lied to me. You told me that you
6 were going to wait to Friday to announce this. My
7 son has come home -- called me just a few minutes
8 ago crying, saying they got in front of some
9 assembly and named him."
10 And I said, "You know, that just can't be.
11 That couldn't happen." I said, "I know -- yes, I
12 told you Friday. Friday." So that's why I went
13 over to see him.
14 Q So you went over to see Mr. Bolinger?
15 A I didn't call him on the phone. I didn't
16 e-mail him. I went to his office and talked to him
17 and asked, "How could this happen after you told
18 me?" Now the parent is thinking that I have somehow
19 or another lied to him and now embarrassed his son
20 when they didn't have a chance to -- he was going to
21 tell him for whatever, that -- with their own,
22 "Well, we've done everything we can, son, that's
23 just the way it is."
24 Q Okay. So you had talked to Mr. Bolinger,
25 you had asked him what the last time he could
1 announce it and make the newspaper publications with
2 the other schools, basically. He told you that was
3 Friday. The appeal went to the board, the board
4 rejected the appeal, upheld your recommendation,
5 that the boy just simply didn't make the cut.
6 A That's correct.
7 Q And it was your understanding that it was
8 going to not be announced until Friday, but that it
9 was announced on Thursday at an assembly.
10 A That's how it was explained to me, at an
11 assembly. When I went over and talked with
12 Mr. Bolinger about it, his rationale to me was,
13 "Well, it was just on the spur of the moment. We
14 had just" -- he used this -- he said this to me,
15 "Well, just the spur of the moment, and we were
16 at" -- and I may be misspeaking, but I think it was
17 something like a practice for the graduation, and
18 since we were there, we said, well, why don't we
19 just go back to the school and just make the
20 announcement, someone suggested that, and that's
21 what he did. That's what he told me.
22 Subsequently I had a meeting -- so, I
23 said, "Okay, you know, you really put me in a tight
24 spot here because we agreed that it was not going to
25 be done until Friday, give the parents time to
1 whatever, soften up the student or to give it to
2 him." So I left the office that day.
3 And then subsequently I then learned that
4 that was not the case. In talking with one of the
5 board members, she had indicated to me, "No, we
6 actually went over the night after the board had met
7 and planned this, that this was going to happen."
8 And it was certainly not what he just told me. And
9 I was thinking, now, wait a minute now.
10 Q Which board member was that?
11 A That was Mrs. Rohan. In a conversation
12 with me she was just saying, you know, after the
13 board meeting, we went over and I helped plan for
14 this party that they were going to have the next day
15 at Bay High School when, in fact, Mr. Bolinger told
16 me, no, it was -- we were at the practice and
17 someone just said, hey, let's --
18 Q So you learned that the board chairman --
19 Ms. Rohan is the chairman?
20 A She wasn't at the time.
21 Q She was a board member, was at -- was
22 talking -- or at the school?
23 A She came in to meet with me. And in our
24 conversation she said to me -- I didn't say anything
25 to her when she told me. She said to me, "After the
1 meeting yesterday, I went to Bay High School and we
2 planned for the party and the announcement about" --
3 Q The ranking?
4 A -- "the ranking."
5 Q And so --
6 A I never said anything to her, anything,
7 but it was clear to me that I had gotten one answer
8 from someone who said, well, this was -- it was
9 just -- it's spur of the moment.
10 Q That's what Mr. Bolinger told you?
11 A That's what he said, he said it was a spur
12 of the moment, that Thursday at practice we just
13 said -- someone just said, "Well, why don't we just
14 go back and announce this now?" Which was on a
15 Thursday.
16 Q And can you pinpoint -- since they were
17 practicing graduation, I'm assuming that would be
18 late May, early June.
19 A True.
20 Q Do you have anything that pinpoints that
21 meeting more?
22 A No, I don't.
23 Q But that seems like it would be the
24 framework, that --
25 A Well --
1 Q -- it would have been the day after the
2 board meeting.
3 A I know those events. It was the day after
4 the board meeting. I guess I can go back and
5 recalculate and tell you when it was. I know it was
6 a board meeting. I knew it was after that I had
7 talked to him and said it was going to be that
8 Friday.
9 And when I talked to him the very next day
10 when it was announced after the parent had called me
11 he had said that. So, I mean, those would be easily
12 scheduled. I mean, I think you can go look on his
13 calendar or my calendar and say, well, here is the
14 day and the time.
15 Q And it would have been, would it not,
16 before the board meeting that was held on May 30th
17 when you made your recommendations for reemployment
18 of principals?
19 A Would it have happened before then?
20 Q Yes.
21 A That's correct.
22 Q So it was sometime prior to May 30th, but
23 probably pretty close to May 30th, maybe the prior
24 meeting?
25 A We would have to look at when graduation
1 was and figure that out. I would assume that we
2 were having graduation in the middle of May.
3 Q At the -- sometime between then and
4 May 30th, you were -- or perhaps before then, you
5 were in the process, were you not, of formulating
6 your recommendations for personnel to be made to the
7 school board.
8 A That's correct.
9 Q Prior to that event that you've just
10 described involving Mr. Bolinger having announced
11 the -- or the school, I guess, with his blessing,
12 having announced the grading on Thursday instead of
13 Friday, had you made a decision with respect to
14 where you were going to assign Mr. Bolinger for the
15 next school year?
16 A I don't think I had made a decision about
17 that. I knew that my responsibility that I had to
18 make some decisions, and it had to be at least three
19 weeks after the last legislative day. So all of
20 those things were -- I knew that it was coming, that
21 I had to make a decision.
22 Q But at that time you had not made a
23 decision; is that correct?
24 A That's correct.
25 Q And about how far in advance of the
1 May 30th meeting did you make the decision with
2 respect to Mr. Bolinger, specifically, but other
3 administrators generally there -- the
4 recommendations that you would bring to the board?
5 A What I can recall is, is that -- we were
6 set to have it on a regular scheduled board day, and
7 I contacted the board members and said, "I'm going
8 to make some changes and I have not talked with the
9 people that I'm going to make some changes, and so I
10 need to -- for you to give me another day or week or
11 so, so I can talk to them before I bring that to the
12 board." And they agreed to that. So, again, we can
13 look on the calendar and find out what that was.
14 But that's what I recall.
15 Q There has been testimony in some of the
16 depositions yesterday that the meeting where your
17 recommendation was actually considered by the board,
18 the first one, in terms of reappointing personnel,
19 was May 30th of 2006. Does that seem to be the time
20 frame that --
21 A Well, that was -- well, prior to that I
22 was going to make that, but I think the 30th was a
23 leeway that they gave me to bring that at that
24 point, but the regular board meeting, it seems to
25 me, would have been a week earlier that I had to
1 give that to them. And I said, "You know, I'm going
2 to make some changes and I haven't talked to the
3 folks over there, so I need to get a chance to do
4 that before they see it."
5 Q Yes, sir.
6 A I don't think that would be the right
7 thing to do.
8 Q When you talked to the board members
9 telling them that you needed a little more time and
10 would they object to pushing it back --
11 A Yes.
12 Q -- did you tell them what the changes that
13 you were contemplating were?
14 A No, I did not tell them.
15 Q Had you told anyone?
16 A I had not told anyone.
17 Q And was there a time when you asked
18 Mr. Bolinger to your office, to tell him what you
19 had in store?
20 A I had scheduled a list of administrators
21 that I had to consider making some changes in their
22 assignment. There was scheduled appointments for
23 them to come in. And he was on the list of
24 administrators to come in to see me on that day.
25 Q Okay. And would that day have been on or
1 around May 25th?
2 A That sounds --
3 Q Do you recall what time of day you met
4 with Mr. Bolinger, was it in the morning?
5 A It was first thing in the morning, so I
6 would say it was either 7:30 -- probably 7:30, 7 or
7 7:30.
8 Q Did he come with anyone or was he just
9 there alone?
10 A He came -- he came alone.
11 Q Anybody else in the office besides the two
12 of you?
13 A Other than my secretary.
14 Q She wasn't in there where you were talking
15 to Mr. Bolinger?
16 A That is correct.
17 Q What did you -- describe the conversation.
18 Who said what?
19 A Well, he came in, and his statement was,
20 which was -- I thought was unusual, what is this
21 meeting all about?
22 And I said, "Well, Larry, have a seat."
23 Q Why did you think that was unusual?
24 A Why would someone come in and say what was
25 this meeting all about? If I asked someone to come
1 and meet me, I have never had anyone say, "Well,
2 what is this meeting all about?"
3 Q To your knowledge had there been any
4 rumors out in the community that he was going to be
5 moved?
6 A I am understanding from him that he had
7 said to me at -- one day I was over at the school,
8 that he had heard that one -- a maintenance worker
9 had said that I was going to move him to Bozeman.
10 And my statement, "Until you hear it from me, don't
11 believe whatever you hear."
12 Q I'm sorry. I interrupted you describing
13 the meeting. So he asked you what was the meeting
14 about.
15 A Yeah. And I said, "Well" -- and I told
16 him, "You know I'm in the process of recommending
17 for administrators. And I'm going to recommend you
18 back as a principal, but it won't be at Bay High
19 School."
20 Q Did you say that you were going to
21 recommend him back as a principal, or did you say
22 you were non-renewing him as a --
23 A No, sir. It was I'm recommending you back
24 as a principal, but not -- but it will not be at Bay
25 High School.
1 Q Did you say where you were going to deploy
2 him?
3 A And I said -- he asked -- well, no, he
4 didn't ask the question. And I said, "Now, I
5 haven't talked to the place where I'm going to move
6 you, and so -- I haven't talked to that person, that
7 person is coming in later on, to let them know that
8 they're not going to, but until I do that, then I
9 would like for you not to say anything other than to
10 your wife."
11 Q Did he ask you why that was happening?
12 A No, he didn't ask why.
13 Q Did he ask you anything?
14 A All he said was, "I'm disappointed in
15 you."
16 Q Did you pursue that with him at all? I
17 mean, that was it, he said, "I'm disappointed," and
18 that was the end of the conversation.
19 A He said, "I'm disappointed in you."
20 Q Did he say why he was disappointed?
21 A No.
22 Q Now, you're a professional school
23 administrator and have been for a number of years.
24 A Uh-huh.
25 Q Is it a normal practice, in your
1 experience, that principals are reassigned after
2 one-year intervals?
3 A Yes, that they are reassigned --
4 reassigned, that -- here is what I -- okay.
5 Q Move from one school to another within a
6 one-year interval.
7 A Yes, that could happen.
8 Q No, I understand it could happen.
9 A Yes.
10 Q Is it the norm for that to happen?
11 A I don't know how you would characterize --
12 if you're asking the question -- if you're asking
13 the question has it ever happened, and the answer is
14 yes.
15 Q Okay. Since you've been the
16 superintendent of schools in Bay County --
17 A Uh-huh.
18 Q -- since 2000, how many principals, other
19 than Mr. Bolinger at the high school level, let's
20 start there, have you moved after they have been
21 assigned there for a one-year period?
22 A Oh, no, none.
23 Q How about at the middle schools, how many
24 principals of middle schools in Bay County have you
25 moved after they have been assigned for a one-year
1 period?
2 A I can't recall any.
3 Q How about at the elementary level?
4 A That I have done, no, none, I haven't.
5 Q Do you have a belief that changing, call
6 it the climate, call it the performance, call it
7 improving a school at the high school level, a
8 school that has had a history of not performing
9 well, is generally achieved in a one-year period?
10 A Can that happen?
11 Q Well, let's start with can it happen.
12 A Sure.
13 Q Is that normal or would it normally be
14 expected that it would take more than a one-year
15 period, from your professional perspective?
16 A I think it could be done in one year.
17 Q Do you think that Bay County High School
18 has gotten turned around to the point where you're
19 pleased with its performance and its grade in a
20 one-year period?
21 A Well, I would think that this -- that any
22 school that are not an A in our district, then I'm
23 not satisfied unless it's an A.
24 Q And in your --
25 A So it wouldn't make any difference what
1 school it is. If they're not an A, until they get
2 to that status, then my impression, that is on me,
3 is that's what they want me to do, is make this
4 district an A district and that every one of our
5 schools are A schools, and that's --
6 Q I'm sorry, I thought you stopped. I'm
7 sorry.
8 A And that's -- so that's -- my position is,
9 that's what I want to do, and I want to put
10 personnel in to get us to that status.
11 Q And was it your belief in July or August
12 of 2005, when you made Mr. Bolinger the principal at
13 Bay High School, that he was going to bring it to an
14 A after two Ds in one year?
15 A No.
16 Q Did you think it would take more than one
17 year?
18 A I thought it would probably take more than
19 one year.
20 Q How many years did you think would be a
21 reasonable track from double D to A?
22 A As I said, we have schools that will do
23 that in one year. I hired Mrs. Hand over at Cedar
24 Grove. She did it in one year.
25 Q So you expected it in one year at Bay High
1 School?
2 A Realistically, do you expect all schools
3 to be -- any school that is less than an A, if they
4 are from a D status to be a -- go from a D to an A,
5 realistically I don't think that you can think that
6 realistically that that is going to happen on a
7 consistent basis. But can it happen, the answer is
8 yes.
9 Q How important a factor in making your
10 recommendation to move Mr. Bolinger out of Bay High
11 School was this discussion you had with him
12 regarding the announcing the grade a day early? Was
13 that what precipitated your decision to make that
14 move?
15 A I would say it was a big factor.
16 Q What other factors were there?
17 A Because -- well, I would say that would be
18 the factor.
19 Q The factor?
20 A Yes.
21 Q So had he waited until Friday to make that
22 announcement, is it your testimony here today that
23 you would have recommended him back for additional
24 years at Bay High School -- an additional year at
25 Bay High School?
1 A Probably.
2 Q Did you ever tell anybody before today
3 that that was the reason that you did not recommend
4 him back? And I'm not asking whether you had to.
5 I'm asking you whether you did tell anybody that the
6 reason you were not recommending Mr. Bolinger back
7 at Bay High School was because of that.
8 A Other than my wife, probably no.
9 Q Did you ever have any discussion with the
10 school board members about it?
11 A No.
12 Q Did they ever ask you why?
13 A Why was I --
14 Q Moving him?
15 A Yes, they asked the question.
16 Q People in the community ever ask the
17 question?
18 A Yeah, they did.
19 Q I mean, this became kind of a big issue in
20 this community, did it not?
21 A Well, what I would say is that the --
22 everyone wanted me to give a reason. My rationale
23 was, is that I have always, from counsel, as a
24 principal, and as a superintendent, that you do
25 not -- if they're annual contracted people, you do
1 not give reasons for why you want to make a
2 decision. I did not give a reason, and, yes -- but
3 everyone wanted to -- me to give a reason.
4 Q And so what your understanding is, is that
5 you're not legally required to give a reason. But I
6 believe you just said you had a reason, and that
7 reason was that you felt that Mr. Bolinger didn't
8 carry out your request to withhold that.
9 A I said that was a factor.
10 Q You said that was the factor.
11 A Uh-huh. I said that.
12 MS. CHUMBLER: Just to make sure, the
13 question was what precipitated his decision,
14 and he said that was the factor, just to make
15 sure you're not mischaracterizing his answer.
17 Q Were there other factors in reaching your
18 decision not to bring him back to Bay High School?
19 A Yes.
20 Q What other factors were those?
21 A There were factors -- another factor would
22 be if there were a request for me to make some
23 changes, for an example, if -- concerning
24 facilities, and if I made the statement, oh, we're
25 not going to do that because it has nothing to do
1 with the education over there, I think that when I
2 gave that, those -- that no, that no was then sent
3 to some parents to then get me to change my mind
4 about -- put pressure on me, and I didn't like it.
5 Q And we're not talking about now, I assume,
6 that Ms. Cramer and her chairs --
7 A That is correct.
8 Q Let me make sure I understand, then, what
9 you're talking about. There was a request made by
10 whom to change the facilities?
11 A Well, there was a request, for an example,
12 to give them funding to build a baseball complex.
13 My answer was, no, that had nothing to do with
14 educational -- what we need to do for that. And
15 when I made those kinds of -- those requests was
16 made and I said no, then I can rest assured that I
17 would then get a friendly visit or a call to
18 pressure me to --
19 Q So, now, do I understand that Mr. Bolinger
20 asked you --
21 A Yes.
22 Q -- for funds to be released to build a
23 baseball facility?
24 A Yes.
25 Q And you told him no.
1 A Yes.
2 Q And do you recall when that was?
3 A I can't tell you. I mean, it was during
4 the year. There was more than just that one.
5 Q Yes, sir. Let's deal with that one for
6 now.
7 A Yeah.
8 Q I mean, was it early on in his tenure,
9 late in his tenure?
10 A Sure, it was early on.
11 Q September, October?
12 A Oh, no, not -- I wouldn't say it was
13 September, October. Probably November, I would say.
14 Q And there is nothing wrong, is there, with
15 a principal asking the superintendent to approve the
16 release of funds for something like that? I mean,
17 that would be a normal request a principal would
18 make, is it not?
19 A That's exactly right, yes.
20 Q So you told Mr. Bolinger, no, that wasn't
21 involved in teaching the kids. And then I believe
22 you said that you got a friendly visit about that.
23 Who paid you the friendly visit?
24 A Randall McElheney and Mr. Harrison.
25 Q Not Franklin Harrison?
1 A No.
2 Q But William Harrison?
3 A Yes, sir.
4 Q Now, Randall McElheney and William
5 Harrison, how are they related to Bay High School,
6 if you know?
7 A Well, I know both of them are alumni of
8 Bay High School. They went to school there and
9 graduated from Bay High School. They're both a --
10 the business partner with the PASS program.
11 Q And the PASS program is a program, if I
12 can summarize it, see if I got it right, where
13 private enterprise, business people, basically put
14 some money into programs to encourage student
15 achievement, to help the school do its job; is that
16 a fair statement?
17 A That's the PASS program.
18 Q And Mr. McElheney and Mr. Harrison, they
19 have both contributed financially to -- maybe it's
20 not the term of art -- extracurricular programs at
21 Bay High School, have they not?
22 A No, I'm not aware. I mean, it could
23 happen.
24 Q But they're community supporters of the
25 Bay High School program.
1 A I would say they're supporters.
2 Q And do you believe that Mr. Bolinger put
3 them up to coming to you to pressure you to change
4 your mind?
5 A Well -- yes, I do.
6 Q Did Mr. McElheney or Mr. Harrison say that
7 Mr. Bolinger asked them to come or told them to come
8 or encouraged them to come, anything like that?
9 A No, I didn't ask them. I made the
10 assumption based on a request. The request was not
11 granted.
12 Q And then they came?
13 A (Nods head.)
14 Q Do you find it, I mean, extraordinary or
15 unusual that alumni of a school, especially one of
16 the legacy schools like Bay High School, would want
17 to develop sports arenas, baseball stadiums, things
18 of that nature? I mean, is that an unusual thing?
19 A Oh, I would say that probably if you -- if
20 we had the money, that every school in the district,
21 high school in the district, would want to have some
22 sports complex --
23 Q Sure.
24 A -- on their campus, yes.
25 Q Did McElheney and Harrison, during the
1 visit you've described, talk to you about, you know,
2 their willingness to fund raise or participate in
3 the development of any kind of project like that?
4 A I don't recall them saying.
5 Q But you made the assumption that Bolinger
6 had put them up to coming?
7 A That was my assumption.
8 Q Do you know whether the creation of the
9 baseball stadium or complex, whatever you want to
10 call it, was ever the subject of discussion, either
11 among past program participants, the SAC committee,
12 or any other group at the school, or was this just
13 something that Larry Bolinger hatched in his head?
14 A I have no way of knowing. The request
15 came --
16 Q You said no.
17 A My response to the request was we have a
18 facility department, we'll go out and see if there's
19 a need, and whatever they recommend occur, that's
20 what will happen. There was no need for that to be
21 placed on there, so it was --
22 Q So you said that there were -- that was
23 just one of a series of examples that you had where
24 that kind of thing happened. Tell me another one.
25 A Well, I would leave at those two, since I
1 used the word, and it's plural, those are two things
2 that I would leave it to.
3 Q So I understand and the record is clear,
4 the two reasons that you did not re -- or assign
5 again Larry Bolinger to Bay High School for the
6 2006, 2007 school year was the circumstance
7 surrounding the announcement of the grade and the
8 fact that you believe -- you made the assumption, I
9 think was your word, that Larry Bolinger had in some
10 way encouraged, induced McElheney and Harrison to
11 come to you to second-guess or undermine your
12 decision, vis-a-vis the baseball complex.
13 A Yes.
14 Q Those are the two reasons.
15 A Well, I would say that one of the --
16 really, the reason why I wanted him to move from --
17 was the -- I thought the district would be better
18 served for him to serve as a middle school principal
19 than it was at the high school.
20 Q Did you have a school in mind to transfer
21 him to?
22 A Yes.
23 Q And what school was that?
24 A It was Jinks Middle School.
25 Q Jinks Middle School is an A school?
1 A This year was an A school.
2 Q What made it in the better interest of the
3 district to move Larry Bolinger from Bay High School
4 to Jinks Middle School?
5 A Well, I was having some issues at Jinks
6 that I had discussed with the administrator there,
7 and --
8 Q You were not happy with the
9 administrator's performance at Jinks?
10 A I was not happy with some things that were
11 occurring, and I always believe that if that's -- if
12 you are in charge of the school, you are the
13 responsible person.
14 Q So where did you move the administrator
15 who was at Jinks?
16 A I was going to move --
17 Q I'm sorry.
18 A The person that is still there.
19 Q So you didn't move them?
20 A The person is -- that's correct.
21 Q You were planning to move her when you
22 were planning to put Bolinger at Jinks, but when
23 Bolinger -- but when the recommendation, which
24 brings us here today, was rejected by the school
25 board, you decided not to move the principal at
1 Jinks.
2 A I believe the record will reflect that I
3 said to the board when this issue is resolved, I'll
4 bring back the recommendation for that person as
5 well.
6 Q Now, at the time that you made the
7 recommendation to the board at the May 30th meeting,
8 had you solicited applications for a replacement at
9 Bay High School or was that something that you
10 intended to do after the recommendation had been
11 acted on by the board?
12 A Yeah, it was advertised -- we advertised
13 for the job, for Bay High principal, and the
14 advertisement was posted and was set to start the
15 interview process.
16 Q And how many applicants did you --
17 A There were two applicants.
18 Q That was Mr. Owens and Mr. Payne?
19 A That's correct.
20 Q And were those -- at the time of the
21 May 30th meeting, you simply recommended that all of
22 the administrators be renewed for an additional
23 year; is that correct, without regard to where they
24 were going to be assigned?
25 A That's correct.
1 Q And then at a subsequent meeting in June,
2 I believe the date was June 28th, you made the
3 recommendation for the transfers of some of the
4 administrative staff; is that correct?
5 A That's correct.
6 Q And was it between that time, May 30th and
7 June 28th, that you advertised and got the
8 applications for a principal to take the place of
9 Mr. Bolinger at Bay?
10 A Yes.
11 Q And did you announce to the school board
12 members at any time prior to the 28th that the --
13 you know, you had two applicants, and either
14 Mr. Owens or Mr. Payne had applied and would be
15 considered for appointment at Bay High School?
16 A Did I call the board members?
17 Q Yes, sir.
18 A No, I did not call the board members.
19 Q Was that general knowledge?
20 A That was general knowledge.
21 Q How did that become general knowledge,
22 just the fact that people had applied for the
23 position and --
24 A Well, it is posted and -- where the
25 vacancies are and what time and how long they would
1 be up and when the process would come.
2 Q And had the board acted on the 28th in a
3 different manner than it did, had they said, we
4 agree with you, we're going to transfer Bolinger to
5 Jinks, would you then have had a recommendation of
6 either Mr. Owens or Mr. Payne to immediately fill
7 the spot at Bay?
8 A That's correct.
9 Q Had you made a decision as to which one?
10 A No, I had not.
11 Q But you were prepared to advance a
12 recommendation of one or the other of those two?
13 A Yes.
14 Q Let me go back to the time that Kathy Barr
15 left. I believe it was in early January of 2006.
16 Did you have occasion to ask that her computer be
17 brought to your office?
18 A Yes.
19 Q Who did you ask to bring the computer to
20 your office?
21 A David Smith, his office, and I think David
22 Smith.
23 Q And is David Smith the IT person?
24 A Yes.
25 Q What was the purpose in your retrieving
1 her computer?
2 A She indicated that she felt uncomfortable
3 going back on the campus because there were a lot of
4 hostility towards her, she said.
5 Q Did she say from whom?
6 A Well, basically, it was from the
7 administration.
8 Q Mr. Bolinger?
9 A No, she said from the administration, she
10 didn't say Mr. Bolinger, from the administration.
11 And what she wanted to do was she had some personal
12 things on the computer and she wanted to get that
13 off of the computer.
14 Q So you had the computer brought to your
15 office.
16 A No -- well, I didn't know that at the
17 time, but that's what happened. I was -- I was out
18 in the school when this request came in. I just
19 called in -- I was visiting schools. My -- what I
20 thought they were going to do was just simply put it
21 in a conference room and let her retrieve what
22 happened and take the computer back.
23 Q But you came back to your office and the
24 computer was there?
25 A When I came back to my office, that's what
1 they told me. The computer was sitting out in the
2 secretary's area.
3 Q Now, is it a laptop computer?
4 A No, it's a regular, what we call, desk
5 top.
6 Q I see.
7 A On a cart.
8 Q Did Mrs. Barr then get invited in to take
9 documents off the computer?
10 A I'm assuming she was. I never saw her.
11 Q Did you ever look at the computer?
12 A I never saw the computer, never looked at
13 it, other than when I walked in and I saw it and
14 that's what they told me.
15 Q Do you know whether any material was
16 removed from the computer's hard drive by Mrs. Barr
17 or anyone?
18 A My understanding, they -- there were
19 requests to look into it, and the -- by a public
20 records request to have that examined, and the
21 machine was examined, and as far as I know, whatever
22 they were asking for, we gave them. So I have no
23 idea.
24 Q I mean, was that -- is that a computer --
25 and I don't know what your board policy is, but was
1 that a computer that was used for the storage of
2 communication of information relating to the
3 operation of Bay High School? I mean, this was a
4 school-owned computer in her office, correct?
5 A Yes.
6 Q And so the documents on that computer
7 would be subject to the public records law if they
8 were school related.
9 A That's correct.
10 Q And so you asked that the computer be
11 picked up. You didn't ask that it be taken to your
12 office, but that it be picked up by IT, and you
13 believe somebody had access to take things off of
14 it, but you don't know who. I mean, do you know
15 whether anything was removed from the hard drive of
16 the computer?
17 A My understanding, and this is what I was
18 told was, is that her son --
19 Q Her --
20 A Mrs. Barr's son was in school and she had
21 helped him with a paper, and that paper was on -- a
22 copy of that document was on -- in Word, and she
23 wanted to get that.
24 Q And so that was your understanding --
25 A That was my understanding.
1 Q -- was she made a copy of or took off the
2 machine?
3 A She thought that other people will have
4 access -- once she left, that other people will have
5 access to that computer and may get that. That
6 document was personal, so --
7 Q Does your district have a policy governing
8 the personal use of the district-owned computers?
9 A They do.
10 Q What is that policy?
11 A That policy states that you can hand
12 receipt a computer for your use, if you get a hand
13 receipt for it, and you can take it home or whatever
14 the case is.
15 Q That would be for a laptop, not a desk
16 top.
17 A No, for a desk top, too.
18 Q You can take your desk top to home?
19 A You can have a hand receipt for your desk
20 top.
21 Q And you can use it for your own personal
22 affairs?
23 A Well, I don't think the district is saying
24 that you should be using any computer for your
25 personal use. But does that happen, the answer
1 is --
2 Q So you didn't view anything improper
3 about -- or strike that.
4 Was it unusual -- I mean, have you
5 retrieved other employees who leave the district's
6 employment, have you retrieved their computers in a
7 similar fashion or directed they be retrieved?
8 A No, I have not. No one has ever
9 requested -- we have had people request, can they
10 have a hand receipt of their computer during the
11 summer, and I know that that occurs at school site.
12 When I was a principal I did it, and I never thought
13 of -- now, if it's wrong, then --
14 Q I'm not suggesting it's wrong.
15 A Yeah, yeah.
16 Q The day that -- it became known that you
17 were not recommending Mr. Bolinger back as principal
18 of Bay High School --
19 A Uh-huh.
20 Q -- and I'm suggesting to you the date is
21 May 25th, before the May 30th meeting, but in that
22 timeframe --
23 A Yes.
24 Q -- did you hear from Mrs. Barr about your
25 decision?
1 A No, I had not -- at that time I had not
2 talked to Mrs. Barr.
3 Q Did you get any flowers from her?
4 A Not that I recall.
5 Q Did you ever get any flowers from
6 Mrs. Barr thanking you for what you had done?
7 A No.
8 Q Okay. How about from Mrs. Cramer?
9 A No.
10 Q How about from Jimmy Barr?
11 A No.
12 Q How about from the Chapmans?
13 A No.
14 Q Was the occasion that you met with
15 Mr. McElheney about the sports stadium or complex,
16 was that the only time that you've talked to Randall
17 McElheney about things at Bay High School, or have
18 there been other meetings with him?
19 A Oh, I met with Mr. McElheney before.
20 Q Did you ever talk to Mr. McElheney, even
21 at the -- you know, on the onset, back in 2005 when
22 you first put Bolinger there, that -- you know, what
23 your plans for the school were and just discuss with
24 McElheney what you were hoping to achieve?
25 A No, I -- Mr. McElheney, Mr. Harrison,
1 Julian Bennett set up -- well, I set up an
2 appointment with Mr. McElheney, and the meeting,
3 when I got there, when the meeting started, those
4 other two gentlemen were with him, okay. This was
5 back in the summer.
6 And their question was who was I going to
7 assign to Bay High --
8 Q Yes, sir.
9 A -- at that point. And they made two
10 recommendations to me that they thought that I
11 should consider transferring. They said that they
12 thought that I should transfer Bill Husfelt, who was
13 at --
14 Q Mosley.
15 A -- Mosley, to the school, and all I did
16 was just listen. And they believed that I should
17 put Mr. Hall, Leonard Hall, either one of those two.
18 Q And that was at what point in time, again,
19 prior to the 2005 selection process?
20 A That's correct.
21 Q Mr. Hall is a former superintendent here?
22 A Yes. See, I'm that old, too.
23 Q I'm almost finished, Mr. Superintendent.
24 Let me ask you something that came up
25 yesterday that I'd like a little clarification on,
1 if you can help me. And that is that there was some
2 testimony about a hiring freeze that was put into
3 place in June -- May, June kind of time period by
4 you. What can you tell me about that, just
5 generally?
6 A Sure. There was a hiring freeze, not
7 typically what you think a hiring freeze means, no
8 one can do anything. There were positions posted
9 with the district, and the hiring freeze simply said
10 that you can go through all of the process that you
11 normally will do in selecting teachers or whatever,
12 but when you do the interviews, do not tell any of
13 the person that they're selected, and we will make a
14 decision after the board meeting.
15 Q On June 28th?
16 A Yeah, whatever that date. Now, that --
17 Q Go ahead.
18 A -- was based on what we had -- we had
19 talked with the board attorney, and my question was,
20 do I have the right -- now, tell me if I've down
21 something wrong, just let me know, I'll correct what
22 I've done, but do I? And so it was my belief that
23 when I brought the recommendation the very next
24 time, which is typically on a consent item, it's
25 just approve and you go on.
1 Q What would -- let me ask you, I mean, was
2 that a hiring freeze that you, as superintendent,
3 put into place, or did you go to the board with a
4 recommendation that there be a freeze?
5 A No, I got a call from a board member who
6 said, "I noticed that you have this and you're
7 getting ready."
8 And I said, "Well, yeah."
9 And they asked, "Well -- you know, a
10 decision hasn't been made, why don't you" --
11 And I said, "Okay, if that's what you
12 believe over there, I'll just stop the process. But
13 I'm just not stopping the process for one school, it
14 will be for all schools in the district, that you
15 can go ahead and interview, you can do just as you
16 is, but -- that you normally do, but don't tell
17 anyone that so and so is going" --
18 Q To get the job?
19 A -- "to get the job."
20 Q Who is the board member you contacted?
21 A Mrs. Rohan.
22 Q To make sure I understand what you're
23 saying, Mrs. Rohan contacted you and said there are
24 hiring things happening at Bay High School and that
25 you were going to, you know --
1 A No.
2 Q Okay.
3 A She saw the position that I had
4 advertised --
5 Q For the principal?
6 A -- for the principal position.
7 Q Okay. And she asked about it?
8 A Yes.
9 Q And you said no decision has been made.
10 A Yeah. "Why is this happening?"
11 And my assumption was, well, when I talked
12 with -- over there, that this is the process. I
13 didn't want to delay it any longer, so we have
14 advertised and we are ready to interview. And so
15 the term hiring freeze typically means that there
16 are no more hiring in the district at all, and that
17 was not -- so there was a term used, probably
18 another term could have been used, but somehow or
19 another that's the term that was used, and that's
20 the rationale, and that's what we did.
21 Q It was used in a memorandum out of your
22 office, wasn't it?
23 A Yes.
24 Q And so you put it in district wide, but,
25 really, you were seeking just to stop things from
1 going on --
2 A Well --
3 Q -- at Bay.
4 A What happened -- the problem is, let's say
5 that someone who was saying I'm going to transfer to
6 school A, whatever that is, and then if there was a
7 change in -- over there, they say, well, I wouldn't
8 have done that if I had known that there was going
9 to be a change, so now we're having to go back --
10 and I didn't want to go and do -- and have that to
11 be part of the issue.
12 Q So you just sort of put everything in
13 limbo in terms of the actual final hiring, still
14 could interview, still could advertise, just didn't
15 hire anybody. And then after the decision was made
16 on June 28th, you rescinded that and said you can
17 hire people.
18 A You can go ahead and tell the persons that
19 you interviewed, you can come aboard.
20 Q Okay. You have listed on your -- your
21 attorneys have listed on your witness statement an
22 expert by the name of William Montford. Do you know
23 William Montford?
24 A I do.
25 Q Who is?
1 A He is the executive director for Florida
2 Association of District School Superintendents.
3 Q And do you have a relationship with that
4 organization?
5 A I am.
6 Q You are what?
7 A I am the president of the board of
8 directors.
9 Q And how long have you been the president
10 of the Florida Association of District School
11 Superintendents?
12 A Since July of this --
13 Q July of 2006?
14 A Yes.
15 Q So as president, you were involved, were
16 you not, in the determination and the recommendation
17 to employ Mr. Montford as the executive director of
18 the association?
19 A Yes.
20 Q And did you, in fact, recommend him for
21 that employment?
22 A No, I did not -- I mean, I was not the one
23 who recommended. I was part of the person who said,
24 we need to have a search, and they went out and
25 searched and came out with three names and said any
1 of these three said they would consider being over
2 there. And that name was given to us, and I was one
3 of the ones that voted yes. I approved that.
4 Q And does the board of directors of the
5 Florida Association of District School
6 Superintendents act in a supervisory capacity over
7 Mr. Montford as an executive director?
8 A Yes.
9 Q You're sort of the boss?
10 A Yes.
11 MR. MEYER: If I could have just a very
12 brief recess, I think --
13 MS. CHUMBLER: Sure.
14 MR. MEYER: -- we're reaching the end of
15 the rope here.
16 (Recess taken.)
18 Q I have a few more questions,
19 Mr. Superintendent. I want to go back and clarify
20 some things that I was told I omitted.
21 Let me take you back to the beginning of
22 the '05, '06 school year, the first year that
23 Mr. Bolinger was at the principal's position, and we
24 had talked a little bit about the change in the
25 school resource officer and how that occurred. Do
1 you recall Mrs. Barr coming to you about that issue?
2 A I recall Mrs. Barr saying to me, when she
3 was giving me the things, that she felt that it
4 wasn't going good over there, and those were one of
5 the things she listed as, for an example, this
6 happened, yeah.
7 Q But that was the -- that was at a later
8 meeting. I mean, I'm really referring to at the
9 beginning -- or near the beginning of the school
10 year when the whole assignment issue came to your
11 attention initially --
12 A Uh-huh.
13 Q -- do you have any recollection of Jimmy
14 Barr and Kathy Barr, or either of them, coming to
15 you and saying, you know, before we go to the
16 sheriff, I want you to know what's happening or
17 words to that effect?
18 A No, it was -- in fact, I think I got a
19 call from Myron Guilford, who was -- and I called
20 the sheriff's department, and they got upset with
21 him for doing that. But he was the one that
22 contacted me and said that, you know, he was not
23 recommended back at Bay High School.
24 Q And so the only time you recall talking to
25 Mrs. Barr about it was when she was listing the
1 problems that she felt she was experiencing.
2 A That's right, uh-huh.
3 Q When she came to you with that list of
4 problems, was there a -- did she have a written
5 document that she was referring to? I mean, did she
6 give you a list of things --
7 A No, it was just verbal.
8 Q And did you make any notes of what the
9 things were or --
10 A No.
11 Q It was just a discussion that you had?
12 A I just listened.
13 Q She told you what was eating at her.
14 A Uh-huh.
15 Q And as I recall your testimony, it was
16 requiring the coordinators to cover classes and --
17 do you recall other --
18 A Yeah, it was --
19 Q The Guilford incident.
20 A There were a list of things that she was
21 saying that she thought was not going well, and one
22 of those was that -- the Guilford issue was brought
23 up, the fact that she was not being consulted on
24 issues about the magnet program, instead it was
25 just, I guess, unilaterally decision made about this
1 and she had no say so into it and -- so that was an
2 issue.
3 Another one that was brought up was Dave
4 Browning was assigned to sub for classes for two
5 days, I believe, and that she was asked to go and
6 retrieve some students. They were magnet students
7 and was supposed to be in this magnet. Apparently,
8 the magnet teacher did not get a sub for this
9 teacher over there, and they had covered that with
10 an ROTC, and it was just an issue of they were
11 supposed to use, and I'm going to use this as an
12 example, room A, and the students were actually in
13 room B, and they were told to go to room B. They
14 were actually in room B, but when someone went to
15 room A, where they were supposed to be, they said,
16 the students are not here. And when she went to
17 retrieve them, they were actually in room B where
18 they were supposed to be. It was those kind of
19 things.
20 Q Did you find it unusual that the magnet
21 coordinator administrator was involving herself in
22 the issue of the assignment of the school resource
23 officer? I mean, would that be something normally
24 that she would have anything to do with?
25 A She was -- she was just saying, here are
1 the things that I think are going wrong. This is an
2 example over there, why would you move a person
3 with -- and the issue was, with the minority
4 population at Bay High School, why would you not
5 want to have someone -- the minority resource
6 officer there.
7 Q Mr. Guilford was a minority?
8 A Yes. Rather than two white males. I
9 mean, it just doesn't make sense that you would want
10 to do that. And as I indicated to you, the truth of
11 the matter is, Mr. -- when you got down to it,
12 Mr. Bolinger requested --
13 Q Supported that.
14 A Yeah, he wanted Myron. When I called and
15 talked to the captain, he said that, no, it wasn't
16 his decision, it was my decision to do it. And he
17 said the reason I did it was because there were two
18 sergeants and they try not to have two -- and I'm
19 just going to use it as officers like that at both
20 schools. Instead of having two sergeants, they
21 would like to have one at one school and one at
22 another school to help.
23 Q So, I mean, I guess it was an assumption
24 on the part of Ms. Barr that that's what happened.
25 When you checked it out, it didn't happen that way.
1 A That's correct.
2 Q When you made the assumption that
3 Mr. McElheney and Mr. Harrison came to you at the
4 encouragement or direction or request of
5 Mr. Bolinger, did you check that out with anyone? I
6 mean, did you ask Bolinger, did you ask McElheney,
7 did you ask Harrison, did you ask anybody?
8 A No, I didn't ask. I just thought the --
9 it would be coincidental. If I said to him no, and
10 then a few minutes or an hour later I get a call
11 saying can we come by and talk to you about this
12 issue that I have just said no to, I mean, to me,
13 that is just not coincidental.
14 Q You made the assumption that that wasn't a
15 coincidence.
16 A To me, that's correct, that's too
17 coincidental for that to occur.
18 Q And with respect to the grading release,
19 you know, the student ranking, the Thursday versus
20 Friday release, again, you know, you were apparently
21 told two different things, one, that Mr. Bolinger
22 said that it kind of came up by happenstance --
23 A Right.
24 Q -- unplanned, whatever, spur of the
25 moment, the other by Mrs. Rohan, that, oh, no, this
1 was carefully planned after the Wednesday meeting.
2 A Sure.
3 Q Did you try to reconcile that?
4 A Oh, yeah, I verified that.
5 Q You verified it with whom?
6 A With the AICE staff. I happened to call
7 them and say, you know, how did this -- how did
8 you-all do this. And she then verified what
9 Mrs. Rohan had told me, that they had planned it the
10 night before. I didn't go over and say, you know,
11 I'm inquiring, being inquisitive for you to give me
12 the answer. I just said to her, in talking, well,
13 how -- she was saying, "I wish you could have been
14 here when we did this."
15 And I said, "How did that happen?"
16 And she said, "Oh, Thursday night we came
17 and we made plans for this to occur" -- I mean,
18 Wednesday night for Thursday, she verified it.
19 Q And she was who?
20 A Mrs. Palphrey.
21 Q Can you spell that for the court reporter?
22 A P-A-L-P-H-R-E-Y, I believe.
23 Q And she was the AICE coordinator, is that
24 her title?
25 A That's correct.
1 Q Is she still at the school?
2 A Yes.
3 MR. MEYER: I have no further questions.
4 The words you were waiting to hear.
5 MR. HARRISON: I have no questions.
6 MS. CHUMBLER: I have no questions. We'll
7 read.
8 (Deposition concluded.)

Bolinger -------

1 Deposition of Larry R. Bolinger
2 October 24, 2006
5 the witness herein, being first duly sworn, was
6 examined and testified as follows:
9 Q Would you state your name and address for
10 the record, please.
11 A Larry R. Bolinger, 4316 DeLen, D-E,
12 capital L-E-N, Drive, Panama City 32404.
13 Q Mr. Bolinger, am I correct that you were
14 at one time the superintendent of Bay County --
15 A That's correct.
16 Q -- District Schools?
17 A Yes.
18 Q When was that?
19 A '96 to 2000.
20 Q When you were superintendent, did you ever
21 transfer or reassign a principal at any level?
22 A Yes.
23 Q About how many times?
24 A I counted eight yesterday, each of them
25 was a promotion.
1 Q Okay.
2 A And one that was a non-renewal.
3 Q So in one instance, what do you mean by
4 that?
5 A I non-renewed the principal.
6 Q Okay. What principal was that?
7 A That was Jerry Long.
8 Q Okay. And that was what -- where was he
9 before?
10 A He was the principal at Shaw Adult School.
11 Q Why were you non-renewing him for that
12 school?
13 A His work was not standard -- was
14 substandard, a good deal of absenteeism, a number of
15 legitimate reasons.
16 Q Isn't it true that in that instance you
17 were also recommending that the school be,
18 basically, closed down?
19 A No. What we were -- what we were -- what
20 I recommended to do was to move the adult program
21 from that school to Haney Technical Center, which
22 was and still is an adult program, and I was going
23 to repurpose Shaw into an elementary school, because
24 we needed one on that side of town.
25 Q But the Shaw Adult School would no longer
1 have been Shaw Adult School, correct?
2 A It would have been Shaw Elementary School.
3 Q So even if Mr. Long had been doing a good
4 job at Shaw, you would have had to put him somewhere
5 else other than Shaw Adult School; is that correct?
6 A That's correct.
7 Q When you said you had moved principals
8 eight times, is that at all levels, elementary
9 through high school?
10 A Yes, elementary through high school.
11 Q How many of those were principals at high
12 schools?
13 A How many were already principals at high
14 schools?
15 Q How many were moving into the position of
16 principal or moving people of a high school -- or
17 moving people from the position of a principal at a
18 high school?
19 A There was one retirement at Rutherford
20 High School, and all these went through the
21 application process, the interview process, and I
22 selected Joe Bullock to go from Mowat Middle School
23 to Rutherford High School.
24 Q So that was -- was that the only?
25 A Then my successor at Mosley in early '97.
1 Q Uh-huh.
2 A Was Bill Husfelt. He was an assistant
3 principal at Bay High School at the time, who went
4 through the interview process, and I selected him to
5 go to Mosley.
6 Q Okay. So any other high school principal
7 positions that you transferred people into as
8 superintendent?
9 A Arnold High School opened in August of
10 2000, and I named Janice Salares. She was formerly
11 the principal at Patronis Elementary, and I
12 transferred her to the high school position, yet to
13 be built, filled, et cetera.
14 Q Now, I believe you were here when
15 Ms. Salares was deposed yesterday; is that correct?
16 A That's correct.
17 Q Would you agree with the answers she gave,
18 that at least a large part of the student population
19 at Arnold came from what had been the Bay High
20 School district?
21 A If I -- if you remember, I left.
22 Q Okay. Well, then, I'll just ask you that
23 question.
24 A So I don't remember that.
25 Q All right.
1 A I don't remember her saying that, but I
2 can answer the question.
3 Q Well, I ask you that question, would you
4 agree that a large part of the student population at
5 Arnold came from what had been the Bay High School
6 District?
7 A To my mind, it was around 900 students,
8 which made up the better part of the initial student
9 population at Arnold.
10 Q And those 900 students would have been
11 within the Bay High School District; is that
12 correct?
13 A Correct, attendance zone.
14 Q Was that the total student population at
15 Arnold, or did they also pull students from other
16 zones?
17 A They pulled students from other zones. I
18 don't recall exactly how the zones were redrawn, but
19 we did go through that process in preparation for
20 opening of Arnold.
21 Q What was the total student population at
22 Arnold to begin with?
23 A I really do not recall.
24 Q Was the 900 a significant percentage of
25 the student population at Arnold?
1 A Yes.
2 Q And when Arnold was opened, was it opened
3 with all four grades, or was there gradual addition
4 of grades?
5 A It opened with all four grades.
6 Q When you were the school board
7 superintendent, did the school board ever reject any
8 of your recommendations relating to the transfer of
9 a principal?
10 A No.
11 Q Did they ever reject any of your
12 recommendations regarding the transfer of any school
13 personnel?
14 A No.
15 Q Am I correct that Superintendent
16 McCalister is your -- or was your immediate
17 successor --
18 A Yes.
19 Q -- as superintendent?
20 After you left the office of
21 superintendent, did you immediately return as an
22 employee of the school district?
23 A Yes.
24 Q What position did you go into?
25 A I was an administrator on special
1 assignment to the Beacon Learning Center.
2 Q What is the Beacon Learning Center?
3 A It was a federal grant that was awarded to
4 Bay District Schools to develop high-tech online
5 lesson plans and other high-tech solutions for
6 teachers.
7 Q How long were you in that position?
8 A Approximately seven months.
9 Q And after that position, where did you go?
10 A I went to Merritt Brown Middle School as
11 the principal.
12 Q And how long were you there?
13 A Four years.
14 Q Did you do a good job there?
15 A I believe I did.
16 Q Now, we've heard -- there's been testimony
17 about what happened when the decision was made by
18 the superintendent to transfer you from Merritt
19 Brown to Bay High School. When did he first
20 contact -- well, first, did you first hear of this
21 from a contact from the superintendent, or did you
22 hear it from some other source?
23 A It was the afternoon of June the 21st.
24 Q 2005?
25 A 2005. My neighbor -- next-door neighbor
1 came over and said -- I was out in the backyard. My
2 neighbor came over and said the school just called
3 and they're trying to get up with you.
4 Mr. McCalister wants to see you in his office. And
5 that was about 4:40 in the afternoon.
6 Q And was that a meeting for right then?
7 Did you immediately go to see the superintendent?
8 A Yes.
9 Q What did he say to you?
10 A His exact words were, "Larry, I've got a
11 big problem in the district and you can solve it for
12 me, if you will."
13 And I smiled. And he looked and quizzed
14 me. I said, "You know why I'm smiling."
15 He said, "No".
16 I said, "You want me to good to Bay High,
17 don't you?"
18 He said, "Yes. Will you go?"
19 And I said, Mac, "I've been thinking about
20 this. There have been some rumors out. And when it
21 didn't come up on the board agenda to be filled, I
22 was concerned that you were looking elsewhere. So I
23 have thought about this, and, yes, I'll go."
24 Q Had you been on the search committee
25 looking for a new principal for Bay?
1 A Yes.
2 Q Anything else that was said during that
3 meeting?
4 A Yes.
5 Q Okay. What?
6 A I said to him -- I said, "Mac, I will go,
7 Number 1, because I love Bay High, and I taught
8 there for ten years. I have relatives that have
9 gone through there." And I elaborated on that. I
10 said, "Secondly, my work at Merritt Brown is
11 finished. I've been there four years. The school
12 has got a top rating. I feel like I can leave it in
13 good hands."
14 And then I said, "Now, Mac," I looked him
15 straight in the eye, I said, "Now, this is my last
16 one. This is my third move since I was
17 superintendent. I've just finished my first year of
18 DROP. It's going to take four years to clean that
19 school up, if what I'm hearing is correct." I said,
20 "This is my last one. This is my swan song. I want
21 four years to clean it up."
22 He said, quote, I have no problem with
23 that at all.
24 Q Okay.
25 A And then I laughed, and I said, "Mac, if I
1 can't clean it up in four years, you need to get rid
2 of me after that anyway."
3 And he laughed, too, and he said, "You're
4 right."
5 Q Okay. I'm going to ask you to identify a
6 document that we'll mark as Exhibit 1.
7 (Petitioner's Exhibit Number 1 marked for
8 identification.)
10 Q Can you identify this document that's been
11 marked as Exhibit 1?
12 A Yes.
13 Q What is it?
14 A It is the annual contract for me as
15 principal for the '05, '06 school year.
16 Q Is this a document that you've seen
17 before?
18 A Yes.
19 Q And is this your signature at the bottom
20 of the page that's above James McCalister's
21 signature?
22 A Yes.
23 Q The one that's above the line that says
24 employee; is that correct?
25 A Correct.
1 Q Were you aware -- or do you understand
2 this to be a one-year contract?
3 A This document is a one-year contract.
4 Q Did you ever speak to Mr. McCalister about
5 a multi-year contract?
6 A In the first meeting I said, "This is my
7 last one. This is my swan song. I've got four
8 years to go."
9 Q Did you sign this contract, this
10 Exhibit 1, after that conversation with
11 Mr. McCalister?
12 A I can't recall when it was signed.
13 There's no date as to when it was to be signed. I
14 don't recall.
15 Q Do you remember at that meeting on
16 June 21st, 2005, being asked to sign an employment
17 contract?
18 A No.
19 Q So would it be fair to say that this
20 probably was signed after that meeting on June the
21 21st, at some point?
22 A I could not say.
23 Q Okay.
24 A It could have been done before or after.
25 Q Before the meeting on June 21st, had you
1 ever spoken to Mr. Bolinger (sic) about where you --
2 A No --
3 Q -- Mr. McCalister, where you would be
4 during the 2005, 2006 school year?
5 A May I -- may I enter in, this says 0061,
6 which is Bay High's number, so I think it's fair to
7 say I signed it after June 21st.
8 Q Okay. So that number on the line where it
9 says school board and Larry Bolinger, parens, 0061,
10 indicates an assignment to Bay High School; is that
11 correct?
12 A That is Bay High's state number, yes.
13 Q Okay. And based upon that you believe
14 that you signed this after this June 21st, 2005,
15 meeting with Mr. McCalister; is that correct?
16 A Yes.
17 Q Okay. And I'm not sure, you may have
18 answered, but I don't remember your answer. Did you
19 at any time request that you be given a multi-year
20 contract?
21 A Other than the June 21st, meeting, where I
22 believed that we had a gentleman's agreement, there
23 was a professional agreement between the two of us.
24 Q Other than that, what?
25 A That was my feeling, we -- Mr. McCalister
1 and I -- it is difficult sometimes with former
2 superintendents and new superintendents and
3 everything, but I believe that we had had, during my
4 tenure at Merritt Brown, a very amicable
5 relationship. He was supportive of me. I was
6 supportive of him. He had just gone through a
7 re-election. I supported him openly, publicly. And
8 so I had no reason to believe anything other than
9 his word, that he was a man of his word.
10 Q Okay. When you received this one-year
11 contract, were you surprised to see it was a
12 one-year contract?
13 A It was simply -- I was not surprised. It
14 was just a matter of course. I don't know that any
15 district or district administrator has ever received
16 a multi-year contract in writing. There have been
17 commitments made, professional commitments. I made
18 them and I honored them. And it's something that a
19 superintendent does.
20 Q Are you aware of the ability of the
21 superintendent to ask the school board for
22 multi-year contracts for administrators?
23 A Yes.
24 Q But, to your knowledge, Mr. McCalister
25 never requested such a multi-year contract; is that
1 correct?
2 A That's correct.
3 Q Did you ever ask the superintendent to go
4 to the school board and ask for a multi-year
5 contract for you?
6 A No, I didn't feel it was necessary.
7 Q Why did you not ask for that if your
8 understanding was a commitment is being made to a
9 multi-year agreement for you to stay at Bay?
10 A It was a -- Mr. McCalister has always
11 prided himself on being a man of his word. I took
12 him at face value, that he was a man of his word.
13 Q When you were transferred to Bay, was
14 there an adverse effect on the students assigned
15 there?
16 A I don't believe so.
17 Q When you were transferred to Bay, was
18 there an adverse effect on the staff there?
19 A Not that I'm aware of.
20 Q When you were transferred to Bay, was
21 there a disruption in operations?
22 A Not that I'm aware of.
23 Q Who took your place at Merritt Brown?
24 A Charlotte Marshall.
25 Q And where did she come from?
1 A She was an assistant principal at
2 Rosenwald.
3 Q So she was not someone who had been at
4 Merritt Brown immediately prior to her reassignment
5 there.
6 A One year out. She was assigned there as
7 an administrative assistant in 2001, and she served
8 with me for two years until -- I guess it would be
9 2001, 2002; 2002, 2003; 2003, 2004. I may be off a
10 year. She was there with me three years, and then
11 she received a promotion to assistant principal.
12 And so she knew the school very well.
13 Q Were the students at Merritt Brown
14 adversely affected when you were transferred to Bay
15 High?
16 A I don't think so, because Ms. Marshall had
17 knowledge of the school, and, in fact, I recommended
18 her to the superintendent, that he give her
19 consideration.
20 Q Because she was an administrator who had
21 been there at the school and knew the staff and knew
22 the students; is that correct?
23 A Correct.
24 Q Was the staff at Merritt Brown adversely
25 affected when you were transferred to Bay High?
1 A Not that I'm aware of.
2 Q Were the operations at Merritt Brown
3 disrupted when you were transferred to Bay High?
4 A Not that I'm aware of.
5 Q Now, we've talked about that. Is there
6 anything else that you've not mentioned that you and
7 the superintendent discussed at that June 21st,
8 2005, meeting?
9 A We discussed assistant principals.
10 Q Okay. What was said about assistant
11 principals?
12 A After we made the -- after I felt like we
13 made the commitment of, yes, I will go --
14 Q Uh-huh.
15 A -- yes, I have four years to get it done,
16 I reiterated, I said, "Mac, I've done some thinking
17 about this, I'm going to need a new administrative
18 staff there."
19 And he said, "I will give you one
20 assistant principal."
21 And I said, "Well, I assume by that,
22 you're moving Shirley Baker."
23 He said, "That's correct, she received a
24 transfer to -- a promotion."
25 I said, "Well, I'll need one more." I
1 asked that Harold Weaver, who had been there, be
2 transferred to a vacant position at Merritt Brown,
3 an assistant principalship, that I be allowed to
4 bring on two assistant principals of my choosing.
5 Q And what did he say?
6 A He said, "Let me check with them first, to
7 see if they're willing to do it."
8 Q And who were these two people again, tell
9 me the names?
10 A Bill Payne and Kevin Garrigan.
11 Q Do you know when Bill Payne was assigned
12 to Bay High?
13 A Yes. He was assigned within the next two
14 days. I told Mac that, from what I understood,
15 nothing had been going on at school, that there was
16 a great deal of work to be done. This was the
17 evening of June the 21st, and we were on four-day
18 weeks. We really needed to get going.
19 And I requested that he assign Kevin
20 Garrigan and Bill Payne, who both were
21 administrative assistants, place them on special
22 assignment, assign them to Bay High School. And
23 even though I was not there officially, I had
24 planned on going over there the next day, and go
25 ahead start working. But I asked that they be
1 allowed to go over there under contract, because
2 administrative assistants are not paid during the
3 summer.
4 He agreed to that.
5 Q Now, is it your understanding that Bill
6 Payne was an administrative assistant --
7 A Yes.
8 Q -- at the time he was assigned assistant
9 principal --
10 A Yes.
11 Q -- at Bay, not an assistant principal at
12 another school?
13 A That's correct. There was testimony given
14 yesterday that was not accurate.
15 Q What was the testimony yesterday?
16 A Someone said that Mr. Payne was an
17 assistant principal at Mosley. He was an
18 administrative assistant at Mosley.
19 Q So your understanding is that he was an
20 administrative assistant at Mosley, and at your
21 request, he got moved over as an assistant principal
22 at Bay.
23 A Right.
24 Q And your recollection of that conversation
25 is that you specifically requested that move be
1 made.
2 A Yes.
3 Q And I understand it's your recollection
4 that you also specifically requested Kevin Garrigan;
5 is that correct?
6 A Yes.
7 Q And when did that change occur, when did
8 Mr. Garrity (sic) get appointed to --
9 MR. MEYER: Garrigan.
10 MS. CHUMBLER: Garrigan.
11 THE WITNESS: Yes, Garrigan.
12 At the same time.
13 I left the office --
15 Q Well, make sure I pose a question.
16 A Sorry.
17 Q When did Mr. Garrigan's appointment go
18 through, not when did you request it?
19 A Within the next two days he was
20 assigned --
21 Q Okay.
22 A -- as an administrator on special
23 assignment, along with Mr. Payne, to report to Bay
24 High School.
25 Q And when did Mr. Payne and Mr. Garrigan
1 receive their assignments as assistant principals to
2 that school?
3 A It was also agreed in the June 21st
4 meeting that if the two of them would agree to do
5 this, that he would go ahead, either the next day or
6 the following, advertise for two assistant
7 principalships at Bay High School, which he did.
8 Q Okay.
9 A And those administrative advertisements go
10 for ten days, and the interview process took place,
11 of which I took part. I recommended to the
12 superintendent that they be made assistant
13 principals. He agreed. They were -- they were
14 already on staff on special assignment, so they just
15 received promotions.
16 Q So your recollection is they both were on
17 the same track. They both moved over as
18 assistant -- administrative assistants on special
19 assignment at the same time.
20 A Right.
21 Q They both became assistant principals at
22 the same time.
23 A Correct.
24 Q Anything else that was said during that
25 June 21st meeting or discussed?
1 A Not that I recall at this time.
2 Q After that June 21st meeting, did you have
3 any additional discussions with the superintendent
4 before you actually went to Bay High School as the
5 new principal?
6 A That was the 21st. My anniversary was the
7 22nd. I had a trip planned to an educational
8 conference the next Sunday, Monday, Tuesday. I
9 don't know that I -- I didn't meet with him the rest
10 of that week or the following week.
11 Q And then by the following week you had
12 gone to Bay High and basically assumed the duties as
13 principal; is that correct?
14 A Correct.
15 Q Now, let's skip forward a year. When did
16 you first learn or hear that the superintendent
17 might not be returning you to Bay High?
18 A Rumors began in January of '06.
19 Q And who specifically did you hear that
20 rumor from?
21 A One was Lisa Henley, a teacher at Bay High
22 School.
23 Q What did she say?
24 A She said that she had just had a
25 conversation with -- or at some time in the past few
1 days had a conversation with Dave Browning. This
2 was the time in which Dave Browning was either on
3 sick leave or just coming in and out of the school.
4 And she sat down to talk with him, since she knew
5 him. And she said that he said, "Well, it doesn't
6 matter about me, because Kathy will be back next
7 year and Larry won't."
8 And so she felt like she needed to come
9 and tell me about that.
10 Q Did you then go talk to Mr. Browning to
11 find out whether he had, in fact, said that or what
12 the basis for his saying that?
13 A No, because I had been instructed by the
14 superintendent to leave him alone.
15 Q And when were you instructed by the
16 superintendent to leave him alone?
17 A I believe it was on or about January
18 the 6th.
19 Q Tell me, was that a meeting or a phone
20 conversation? What was the nature of that?
21 A That was a meeting in which Kevin Garrigan
22 and Bill Payne attended.
23 Q Okay.
24 A The superintendent alluded to it, but did
25 not know the time or date.
1 Q And you said Garrigan and Payne were
2 there, too?
3 A Yes.
4 Q All right. And, what, he told you
5 specifically leave Mr. Browning alone?
6 A Right.
7 Q Did he explain why he said that?
8 A His exact words were, "Leave Browning
9 alone."
10 Q Okay. Did he tell you why?
11 A He said -- no, he really -- he said -- I
12 said, "Mac, he's not doing what I'm asking him to
13 do. He's being insubordinate. I found a number of
14 students and files that he's changed, altered. He's
15 not working in the best interest of the students.
16 He's not working in the best interest of the school.
17 He's hurting the school. I need him transferred."
18 Q Okay.
19 A And he said, "I'm asking you to leave Dave
20 Browning alone." And he got more agitated.
21 Q Did he explain to you what he meant by
22 that?
23 A He said, "Don't talk to him, leave him be,
24 let him stay there, just leave it alone -- leave him
25 alone."
1 And I said, "Mac, I can't. How can I do
2 that? He's an employee of the school. He has a set
3 of responsibilities that he's not fulfilling. If
4 he's there, he needs to be doing the work. How can
5 I have an employee in my school that I have no right
6 to supervise?"
7 Q So you feel that, as principal of the
8 school, you need to have supervisory authority over
9 the people working underneath you; is that correct?
10 A That's correct.
11 Q Okay.
12 A Then he said, "All right. I'll move him."
13 And I said, "When?"
14 He said, "Soon".
15 I said, "How soon?"
16 He said, "Give me a couple weeks. Now
17 will you leave Dave Browning alone?"
18 I said, "Absolutely."
19 Q So the superintendent agreed to move
20 Mr. Browning.
21 A Correct.
22 Q Did he later move Mr. Browning?
23 A It was at least two months.
24 Q And did you ask the superintendent why it
25 took two months?
1 A No. What I -- because Mr. Browning went
2 on medical leave --
3 Q Okay.
4 A -- the next day. And we just didn't see
5 him. So there were other issues in running the
6 school. Mr. Browning was out of the picture. And I
7 just trusted the superintendent, when he found the
8 proper position, would transfer him.
9 Q And that's, in fact, what happened,
10 correct?
11 A Yes.
12 Q Okay. Was there anything else Ms. Henley
13 said to you relating to Browning or any other source
14 information she had when she was reporting to you
15 the rumor --
16 A The rumor --
17 Q -- that you might not be returning to Bay?
18 A No, she didn't say anything else.
19 Q Anyone else who was the source of a rumor
20 or information that you might not return to Bay?
21 A Jody Schnell is a -- or was a music
22 teacher in the magnet program --
23 Q Uh-huh.
24 A -- came to me sometime latter January and
25 said that she had heard in the community that
1 someone, that she did not identify, had had a
2 meeting or had run into Kathy Barr, and Kathy Barr
3 was quite adamant that she would be back next year
4 at Bay High School and Larry Bolinger would not.
5 Q Okay. Is Kathy Barr back at Bay High this
6 year?
7 A No.
8 Q Anything else that Jody Schnell said?
9 A No.
10 Q Did you have the impression that Jody
11 Schnell had actually spoken to Kathy Barr and that
12 Kathy Barr had said these words to her directly?
13 A No, it was secondhand.
14 Q Or third or fourth hand, as far as you
15 know?
16 A (Nods head.)
17 Q Did you ever actually have a conversation
18 with Kathy Barr in which she said to you, "I'll be
19 back and you won't"?
20 A No.
21 Q Did you have any conversations with Kathy
22 Barr relating to her return to Bay High School?
23 A No.
24 Q Tell me about the Kathy Barr situation.
25 Exactly how would you characterize -- clearly there
1 was a falling out at some point between you and
2 Kathy Barr. Tell me about that.
3 A Kathy Barr had been asked to come on board
4 in -- sometime either the fall of 2000 -- I believe
5 it was the fall of 2000. I was still the
6 superintendent then. With the opening up of Arnold
7 and Bay High School's population being, you know,
8 minused by approximately 900 students, I went to
9 Fred Goodwin, the principal then, and said, "I
10 really believe you need to get a magnet program
11 going here to recruit students to Bay High School."
12 I gave him what I considered to be carte
13 blanche in being able to recruit a coordinator, to
14 travel. As the program developed, we actually had
15 additional teacher units assigned, recommended them
16 to the board. We had a funding, a private
17 funding -- not private, we had a funding source for
18 them that did not take away from the other schools
19 and other allocations. I went to Tallahassee and
20 was able to secure a multi-year grant for the
21 program.
22 And at some time that fall, Mr. Goodwin
23 announced to me that Kathy Barr was coming on board
24 as the magnet coordinator.
25 Q Okay.
1 A I left office in November and then went on
2 to my other position and didn't have any real
3 dealings with Bay High or Kathy Barr or Fred
4 Goodwin.
5 Q Okay.
6 A When I came on board officially in July
7 through that last week in June, first week in July,
8 certainly I had meetings with the staff that were up
9 there. Kathy Barr and Dave Browning were there.
10 They were unpaid. They were volunteering their
11 time. And the other staff members were up there.
12 And so I requested briefings from every program that
13 I could find out about, get people to tell me about,
14 so I could get up to speed. And so we had a number
15 of meetings and -- because I wanted to see what
16 progress the magnet program had made.
17 Q So this was a meeting with her at the very
18 beginning of the school year when you first went to
19 Bay to talk to her about the progress that the
20 magnet program had made.
21 A Just the status of the program.
22 Q So the status of the program --
23 A Yes.
24 Q -- at that point in time.
25 A Yes. In fact, I asked her to produce a
1 document, number of students, number of teachers,
2 programs offered, just the who, what, when and
3 where.
4 Q And what type of magnet school is Bay,
5 what magnet programs are offered there?
6 A There are a number of programs. There
7 were culinary, technology, fine arts.
8 Q Yes.
9 A The costume.
10 Q Costume design?
11 A Costume design, yes.
12 MR. HARRISON: It's Halloween.
14 Q Anything else?
15 A I think I said -- within the fine arts
16 there is drama and choir and music and all that.
17 Q Okay.
18 A But, basically, those are the programs.
19 Q The four main programs?
20 A Right.
21 Q Bay is not the only magnet program in the
22 high schools of Bay County, right?
23 A Other schools have other magnet -- what
24 they call Magnet or Specialty Programs.
25 Q Okay. And you had asked Ms. Barr to
1 prepare a status report, if you will, of the magnet
2 program.
3 A Correct.
4 Q Did she do that?
5 A Yes.
6 Q Did she get it to you on a timely basis?
7 A Yes.
8 Q Did you have concerns about her report?
9 A Didn't have any reason to have concerns.
10 It was simply a factual tool, who, what, when,
11 where.
12 Q Okay. All right. And if you'll continue
13 the story of the evolution of your relationship with
14 Ms. Barr.
15 A Okay. Everything was, you know, seemingly
16 going well. Around -- I believe around July
17 the 6th, just a few days after having been there,
18 the lieutenant from --
19 Q Again, this is July 6th of '05, right?
20 A '05, yes.
21 Q All right.
22 A Lieutenant Smith from the sheriff's office
23 came to discuss the SRO placements.
24 Q Student resource officers?
25 A Right.
1 Q Okay.
2 A And sometimes they'll say SRD, school
3 resource deputy. So there's more of an
4 interchangeable term, but he wanted to talk about
5 the placements, the fact that Myron Guilford had
6 just been promoted to a sergeant and the fact that
7 Steve Bachelor was already a sergeant, he didn't
8 want two sergeants there.
9 And so I called Garrigan and Payne in, and
10 the four of us discussed the placement of which one,
11 and we did a -- you know, kind of an official
12 T-sheet where we did pros and cons of each of the
13 deputies. I actually was -- was leaning towards
14 Guilford, because I -- my wife had taught him as a
15 kindergartner, so I've known him over the years and
16 so on.
17 But the others looked at it in a more
18 objective fashion and recommended that we -- that we
19 keep Bachelor and ask Guilford to go to Rutherford.
20 So that was a decision that was made -- that was a
21 recommendation to the sheriff's office because they
22 work in concert. But as the superintendent said,
23 they do the assignments, but that was our
24 recommendation.
25 Q You were part of a group that put together
1 a recommendation for his reassignment; is that
2 correct?
3 A Correct.
4 Q All right.
5 A The next morning, about 7:15, Kathy Barr
6 came to my office, sat down, and looked at me, not
7 hello, good morning, it was -- her statement was,
8 "Jimmy and I talked last night," Jimmy, her husband,
9 "and before we go see Frank McKeithen, the sheriff,
10 we feel like you really need to reconsider your
11 recommendation or your decision about moving
12 Guilford. We want him to stay."
13 I said, "Well, Kathy, I'm sorry. That was
14 a decision that has already been made, the
15 recommendation. We did it as -- in a pretty
16 logical, legitimate way." And I said, "I'm not
17 going to reconsider it."
18 She stood up and put her hands on her hips
19 and said, "Well, I guess my opinion doesn't mean a
20 whole lot around here anymore."
21 And I said, "Kathy, your opinion means a
22 great deal for me. You've been here for five years,
23 and I haven't. I certainly value your opinion about
24 the magnet program or other issues. Please continue
25 to come see me."
1 She said, "Huh." And walked out.
2 Q Okay.
3 A Fifteen minutes later I got a call from --
4 this is now like 7:20, 7:30 in the morning. I get a
5 call from Carolyn Cramer, and she says, "Larry, I am
6 very concerned about something. Myron came by to
7 see me yesterday and he's very upset. Before Bill
8 and I go see Frank," her husband, "go see the
9 sheriff, you really need to reconsider this."
10 And I went through -- I said exactly the
11 same thing, this was a decision that was made by the
12 administration at Bay High School in concert with
13 the sheriff's office. And then I made -- I said to
14 her, "Carolyn, I'm really rather curious as to why a
15 member of the community is concerned about the
16 placement of an SRO at a school."
17 She said, "Well, he does work for me, and
18 he's really upset, and I just really believe you
19 need to reconsider."
20 I said, "Carolyn, I'm very concerned that
21 a deputy sheriff would go to a member of the
22 community." My understanding of the sheriff's
23 department is that it's run very much like the
24 military, and there's protocol and there's chain of
25 command, and it seems to me that Mr. Guilford -- or
1 Sergeant Guilford has broke that chain of command.
2 Q So chain of command is important, correct?
3 A Yes, it is.
4 Q Okay.
5 A So she said, "Well, okay, I'll take it
6 from here."
7 I said, "Thank you."
8 Then probably a couple days later, I don't
9 remember exactly when, I got a call from
10 Mr. McCalister giving me almost the exact same line
11 of questioning. And I told him, I said, "Well, you
12 know, this was a decision that was made based
13 logically." I said, "I really like Myron, but, you
14 know, I believe the logical decision, the best
15 decision, was the placement of Sergeant Bachelor."
16 He said, "Okay, I'll get back with you."
17 Q Okay.
18 A And he never did.
19 Q Did he ever call you angry, accusing you
20 of having made this decision?
21 A No. He made the statement to me, he said,
22 "I find it alarming that Guilford being a minority,
23 that you're transferring him with your minority
24 population."
25 Q Okay.
1 A And I said, "Well," I said, "Mac, he's
2 been transferred to Rutherford, and their minority
3 population is two and a half times what ours is.
4 So, you know, if you look at from a logical point of
5 view, I think the sheriff's office made a good
6 decision."
7 Q And what was the superintendent's
8 response?
9 A I'll get back to you.
10 Q All right. Okay.
11 A We rocked along through August and
12 September. She took a two-week leave of absence to
13 go travel on a personal trip with her husband, and
14 Jeanette and Joe Chapman.
15 Q And did you approve the leave of absence?
16 A Yes.
17 Q Okay.
18 A She had the leave time.
19 Q All right.
20 A And so I approved it.
21 Q Okay.
22 A Through that time I got the impression
23 that she just wasn't happy. I mean, she walked
24 around not looking, acting happy. We had a number
25 of -- we had a very smooth opening of the school,
1 and I just could not put my finger on why she wasn't
2 happy.
3 Q Okay.
4 A And then --
5 Q Anything else?
6 A -- we went through September, October, had
7 a number of meetings with Mr. McCalister and
8 Mr. Payne about the class sizes at Bay High School.
9 When the new administrative team got on board, we
10 found out that the master schedule had been only
11 partially completed.
12 The magnet program is a part of the
13 school --
14 Q Right.
15 A -- but it operates somewhat independently.
16 Q How many students are in the magnet
17 program at Bay?
18 A Presently there are right at 400. I
19 believe it's 386 or something.
20 Q Is that about -- was it the same size in
21 the 2005 -- 2004, 2005 school year?
22 A According to my numbers, we're 18 down
23 from last year.
24 Q So both instances it was around 400.
25 A Right. Now, you may see documents that
1 the AICE program was sometimes lumped into the
2 magnet program.
3 Q Right.
4 A And I didn't think -- that was a
5 separate -- that was a separate program, so I
6 separated the two of them for the series of numbers.
7 Q Is AICE also a magnet program?
8 A Yes.
9 Q So that's just another Magnet --
10 A It's another magnet program that operates
11 independently of itself.
12 Q And how many students are in the AICE
13 program?
14 A About 240 or so.
15 Q What is the AICE program.
16 A It's the Academic International
17 Certificate of Education. It is -- it's like
18 International Baccalaureate. It's a program
19 developed at Cambridge University, and it is a
20 program for academically talented and highly
21 motivated students.
22 Q So basically the equivalent of the
23 Baccalaureate Program.
24 A It is the equivalent.
25 Q All right. Okay. You said you had
1 meetings with the superintendent and Mr. Payne
2 regarding class sizes.
3 A Correct. When we got on board, the magnet
4 classes had been scheduled, but regular classes had
5 not.
6 Q Right.
7 A The magnet program had some very low
8 numbers of students in classes, for example, eight
9 students in a guitar class, and culinary classes
10 were low, but these were taking up classroom units.
11 So when the master schedule was developed by
12 Mr. Payne and the staff, we found that we had
13 reading classes, that is reading classes for level
14 one and level two students, at 30 and 35 in a class,
15 which violates state law standards.
16 Q Right.
17 A Our ESE classes were overloaded. We had
18 25 to 30 in many of them. So Mr. Payne and I asked
19 the superintendent, on at least three occasions in
20 meetings, for additional units.
21 Q You mean teaching units?
22 A Teaching unit.
23 Q Okay.
24 A And we explained to him because the magnet
25 program had already been scheduled and because
1 Mrs. Barr was adamant about none of the programs
2 being folded, altered, moved, changed in any way,
3 that we needed his clarification, were these
4 programs sacred, and he said yes.
5 Q Okay. Were those his exact words?
6 A His exact words were, "Leave the magnet
7 alone right now."
8 Q Okay.
9 A We said, "All right. So if we leave the
10 magnet alone, what are we going to be able to do?
11 How can we -- how can we rectify these large class
12 sizes? We're a double D school. We need teacher
13 units."
14 Q Let me just clarify so the record is
15 clear, by double D, you mean you received Ds two
16 years running; is that correct?
17 A The school for '03, '04; '04, '05 were
18 letter D.
19 Q Two years in a row?
20 A Two years in a row.
21 Q Okay.
22 A How are we going -- you know, my -- in so
23 many words, how can we deliver the instruction in
24 the classroom effectively with these large numbers.
25 And we got just the usual, let me look
1 into it. I'll get back with you.
2 And the reason for the numbers of meetings
3 was that we -- after a period of time, we would ask,
4 "Can we meet again and talk about this?"
5 And he always said, "Yes, let's meet and
6 we'll talk about it." And there was never a
7 resolution.
8 Q Never throughout the year?
9 A Throughout the year.
10 Q Okay. And you said you had three
11 meetings.
12 A I think approximately three.
13 Q Okay.
14 A Until finally after probably latter
15 September, he said through -- and we got this
16 through a deputy superintendent, no, he's not going
17 to allow any more units.
18 Q Which deputy superintendent?
19 A Judy Vandergriff.
20 Q So Judy Vandergriff told you or delivered
21 the message that you would not get more units.
22 A Correct.
23 Q Okay. And what does this have to do with
24 anything with Ms. Barr other than the message that
25 you were not to -- that you were to leave the magnet
1 program alone?
2 A I'm getting ready to tell you about that.
3 Q But was Ms. Barr involved in any of these
4 three meetings?
5 A No.
6 Q And, to your knowledge, did Ms. Barr make
7 any phone calls to say, don't give Bay more
8 teachers?
9 A I don't have any knowledge of that.
10 Q Okay. Continue with your story.
11 A All right. As I started looking at the
12 nine-weeks numbers and everything, we looked at what
13 we thought were a disproportionate number of level
14 one and level two students in separate programs.
15 Part of the segregation of the data --
16 Q And by level one and level two, you're
17 referring to scores in the FCAT tests, correct?
18 A Correct. My direction to staff was
19 develop the list, find out where these students are.
20 We need to know the level one and level two
21 students. We need to have them identified. We need
22 to know what programs they're in. We need to be
23 able to give them the assistance.
24 I also, through data, wanted to know GPAs
25 of all students, programs, everything.
1 Mrs. Barr was directed to complete a
2 report on the magnet students, and part of that
3 report was to outline how many level one, level two,
4 level three, four, five students there were.
5 Q Right.
6 A By program, their GPAs by program and by
7 individual, and I'm sure other data.
8 Q Were the -- whoever was the administrator
9 of the remaining -- the non-magnet school students,
10 were they asked to prepare the same report?
11 A Yes, yes.
12 Q So this was not just something you asked
13 Ms. Barr to do, there was a report being done for
14 the entire student body.
15 A Yes, Carolyn Rine coordinated this. She
16 was an administrative assistant, along with
17 Mr. Payne. This was done for AICE Program. It was
18 done for the general population. It was done for
19 the magnet program.
20 Q Okay. And was Ms. Rine doing it for AICE
21 and the general population?
22 A She was directing that it be done.
23 Q So she directed Ms. Barr to do it for
24 magnet.
25 A Correct.
1 Q And she directed the head of AICE to do
2 it.
3 A Right.
4 Q Who did she direct to do the general
5 population?
6 A She prepared that herself.
7 Q All right.
8 A She had great difficulty getting Mrs. Barr
9 to comply with the request.
10 Q What do you mean by "great difficulty"?
11 A She wouldn't have it ready on an exact due
12 date.
13 Q Do you know how much time Ms. Barr was
14 given to prepare the report?
15 A I believe weeks.
16 Q How many weeks?
17 A I would have to go back and recall, but it
18 was more than two weeks. Three weeks, four weeks,
19 maybe.
20 Q Did Ms. Barr say, I need more time, do you
21 know?
22 A I was working through Mrs. Rine at that
23 point, and her frustration was, Kathy keeps putting
24 me off, she doesn't have it, can't get it. So
25 Mrs. Rine did the report herself.
1 Q Okay.
2 A And the report clearly showed more level
3 one and level two students in the magnet programs.
4 It showed that their GPAs -- a number of them with
5 lower GPAs than the program guidelines called for,
6 because the program guidelines called for student
7 maintaining a 3.0 grade point average in the magnet
8 classes and a 2.5 GPA in the core classes. There
9 were a number of students who were not complying
10 with that.
11 Q Okay. How many?
12 A I don't know, but it was -- the percentage
13 of 60 percent comes to my mind.
14 Q Sixty percent of all of the four magnet
15 programs --
16 A Yes.
17 Q -- culinary, technical, fine arts and
18 costume design did not have the necessary GPA?
19 A Right.
20 Q Is that a cumulative GPA?
21 A It was cumulative.
22 Q Okay.
23 A And so I -- you know, this information was
24 shared with Kathy Barr and Dave Browning by
25 Mr. Payne, and I wasn't there at that meeting, but
1 at that point Mr. Payne directed both of them to
2 begin looking at contracts.
3 Q I'm sorry. I missed something.
4 A I'm sorry?
5 Q Mr. Payne directed who, who is them?
6 A Mrs. Barr and Mr. Browning --
7 Q Okay.
8 A -- to begin working on academic
9 improvement plans, AIPs, for the students who needed
10 them, to meet with these students, to counsel with
11 them, because it became clear to me that the magnet
12 programs were, in part, the problem with Bay's
13 status of a D -- being assigned a D for two years.
14 Q Okay.
15 A That was taking place in September and
16 October.
17 Q Okay.
18 A Then on October 19th -- October 19th at
19 9 a.m. I was called and asked to be in the
20 superintendent's --
21 Q How do you remember that it was at 9 a.m.?
22 A I have everything on my calendar.
23 Q Okay. So when you get a phone call from
24 someone, you jot down 9 a.m.?
25 A Right, I put it on my Quickbooks calendar.
1 Q You should be a lawyer.
2 MR. MEYER: For billing.
3 MS. CHUMBLER: For billing.
4 THE WITNESS: Yes, and in preparation for
5 this, I went back and reviewed my calendar.
7 THE WITNESS: So it was October 19th,
8 9 a.m., I was asked to come to the
9 superintendent's office alone.
10 MS. CHUMBLER: Okay.
11 THE WITNESS: I was not told why.
12 MS. CHUMBLER: Okay.
13 THE WITNESS: I just assumed we were going
14 to talk about Bay High School.
15 MS. CHUMBLER: Okay.
16 THE WITNESS: I walked in and sat down,
17 and he looked at me and not hello, how are you,
18 how are things going, he looked at me straight
19 in the eye and said, "You are going to have to
20 get along with Kathy Barr."
21 I said, "Mac, I am doing everything I can,
22 I know she's not happy, I don't know why. I
23 don't monitor her movements. She comes and
24 goes as she pleases. She's gone quite a bit of
25 the time."
2 Q Well, when you say "quite a bit of the
3 time," other than the two-week absence, had she
4 taken another leave of absence during that period of
5 time?
6 A No, coming and going -- her car is a very
7 distinctive -- it was a pearl Escalade with a -- and
8 it's always parked right out front. So, you know,
9 my being out on campus, I could see if the car was
10 there or not. But I am not the kind of principal
11 that micro manages, and my assumption is that she
12 was doing what she was supposed to be doing, out
13 working with the public and doing things for the
14 magnet program, so --
15 Q Right.
16 A -- I said, "I don't monitor her movement,
17 I don't even ask her to sign out."
18 Q As coordinator in the magnet -- with the
19 magnet program and in the particular areas,
20 culinary, technical, fine arts, costume design, did
21 you have some expectation that she would have a need
22 to be out in the community periodically?
23 A Yes.
24 Q Okay.
25 A I said, "I meet with her every time she
1 requests it. I bring her in on every decision
2 pursuant to the magnet program. I don't know what
3 else I can do."
4 Q Okay.
5 A He looked at me again and was more firm in
6 his voice, he said, "You didn't hear me. I said you
7 are going to have to get along with Kathy Barr."
8 I said, "Mac, I just told you I'm doing
9 everything I can. She and I have never had a
10 crossword. I treat her in a professional manner" --
11 Q Right.
12 A -- "just as I do any other staff member.
13 She has the magnet budget that you have authorized,
14 and I've given it to her carte blanche." And then I
15 looked him in the eye, "Now, if you mean to give her
16 the deference that Fred Goodwin did and allow her
17 open access to make any decision she wants at the
18 school, administrative or otherwise, I can't do
19 that. You hired me to be the principal of the
20 school. We sat in this office on June the 21st and
21 you told me I have a big problem in this school --
22 in the district, you can solve it for me, if you
23 will."
24 Q Right.
25 A I said, "I'm doing it. I must tell you,
1 Mac, that the magnet program is part of the problem,
2 but I'm working through it and I'm going to try to
3 work through her."
4 He said finally, "You're not hearing me,
5 you," and he was very emphatic and he leaned
6 forward, "are going to have to get along with Kathy
7 Barr."
8 Q Okay.
9 A I said, "Mac, I'm going to do my best."
10 Q Okay.
11 A "I will do my best."
12 He said, "Fine."
13 Q Okay.
14 A And so I went back. I asked Kathy to come
15 to my office. I did not reference the meeting with
16 Mr. McCalister. I said, "Kathy, we haven't gotten
17 our work tempo together yet." I said, "Let's start
18 at the basics." I said, "I know you love Bay High."
19 She said, "Absolutely."
20 I said, "Well, I love Bay High, too. I
21 want what's best for Bay High. Do you?"
22 She said, "Of course, I do."
23 I said, "Well, then, let's work together.
24 Let's get in tandem. Let's do whatever -- you know,
25 our work styles are a little different. No, I can't
1 call you up here and will not call you up here every
2 time I need to make a decision. I think I can do
3 that on my own. I still value your opinion in every
4 decision having to do with the magnet program. I
5 hope that my past performance has shown you, you
6 have the budget, you have -- I've given you
7 everything. I don't monitor where you go, what you
8 do. I just want you to keep doing your job. I'll
9 keep doing my job. Let's just work together."
10 She smiled and said, "Fine, sounds good."
11 And actually stood up, hugged, and she left.
12 Q Okay.
13 A As far as I knew, everything was rocking
14 along fine.
15 Q Okay.
16 A We still, through November, December began
17 looking again at magnet students, as well as all
18 students. A number of the students in the magnet
19 program had come from other schools.
20 Q Right.
21 A And what we found was that there was a
22 number of them, about 125, some in the magnet
23 program, some not in the magnet program.
24 Q These are basically out-of-zone students?
25 A Out-of-zone students. We had 125
1 out-of-zone students, some in the magnet program,
2 some not.
3 Q Do you know what the split was?
4 A No, I don't remember.
5 Q Was it half and half or --
6 A (Shakes head.)
7 Q Don't know?
8 A I really don't recall. It's one statistic
9 I don't remember at this time.
10 Q Okay.
11 A And I said -- and so I told -- I assigned
12 Terry Early, the administrative assistant in charge
13 of attendance.
14 Q I'm not sure you finished the sentence.
15 You said you found 125 out-of-zone students. What
16 about the 125 out-of-zone students?
17 A I apologize. They were below grade level,
18 below 2.0 GPA, attendance problems, discipline
19 problems, and I'm generalizing, but we identified
20 125 who simply were not helping Bay High School in
21 any way.
22 Q How many out-of-zone students are at Bay?
23 A I don't know that number.
24 Q And were these 125 students the only kids
25 at Bay High who were below grade level?
1 A No.
2 Q Were they the only kids at Bay High that
3 you had discipline problems with?
4 A (Shakes head.)
5 Q All right. Continue.
6 A I directed Mr. Early to set up child study
7 teams, follow district policy, have parent meetings
8 and give each of these students a contract, whether
9 it be an attendance contract, academic contract,
10 discipline contract, give them a set period of time
11 to abide by the contract, and if they did not, begin
12 withdrawing them to their home schools.
13 Q And why did you zero in on these 125 to
14 give contracts to if there were other students who
15 had similar problems?
16 A Those were students within our zone.
17 Q So you felt like you didn't feel you had
18 anything you could do with them.
19 A We had to deal with them, yeah.
20 Q Okay.
21 A I couldn't -- I didn't have an alternative
22 other than to do what we were doing. And, also,
23 they were under contracts, you know, we had
24 contracts with them and everything.
25 Q But the stick, if you will, that you had
1 on the contract for these 125 students is if they
2 didn't meet the terms of the contract, they wouldn't
3 be allowed to go to Bay.
4 A Correct.
5 Q Okay.
6 A And so, again, every time there was a
7 magnet student, I believe -- Kathy Barr never sent
8 them to me directly, but I believe that she was
9 upset this procedure was going on.
10 Q And how did she communicate that to you?
11 A It was just people said she wasn't happy.
12 Q She did not come and talk to you about it?
13 A No, she did not come to me and talk to me
14 about it.
15 Q Okay.
16 A We went into early December. And one of
17 the things that I had directed her to do as
18 coordinator was to plan a media recruiting program
19 for January, February, where we would go out on the
20 road and recruit students. It's a traditional time
21 with AICE, IB, other magnet programs go out and do
22 their road shows.
23 Q Right.
24 A So I had directed her, actually early on,
25 back in September, October, to begin developing a
1 plan. In early December I said, you know, "How are
2 we doing on the plan?" She didn't have anything in
3 writing, but she told me of what she wanted to do,
4 and it involved getting Peoples First, their public
5 relations department, involved. I thought that was
6 an excellent idea.
7 And over the Christmas holidays we
8 actually met, Dave Browning, Kathy Barr, Steve
9 Bornhoft, Peoples First, and I met in Steve's office
10 at the Peoples First Bank building.
11 Q Okay.
12 A As I said, it was during the Christmas
13 holidays. We started planning out strategies, what
14 we want to do, looked at some program materials and
15 other things. Everything seemed to be on the up and
16 up, and I felt very good about our prospects, us
17 working together, and things going well.
18 We came back to school. I believe it was
19 January the 3rd, probably -- whatever that Tuesday
20 was, and we had a breakfast. And at the breakfast
21 Mr. Browning and my brother-in-law, who is the
22 principal at Rutherford, had come by on the way back
23 from the county office, just to stop in and say
24 hello. He had been the assistant principal there
25 for years. And so it was a nice, congenial quick
1 meeting.
2 Dave Browning went up to him at some point
3 in time and said, "Mike, do you have anything for me
4 over at Rutherford? I have got to get the hell out
5 of here."
6 Q Okay.
7 A Mike said, "No, Dave, I don't have
8 anything at this time."
9 So we went from the breakfast to a
10 meeting. And in the faculty meeting, I just, again,
11 felt like -- it was in January, here we were, six
12 weeks out from FCAT. Let's get the new semester
13 started. Just gave the rally-the-troops speech,
14 which I said, I truly believe that over the last
15 semester that a number of faculty had come on board
16 with a vision where we wanted to be, and I thanked
17 everyone for it.
18 And I said, "Now, I know out there that --
19 you know, there are a few of you out there that are
20 just not with me. I know that. You haven't bought
21 into the vision." And I got one of those tender
22 moments, I said, "Please," I said, "please, come on,
23 let's be a part of this Cinderella story, believe in
24 Bay, you know, back to the" -- and we were very much
25 at that time I believe in the eyes of the community
1 a Cinderella story, people were rooting for us to do
2 well, to do better on FCAT. There were positive,
3 physical things at the school that you could see
4 going on, and we had gotten some positive press.
5 And so I said, "Come on, be a part of this,
6 everyone, let's all do this."
7 I left the meeting, and then Mr. Payne
8 indicated to me that we were really having a problem
9 of two things, number 1, there was a guitar teacher
10 who had not been -- who had -- who had been hired by
11 Mrs. Barr but could not come on board that
12 Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, those three days.
13 Q Okay.
14 A Okay. And he said, "Larry, we don't have
15 any money for subs," because one of Mr. Payne's
16 duties was the school budget.
17 I said, "No money?"
18 He said, "I have to take it out of
19 somewhere else. We have no money for subs."
20 I said, "Well, see if Kathy will just take
21 care of it." It was two classes, first and second
22 period. "Would you see if Kathy will handle it?
23 And he said, "Fine."
24 So he went to her, and she, according to
25 Mr. Payne, was quite incensed, indignant, no, she
1 was not going to cover a class.
2 And so I, again, got the indication she
3 wasn't happy, and I didn't understand why, other
4 than -- this was a legitimate request, you know,
5 made by an administrator. Other coordinators go and
6 do things. Other teachers meet other classes on
7 their planning periods. So this was not anything
8 out of the ordinary.
9 So Wednesday morning, instead of meeting
10 the class, she sent Dave Browning down there and
11 then turned around and complained the fact that he
12 wasn't there to listen to -- to hear students or
13 visit with parents who may be coming up for class
14 changes.
15 Q Who did she complain to?
16 A Mr. Payne.
17 Q Okay.
18 A And Mr. Payne indicated that perhaps if
19 she had gone down and just covered the class, that
20 maybe, you know, Mr. Browning could come up and do
21 that, and take care if a parent came up. Evidently,
22 there was one parent who did come up, and his name
23 was Rich Phillipe (phonetic).
24 So that was Wednesday. Thursday my
25 understanding is that they put a note on the door
1 that said -- they had gotten the ROTC teacher,
2 commander, to go and cover the class. So neither
3 one of them would have to cover the class.
4 And then something happened to the note,
5 and I'm not really sure how it all went, but my
6 information was that the students went AWOL. And so
7 Mr. Payne found out about it, went to Mrs. Barr,
8 found out what had happened. They got into an
9 argument.
10 Q Mr. Payne and Ms. Barr?
11 A Mr. Payne and Ms. Barr. And in the
12 argument they -- you know, she said that she didn't
13 feel like they needed to be covering classes and
14 who -- how dare I request that. And he said, "It's
15 a legitimate request." I don't know exactly the
16 words, but she left.
17 And then later that day I get a standard
18 form from the district office for extended leave of
19 absence.
20 Q So it was that same day?
21 A Same day, signed by the superintendent.
22 Q Okay.
23 A And --
24 Q Did you then sign it?
25 A Yes.
1 Q Okay.
2 A And she went on a leave of absence and has
3 not returned.
4 Q Okay.
5 A Later that afternoon Mr. Payne,
6 Mr. Garrigan and I met. And we said, okay. We
7 named another staff member as interim coordinator
8 for the magnet program.
9 Q Right.
10 A We determined that because of
11 Mr. Browning's substandard, very poor performance,
12 his attitude and everything, that he was not -- was
13 not really fulfilling the requirements of the job.
14 I called him into the office at 2:30, and Mr. Payne
15 and -- and Mr. Garrigan was in there. I indicated
16 to him that I needed him to start working on AIPs,
17 which he had been directed to do before --
18 Q Right.
19 A -- and had not done. And so he just -- he
20 pulled out a piece of paper and read the statement,
21 I believe that I am operating in a hostile work
22 environment, and I don't know how long I can
23 tolerate this.
24 Q Okay.
25 A It was, to me, something that came out of
1 nowhere. But, anyway, I said, "You understand the
2 directive I'm giving you. You are to begin working
3 on AIPs with the magnet students who need them."
4 He said, "I understand."
5 He left the office.
6 Within ten minutes I got a call from the
7 superintendent's office to be in his office at three
8 or as soon as I could get there. Mr. Payne,
9 Mr. Garrigan and I, since they had been there, I
10 asked them to accompany me, and they did. And we
11 sat down with the superintendent, and he said to me,
12 "I am asking you to leave Browning alone."
13 I said, "Mac, he's a substandard employee,
14 he's not doing" -- I think I've recounted this.
15 He said, "You don't hear me. I'm asking
16 you" -- haven't I already said this, done this one?
17 Q No. You said this, but my impression was
18 that there was a meeting earlier in the year. Were
19 there two meetings where you were asked to leave
20 Browning alone, or just the one?
21 MR. MEYER: The earlier meeting was, I
22 think, relating to getting along with Barr.
23 THE WITNESS: Getting along with Barr.
25 Q You had relayed already a meeting where
1 you said that Mr. McCalister -- is this the same
2 meeting?
3 A Yes, this is the same meeting.
4 Q So this was the one meeting where he told
5 you to leave Browning alone.
6 A I thought it was deja vu.
7 Q And that was the meeting where, at the end
8 of the meeting, the superintendent said, "I'll find
9 a place to transfer Mr. Browning."
10 A That's correct.
11 Q We had done that meeting.
12 A Yeah, I thought I already said it.
13 MR. HARRISON: We already had that
14 meeting.
15 THE WITNESS: I thought I already had that
16 meeting, yes.
17 MS. CHUMBLER: Okay.
18 THE WITNESS: And it was right after that,
19 that I -- and that was in January. It was
20 January the 6th, I believe. And right after
21 that I began to hear from the community, you
22 know, Larry is gone, this and that.
23 Faculty would come in and say, well, we
24 saw Kathy and Dave and, you know, two or three
25 other people, members of the community over at
1 this restaurant or that restaurant, and people
2 just began speculating.
3 MS. CHUMBLER: Right.
4 THE WITNESS: I never thought of anything,
5 other than let's get FCAT going. Let's do our
6 best. We had the best testing that the school
7 had had in -- probably ever. We tested 99 and
8 100 percent of the students, which initially
9 probably hurt us, but we did the right thing.
10 Bay High traditionally had tested 90 percent or
11 less of the students.
12 MS. CHUMBLER: Okay.
13 THE WITNESS: And so we felt like the
14 attitude of the students was far better, and we
15 felt like the testing environment was better,
16 and we got them in the school and we got them
17 to test.
19 Q All right. And during this period of time
20 you were hearing rumors, did you ever pick up the
21 phone and call the superintendent and say, "I've
22 heard these rumors. Is there any truth to it?"
23 A I never called him, but he came by -- he
24 would come by every Thursday. He had a mentee over
25 there that he mentored, and so that was usually a
1 time for me to chat with him.
2 Q Okay.
3 A He had never given me any indication --
4 any indication that anything was at all wrong.
5 Q Okay.
6 A In fact, if I can go back to December, the
7 Christmas holidays, we had a basketball tournament.
8 And he and I stood and watched the game, and I
9 related to him some of the issues I still felt were
10 at hand with the magnet -- just everything.
11 Q Right.
12 A And he said, Larry, quote, you're doing a
13 great job, stay on course, stay on course, were his
14 exact words.
15 Q Okay.
16 A So we go through the spring. We leave,
17 you know, everything running well. We're doing our
18 best and --
19 Q You said that McCalister came by on
20 Thursday.
21 A Yes, I'm sorry.
22 Q I thought you were going to follow up on
23 that.
24 A Right. He came by on Thursday. It was
25 one Thursday where he came by and we were talking,
1 and I said, there's a maintenance worker, he's one
2 of our little gadfly guys that goes around and just
3 likes to talk, Wayne Beach is his name. And he was
4 carrying the story that Bolinger is out of there in
5 June. He's going to be out of there in June.
6 His rumor was this, that Kathy Barr and
7 Carolyn Cramer had gone to Mac. Kathy was mad that
8 I moved her chairs. Kathy was mad that she couldn't
9 run the school anymore. This was his rumor.
10 Q Right.
11 A And that they, because of their political
12 support for Mac, had talked him into moving, and so
13 they were going to -- so I was out of there. And
14 that was it. And they were going to be back in
15 control of Bay High School.
16 Q Right.
17 A I related that rumor to him. And I said,
18 "Mac, we don't need this. Is there anything I need
19 to know?"
20 He said, "No." Again he said, "You're
21 doing exactly what needs to be done. I know you're
22 taking some hits. I'm taking some hits. Stay on
23 course. Keep doing the job."
24 Q And about what time was this, what time of
25 year?
1 A This would have been March.
2 Q Okay.
3 A So I don't have -- we just continue
4 running the school.
5 Now, the ##### issue, the student with the
6 Valedictorian issue.
7 Q Right.
8 MR. MEYER: Well, do you want to ask
9 questions, or do you just want him to testify
10 in a narrative?
11 MS. CHUMBLER: I had asked the question,
12 to tell me about Kathy Barr.
13 MR. MEYER: He's done with that.
14 THE WITNESS: Yeah, Kathy Barr is over
15 with.
16 MS. CHUMBLER: I have that question later,
17 so I apologize. I do remember it.
18 THE WITNESS: All right. I was just doing
19 a chronology, but I thought I had been talking
20 a lot and maybe I need to stop.
21 MR. MEYER: Just answer her questions.
22 THE WITNESS: Right.
23 MR. HARRISON: This is a deposition.
24 MS. CHUMBLER: Hey, this is a great way to
25 do a deposition.
1 MR. HARRISON: Yeah, for you.
2 MS. CHUMBLER: Look how many notes I've
3 got.
5 Q Anything else on the Kathy Barr situation?
6 A She, some time in March, and you would
7 have to get with personnel, but she filed a letter
8 indicating that she would be returning to Bay High
9 School for the '06, '07 school year.
10 Q She filed the letter with who?
11 A The personnel office.
12 Q At Bay or with the district office?
13 A With the district office.
14 Q Okay.
15 A Which, again, was fodder for the rumors to
16 continue.
17 Q Do you know if a response was ever sent to
18 that letter from anybody?
19 A There was no response to be. It was
20 simply a procedure that is part of district policy.
21 If a teacher is on extended leave and intends on
22 returning, then he or she must write a letter of
23 intent.
24 Q So this letter that she sent was not
25 really anything unusual; is that correct?
1 A The only unusual thing is that she
2 indicated she wanted to return.
3 Q But if someone is on extended leave, do
4 they frequently write letters saying I now intend to
5 return?
6 A They have to write a letter one way or
7 another, requesting another year's leave of absence
8 or --
9 Q So she would have had to file some kind of
10 letter --
11 A Yes.
12 Q -- either her intent to continue her
13 leave --
14 A Right.
15 Q I assume there could be an intent to
16 resign --
17 A There could be.
18 Q -- or an attempt to return.
19 A Yeah.
20 Q Anything else?
21 A On the Kathy Barr issue, nothing other
22 than just the recurring rumor --
23 Q Okay.
24 A -- that the deal was done, I was gone.
25 Basically, I ignored it.
1 Q And Ms. Barr is not back at Bay this year,
2 correct?
3 A Correct.
4 Q Isn't it true that the position that she
5 formerly held at Bay has been now somewhat changed,
6 there's a different job description for that
7 position?
8 A That's correct.
9 Q Could you tell me what the difference in
10 the job description is?
11 A The difference in the job description is
12 now with more stringent qualifications. The magnet
13 coordinator must be certified in one of the magnet
14 areas, must have high school experience, and also
15 teach one class within one of the magnet programs.
16 Q How does the job -- is that the job
17 description for the magnet coordinator specifically
18 at Bay High School?
19 A Yes.
20 Q How does that compare to the job
21 description for magnet coordinators at the other
22 high school magnet programs?
23 A Probably very similar.
24 Q For example, do the other job descriptions
25 at the other high schools require the magnet
1 coordinator teach a class?
2 A I have not seen those, so I couldn't
3 attest to it.
4 Q Okay.
5 A I can only tell you that at Bay High
6 School, each of the magnet -- each coordinator, and
7 there are three, teach a class.
8 Q But you don't know whether that is
9 something that's unique to Bay; is that correct?
10 A I don't know that.
11 Q And that recommendation, that decision to
12 change that job description, was basically made by
13 whom?
14 A The school board.
15 Q So the job description, the description of
16 what qualifications are needed for a job, is part of
17 the school board's role --
18 A Yes.
19 Q -- is that correct?
20 A They're the ones that make job
21 descriptions.
22 Q And the school board did, in fact, put
23 that into effect when?
24 A It was -- began the planning process in
25 July -- no, June, of '06, and with the advertising
1 and everything, it was not finalized until middle to
2 latter September.
3 Q Okay. So regardless of who may or may not
4 have wanted Ms. Barr to return to Bay as magnet
5 coordinator, she could not return to that position;
6 is that correct?
7 A She could have returned before that job
8 description was authorized.
9 Q Okay. But once these job description
10 changes were made, she would no longer be qualified
11 for that position.
12 A Yes.
13 Q And why would she not be qualified for
14 that position?
15 A She has an elementary certification and no
16 certification in any of the magnet areas.
17 Q Okay. Anything else on the Kathy Barr
18 situation?
19 A Not that I recall at this time.
20 Q All right. What about David Browning?
21 You've mentioned him a couple of times. Is there
22 anything else in the David Browning story that you
23 have not discussed already?
24 A He's an annual contract employee. I did
25 not renew him.
1 Q Okay.
2 A The superintendent, sometime in March,
3 April, assigned him to Bozeman Learning Center to
4 finish out the school year. And it's my
5 understanding that he gave him another annual
6 contract, and he's now a guidance counselor at Haney
7 Technical Center.
8 Q Do you have any idea how he's doing at
9 Haney?
10 A I've had two discussions with the director
11 over there, the principal, and she expressed real
12 frustration at his performance.
13 Q Anything else about David Browning?
14 A At some point in time, probably around
15 January, Bill Payne and I, before the big meeting,
16 requested that something be done about him. We had
17 the records where he had changed grades.
18 Q That he had changed -- I'm sorry?
19 A Changed grades in a computer. I said,
20 "Mac, I'm reporting this to you."
21 And he said, "I'll take care of it."
22 I said, "All right. I have the data, the
23 information ready."
24 He said, "I'll take care of it. You don't
25 do anything. Leave it alone."
1 Q When he said, "don't do anything," is that
2 the same meeting you talked about already?
3 A No, no, that was the meeting prior to.
4 Q All right. Do you know what McCalister
5 did?
6 A No.
7 Q Anything else on Browning?
8 A No.
9 Q Let's now talk about the student who
10 thought he was going to be ranked. It was a boy,
11 right --
12 A Yes.
13 Q -- that thought he was going to be ranked
14 number 1 and then turned out he wasn't number 1.
15 A Correct.
16 Q What was the child's name?
17 A #### #####.
18 Q Okay. Explain to me that situation from
19 your perspective.
20 MR. HARRISON: Well, from my perspective
21 as a school board lawyer, I'd rather refer to
22 him by --
23 MS. CHUMBLER: Why don't we just say the
24 young man. Good point.
25 MR. HARRISON: Yeah.
1 MS. CHUMBLER: Probably the best thing,
2 you want to have that name stricken from the --
3 MR. HARRISON: Stricken, and we all agree
4 to do that.
5 MS. CHUMBLER: Thank you for bringing that
6 up.
9 Q Okay. Can you explain that situation with
10 this young man?
11 A The selection of the top ten and
12 Valedictorian, Salutatorian is always a very intense
13 procedure. Students beginning in the ninth grade
14 have to pretty much map out the courses they're
15 going to take, when they're going to take them.
16 There are quality points added to certain grades.
17 You're aware of all of that.
18 Q Sure.
19 A Can I say the name -- just say the young
20 man.
21 Q Right.
22 A The young man received counsel, along with
23 all the others, and in his sophomore, junior and
24 even senior year was encouraged by his counselor to
25 take this personal fitness class. It's a
1 one-semester class. It's not weighted, and the
2 young man said, "No, I'll take it later. I'll take
3 it online."
4 A number of these students, in order to
5 get more classes in the regular school day, will
6 take classes from virtual school.
7 Q Right.
8 A #### actually enrolled, I believe, in
9 either his sophomore or junior year --
10 MR. MEYER: The student.
11 THE WITNESS: Pardon me, the student.
12 MS. CHUMBLER: When the transcript comes,
13 that's something we probably all need to check.
14 THE WITNESS: I apologize. The young man
15 simply didn't take the course when he was
16 supposed to. Thereby another student --
18 Q The personal fitness was a required course
19 you have to have before you graduate.
20 A You have to have it before you graduate.
21 Q Right.
22 A Directly behind the young man were two
23 other young men whose GPAs were exactly tied, and
24 when #### did not take --
25 MR. MEYER: Student.
1 THE WITNESS: Pardon me, I'm sorry, when
2 the student did not take the required course,
3 he waited until the last semester of his senior
4 year to take the course. He found himself
5 having to fill up that course, and he didn't
6 get the weight for it.
7 MS. CHUMBLER: Right.
8 THE WITNESS: He also received a B in one
9 of the other courses in his Junior year.
10 The other two students directly behind him
11 had straight As and had taken the courses in
12 the proper sequence. They jumped ahead of him
13 by a couple thousandths of a point.
14 MS. CHUMBLER: Right.
15 THE WITNESS: The young man's parents were
16 very upset. They appealed to the AICE
17 counselor, appealed to me, appealed to the
18 superintendent, took it to the school board,
19 and there was really nothing we could do. The
20 numbers were there.
22 Q Right. Okay. And did you have a
23 conversation at any point with the superintendent
24 about the situation?
25 A He called me early that week. It would
1 have been the week around March 8th, 9th, around in
2 there. Anyway, that first week in March. We were
3 the last school -- we had not announced our top 10
4 yet.
5 Q Right.
6 A And we wanted to do so. And he asked me
7 when I was going to do that. And I said, "Well,
8 probably Wednesday of this week."
9 He said, "Can you wait until later in the
10 week?"
11 And I said, "Sure."
12 He said, "Wait until after the board
13 meeting."
14 I said, "Okay".
15 And he said, "Well, I promised the
16 student's parents that we wouldn't do anything until
17 after the board meeting."
18 The board meeting took place on Wednesday,
19 and the board did not take any action. And this was
20 high profile within our school.
21 Q Right.
22 A So it was something that the coordinators
23 at the school were watching to see if anything were
24 to happen at the board level. So they began
25 planning -- it was a little reception, something new
1 that I started. I had done that with the hall of
2 fame. And so I wanted to do it with the top 10,
3 pizza and cookies and things.
4 Q Right.
5 A And so the coordinator came to me Thursday
6 morning and said, "Listen, the board didn't take any
7 action. It's over. We've got the numbers. We
8 have -- one of the co-valedictorian is also an
9 athlete who is leaving that Thursday afternoon to go
10 to the state playoffs in tennis." She said, "Can we
11 go ahead and announce and have the reception
12 Thursday morning?"
13 I said, "Okay. It's the end of the week."
14 I said, "Sure."
15 She said, "We've already got it all
16 planned."
17 I said, "Fine, let's just do it." And we
18 did.
19 Q So do you recall the exact words that the
20 superintendent, when he asked you to delay, did he
21 say the end of the week? You heard his testimony in
22 deposition where his memory is he said Friday. What
23 is your memory?
24 A My memory is end of the week. He may have
25 said Friday. This is such a small conversation. I
1 really do not recall exactly.
2 Q So you don't remember whether, in fact, he
3 asked you to wait until Friday.
4 A Correct.
5 Q Did you attempt to call the superintendent
6 before the announcement was made just to say, hey,
7 just to make sure, I'm going to make the
8 announcement?
9 A No, I did not.
10 Q Okay. And did the superintendent then
11 call you later indicating that he had some very
12 upset parents that called him?
13 A His words were, "I thought you were going
14 to wait until the end of the week."
15 I said, well -- I explained the situation
16 of why we needed to do this.
17 He said, "Well," he said, "the student's
18 parents are very upset." He said, "I led them to
19 indicate it was Friday."
20 I said, "Mac, I apologize."
21 Q Right.
22 A They came to me and said, "Look, we got
23 the valedictorian leaving here in a few hours for a
24 trip, can we go ahead and announce this thing? We
25 need to have the kids there." Besides that, that
1 Friday was the last day before spring break, and
2 rumors were that we weren't going to have a whole
3 lot of kids there anyway. We had faculty leaving.
4 So I really did not in any way think that there was
5 any big deal to this at all.
6 Q Well, did the superintendent explain to
7 you why he wanted you to delay until the end of the
8 week rather than immediately after the school board
9 meeting?
10 A He said, "Wait until after the school
11 board meeting."
12 Q But he also said the end of the week or
13 perhaps even Friday, correct?
14 A Yeah, right.
15 Q Did he explain to you that he wanted --
16 A No.
17 Q -- to give the parents the opportunity to
18 inform their son?
19 A He never had that conversation with me.
20 But I can tell you that the student knew about it
21 weeks ahead of time, weeks before this meeting.
22 Q The student knew that his parents were
23 protesting it, correct?
24 A Correct, correct, yeah.
25 Q So you didn't, in fact, know, whether or
1 not the student knew what the outcome of that
2 protest was.
3 A No, I did not.
4 Q Anything else about that situation we've
5 not talked about?
6 A (Shakes head.)
7 MR. MEYER: You have to answer verbally
8 yes or no.
9 MS. CHUMBLER: I thought he was still
10 thinking.
11 MR. MEYER: I'm sorry. I saw him shaking
12 his head no.
13 MS. CHUMBLER: But he had that look on his
14 face.
15 THE WITNESS: The student's mother is a
16 teacher in the system, and she teaches at
17 Northside, along with the superintendent's
18 wife. And it is my understanding that they had
19 a number of conversations.
21 Q The student's mother and the
22 superintendent's wife had a number of conversations?
23 A Conversations, yeah.
24 Q But they work together, correct?
25 A They work together.
1 Q Okay. Anything else?
2 A No.
3 Q Okay.
4 A Not that I can recall at this time.
5 Q Then there was -- I think you were here
6 and heard the testimony of the superintendent about
7 the issue of the facility for the baseball program.
8 A Correct.
9 Q Can you describe to me that situation from
10 your perspective?
11 A Randall and I --
12 Q Randall McElheney?
13 A Randall McElheney, William Harrison, Kevin
14 Garrigan and I met sometime probably early May, and
15 just started working on facilities and what we saw
16 as needs for the school. And as our business
17 partners, they were interested in the school, so I
18 had Mr. Garrigan prepare a list of facility needs.
19 Mr. McElheney requested it, so that -- he said, "I
20 would like to go talk to Mac and just see what we
21 can do. There are a number of things that I can do
22 as a business partner," he said. "I can bring in a
23 coalition of private folks to get a private public
24 partnership going and perhaps help get Bay High
25 facility-wise in good shape."
1 And I said, "Fine." So we prepared the
2 list. And there were some additions to the baseball
3 facility on there, but it wasn't in any kind of a
4 rank order or anything like that. I believe that
5 the two of them, Randall and William, went and spoke
6 to the superintendent about it. He indicated that
7 he would have the director of the facilities go out
8 there and look. And he did, and came back and later
9 said to me, well, we can do the parking lots, but
10 we're not going to be able to this, this, this, or
11 this. It was just kind of an ordinary conversation.
12 Q Right. Do you know how Mr. McElheney and
13 Mr. Harrison were informed that one of the things
14 that was not going to be done was some of this
15 baseball facility?
16 A Either Mr. Garrigan or I informed him of
17 it. I believe it was Mr. Garrigan.
18 Q Okay.
19 A Because they were discussing it.
20 Q Do you know how Mr. Garrigan informed --
21 it could have been you; is that right?
22 A It could have been me. These were just
23 casual conversations.
24 Q Is there a -- my understanding is that
25 there is a football field that's adjacent to Bay
1 High School. Tallahassee has Capital, but it's
2 basically a football field that is used throughout
3 the district; is that correct?
4 A Correct.
5 Q Was there an issue that arose regarding
6 the fencing around that football field? Had you
7 requested that there be a fence placed either
8 adjacent to or around that football field?
9 A Bay High uses the front of Tommy Oliver
10 Stadium. That parking lot, during the week, is Bay
11 High's student parking lot. And Bay High is the
12 only high school that cannot secure student parking.
13 So I requested that new parking lots be established
14 and that the front area of Tommy Oliver be fenced so
15 that it can be used by Bay High School in order for
16 us to be able to secure the parking lots.
17 Q Okay. To make sure I understand, are you
18 saying that what really is the parking lot of Tommy
19 Oliver is also used by students at Bay?
20 A Correct.
21 Q So you wanted to include the fencing
22 around that part that's really part of the Tommy
23 Oliver facility?
24 A Yes.
25 Q And you made that request to the
1 superintendent?
2 A Yes.
3 Q And what did he say?
4 A He gave it to the director of facilities,
5 and they approved it.
6 Q So it's your understanding that the
7 director of facilities approved that.
8 A Yes.
9 Q Who is that person?
10 A Wayne Elmore.
11 Q So is there a fence there now?
12 A Yes.
13 Q Okay. One of the other things that has
14 been listed in -- or been discussed in these
15 depositions has been a situation with Carolyn Cramer
16 and her chairs.
17 A Yes.
18 Q Can you explain that to me from your
19 perspective?
20 A I'm trying to remember the -- I can get
21 the dates for you, but it's sometime in September.
22 Q And, again, this is September of '05?
23 A '05, yes. The front office staff asked if
24 they could start doing some freshening up, cleaning
25 up the place. The front office was, in my opinion,
1 dirty and rundown.
2 So I told the staff yes.
3 And I came out one morning and my
4 secretary, Carol Deaton, said, "What do you think of
5 putting these chairs in the foyer rather than in the
6 red room?" Which was our conference room that's
7 closed most of the time.
8 I said, "They look great. It sounds good
9 to me."
10 That afternoon, to my understanding -- I
11 was in my office and didn't see it, but Carolyn
12 Cramer came in, saw the chairs, went to Carol
13 Deaton's door and said, "Have him move those chairs
14 back within 24 hours or I'm going to come pick them
15 up."
16 And so my secretary relayed the
17 information, that conversation to me. I said, "Well
18 they were donated to Bay High. I did not recall any
19 specific purpose. They look great where they are.
20 Let's just leave them."
21 Q Did you personally talk to Ms. Cramer
22 about the chairs?
23 A No.
24 Q Have you at any time talked to her about
25 those chairs --
1 A No.
2 Q -- since this happened?
3 A She sent me an e-mail -- rather a fax.
4 She sent me a fax formally demanding that the chairs
5 be moved back into the red room.
6 Q What were her exact words in that e-mail?
7 A Exact words were, move them within 24
8 hours or I will -- or I will have -- I have movers
9 on standby to come and get them. And there was
10 another piece of furniture, a desk of some kind,
11 that was still in the red room.
12 Q Okay.
13 A I faxed her back a comment that said,
14 "Dear, Mrs. Cramer, the moving of the chairs was
15 part of an ongoing renovation of the school. I do
16 not recall that they had any specific purpose other
17 than they were donated to Bay High School. We feel
18 that this is the best -- we, being the staff, feel
19 that this is the best place for them. If you do not
20 agree with that, please call and schedule a time
21 when the movers can come and get your chairs."
22 Q And did she do that?
23 A She did that.
24 Q Do you recall having heard or -- either
25 Ms. Cramer telling you in this fax or having told
1 your secretary that if chairs were needed for the
2 front area, that she would buy chairs for the front
3 area?
4 A No.
5 Q So that information was not relayed to
6 you?
7 A That was not relayed to me.
8 Q Okay.
9 A No.
10 Q And did you, after she -- since she came
11 and picked up the chairs, have you had any further
12 conversations with her about the chairs?
13 A She requested that the superintendent
14 bring me to his office.
15 Q And how do you know that she requested
16 that the superintendent bring you to his office?
17 A He called me and said, Mrs. Cramer wants
18 to meet with you and me together, would you come out
19 at such and such a time. I've got the date on the
20 calendar, sometime mid September.
21 Q Okay.
22 A I don't have that exact date.
23 Q So he called you and said Ms. Cramer has
24 requested a meeting with the two of us.
25 A Right.
1 Q Okay.
2 A The meeting lasted about two hours.
3 Q When was that meeting?
4 A Sometime mid September. I don't have an
5 exact date in my mind.
6 Q All right.
7 A Mrs. Cramer basically chewed me out about
8 the chairs. We were also moving the AICE office,
9 which she had had some -- she had done some
10 renovation in, to another more -- I thought more
11 main-line facility.
12 The AICE office was taking up a
13 classroom. We were short of classrooms, and so I
14 asked the AICE office people, three of them at that
15 time, if they would move to this temporary facility,
16 which was an office that was right at the front of
17 the school, easily accessible. And if they would do
18 that temporarily, then we would build them a
19 permanent facility.
20 Q Right.
21 A And they happily agreed. And Mrs. Cramer
22 was upset about that, berated me about that, berated
23 me about the moving of the chairs, berated me about
24 how I didn't like Kathy Barr and would not go
25 into -- that I wasn't supportive of her and her
1 program, and basically repeated herself a number of
2 times.
3 And I simply related that these are school
4 issues and management issues, that, you know, I was
5 doing what I thought was best and in concert with
6 the superintendent.
7 Q And what did the superintendent say?
8 A Not a word.
9 Q So he simply listened to this meeting.
10 A Took copious notes.
11 Q Do you know what, if anything, he did
12 after that?
13 A I don't know.
14 Q So he didn't intervene on your behalf, he
15 didn't intervene on Mrs. Cramer's behalf.
16 A No.
17 Q Any other run-ins that you've had with
18 Carolyn Cramer since that mid September of 2005?
19 A In January of '06 I received an e-mail
20 that she had sent to the executive board of the Bay
21 High Foundation, and because I'm, by position, on
22 the executive board, I was on the list served.
23 Q Right.
24 A And my recollection is that -- she had
25 gotten the minutes from the previous meeting, for
1 the December meeting, and had written her comments
2 below that --
3 Q Right.
4 A -- and then sent them out. And the
5 comments were very critical of Bay High School,
6 critical of me.
7 Q Well, what comments did she make critical
8 of Bay High School?
9 A There was some -- in the minutes, there
10 was some comments about the PASS Program that
11 Mr. McElheney and Mr. Harrison were --
12 Q PAS, P-A-S-S?
13 A P-S-S.
14 Q What is that?
15 A Partnership Assisting in School Success.
16 Q Is that like a business partnership --
17 A It's a business partnership.
18 Q Okay.
19 A She was very critical of that and
20 generally -- I don't recall exactly the comments,
21 but they were negative comments about it.
22 Q And what about her comments about you?
23 A I'm trying to recall exactly what -- in
24 the minutes I had requested, I think, $3,000 for
25 funding for the magnet program to do our big
1 promotional deal.
2 Q This is for the media effort?
3 A Right, and I believe her comment was
4 something like, this is ironic coming from him. I
5 became known as him. And I don't recall the rest of
6 it. It was -- just the tone of it was negative.
7 Q Does Ms. Cramer have a child or children
8 at Bay High?
9 A They are all grown. They did go through
10 Bay High.
11 Q So she did have children that went to Bay
12 High.
13 A Yes.
14 Q But during the 2005, 2006 school year she
15 had no children at Bay High.
16 A Correct.
17 Q So she was just -- her contributions to
18 the school previously had been someone in the
19 community who supported the high school.
20 A Correct.
21 Q Anything else about Carolyn Cramer or
22 contact you had with Carolyn Cramer?
23 A No.
24 Q Let's go back to the meeting that you had
25 with the superintendent when he informed you in 2006
1 that he did not intend to reassign you to Bay.
2 A Right.
3 Q And I think you indicated that you were
4 disappointed. Was it your testimony -- well, what
5 did you say in that meeting?
6 A The meeting lasted about 90 seconds.
7 Q Okay.
8 A I walked in and sat down. I did not say a
9 word. He looked at me and said -- actually, I
10 walked in the door and he said, "Please, sit down,
11 Larry." And he reached out and shook my hand. And
12 he said, "This is the time of year when I am doing
13 administrative assignments. I'm renewing you as a
14 principal but not at Bay High."
15 Q Okay.
16 A I replied to him, "Mac, you have betrayed
17 me."
18 He said, "I don't see it that way."
19 I said, "Well, I do."
20 Q Okay.
21 A I said, "You asked me to go and do a job,
22 to clean it up, and I've done that. I feel like
23 you've betrayed me."
24 And his comment was, "Okay."
25 I said, "I've been loyal to you."
1 And at that point he started to arch up in
2 his chair, he leaned forward in a very angry tone
3 and said, "No, you have not been loyal to me."
4 His anger was so spontaneous, that I
5 thought it better just to end the conversation.
6 I said, "Well, I'm going to leave the
7 office now and consider my options, and we're just
8 going to have to disagree on the loyalty."
9 He said, "Okay." He sat back. And I got
10 up and walked out.
11 Q And then what did you do?
12 A Went back to school.
13 Q Okay.
14 A I did call Randall McElheney on the way
15 over, and he had asked me to call him, because I had
16 gotten -- the rumors were getting more apparent.
17 Q Right.
18 A And so he said, "Please, call me as soon
19 as you leave his office and tell me what is going
20 on."
21 So I called him, and I said, "He's
22 non-renewed me at Bay High School, I'll be a
23 principal somewhere, but he didn't offer it and I
24 didn't ask."
25 Q Did you tell Mr. McElheney you had been
1 fired?
2 A No, I never used that word.
3 Q Did you tell any of the board members that
4 you had been fired?
5 A Never used that word.
6 Q That day did you personally call any of
7 the board members?
8 A I don't recall. It was kind of just a
9 very, you know, upheaval day. I don't -- things
10 were happening so quickly, I don't remember. I know
11 the board members were contacted --
12 Q Right.
13 A -- my understanding was. And calls were
14 coming in, going out. I honestly do not recall whom
15 I called and who I talked to.
16 Q So that day you didn't make notes on your
17 calendar about who was calling and who you were
18 calling; is that correct?
19 A No, it was not how I planned to spend the
20 day.
21 Q Okay.
22 A But I did have on my calendar, McCalister
23 7 a.m.
24 Q And it was your understanding that he had
25 other people scheduled for meetings on the same
1 day --
2 A Yes.
3 Q -- to deliver basically the same kind of
4 message; is that correct?
5 A I didn't know what message he was going to
6 deliver --
7 Q Okay.
8 A -- but I found out later.
9 Q During your conversation with him that
10 morning, did he indicate to you -- or did you
11 express your curiosity about where he might be going
12 to assign you?
13 A No.
14 Q So you didn't get into conversation, you
15 didn't ask him and he didn't tell you where.
16 A No.
17 Q Do you feel like you would be qualified to
18 be principal at Jinks Middle School?
19 A Yes.
20 Q Do you think you would do a good job there
21 as principal at Jinks Middle School?
22 A I will not go to Jinks Middle School.
23 Q But if you did, do you think you would be
24 a good principal there?
25 A Any school that I would be a principal of,
1 I think I would do the best job I could.
2 Q Is it your opinion that Bay High will only
3 be able to continue making academic progress if
4 you remain principal there?
5 A I think its best opportunity is to have
6 the continuity of leadership that it has.
7 Q Well, that's not the question I asked.
8 My question was: Do you think that Bay
9 High will only continue to make academic progress if
10 you remain principal there?
11 A I think it has the best opportunity for
12 making progress.
13 Q Again, that is not my question.
14 My question is: Is it your belief that
15 the only way Bay High will continue to make academic
16 progress is if you remain principal there?
17 A No.
18 Q Okay. Is it your belief that there is no
19 other educator or administrator who could lead Bay
20 High --
21 MR. MEYER: Same question.
22 MS. CHUMBLER: Okay, fine.
24 Q All right. Do you think that Bay High
25 will only continue to operate smoothly if you remain
1 as principal there?
2 A Is that not the same kind of question?
3 Q No, it's not. It's a separately stated
4 reason that's been offered by the school board.
5 A I believe I'm the best qualified to do
6 that job.
7 Q Again, not the question I asked.
8 My question was: Is it your opinion that
9 Bay High will only continue to operate smoothly if
10 you remain as principal there?
11 A No.
12 Q Do you think that without you the students
13 at Bay High will necessarily suffer adverse effects?
14 A I believe that they will suffer some
15 adverse effects.
16 Q Is it your opinion that there is no other
17 educator or administrator who could have a positive
18 effect on the students at Bay High as principal
19 there?
20 A I don't know of any.
21 Q You don't know of any other principal out
22 there in the world who would have a positive effect
23 on the students at Bay High?
24 A I don't know that many principals.
25 Q So you're saying you don't know that there
1 aren't any -- it's your opinion there are not any,
2 or just you can't think of anybody right now?
3 A I can't think of anybody.
4 Q In your opinion will the staff at Bay High
5 necessarily suffer adverse effects unless you remain
6 there as principal?
7 A I think there is going to be some adverse
8 effects if I'm not -- if I do not remain there. The
9 faculty and student body have bonded with their
10 principal and their administrative staff, and that
11 change in leadership does cause, for some,
12 adversity.
13 Q Had you bonded with your staff at Merritt
14 Brown?
15 A Yes.
16 Q Was there adversity at Merritt Brown when
17 a new principal was brought in there?
18 A I don't know. I wasn't there.
19 Q But you don't have any knowledge of
20 adverse consequences; is that correct?
21 A I don't know of any.
22 Q Is it your opinion that no other educator
23 or administrator could possibly have a positive
24 effect on the staff at Bay High?
25 A I don't know of anyone at this time.
1 Q Again, there is no one that you can think
2 of.
3 A There is no one that I can think of.
4 Q During the 2005, 2006 school year, did the
5 FCAT scores of the lowest quartile students at Bay
6 improve?
7 A Actually, in tenths of percents it did,
8 about five-tenths of a percent. But it was still in
9 the 48 percentile, which is growth for Bay High
10 School, especially when you look at the fact that
11 the other three major high schools went down, two of
12 them below the 50th percentile with the lower
13 quartile.
14 Q For those high schools, that was the first
15 year that they had a problem with their lowest
16 quartiles, correct?
17 A Yes, so they were able to maintain their
18 letter grade.
19 Q So basically that scoring of by the lowest
20 quartile did not affect their ultimate school-wide
21 letter grade; is that correct?
22 A For this year.
23 Q If they repeat next year, it would affect
24 it next year; is that correct?
25 A That's correct.
1 Q Why do you think the superintendent made
2 the recommendation to transfer you to Jinks Middle
3 School?
4 A I believe that he was angry at me because
5 I did not allow Kathy Barr to remain in her
6 perceived status of running the school.
7 Q Anything else?
8 A No.


1 Depostion of Jon McFatter
2 October 23, 2006
5 the witness herein, being first duly sworn, was
6 examined and testified as follows:
9 Q Would you state your name and address for
10 the record, please?
11 A Jon McFatter, 1510 McKenzie Court,
12 Lynn Haven.
13 Q And, Mr. McFatter, you currently serve on
14 the Bay County School Board; is that correct?
15 A Yes, ma'am.
16 Q How long have you been on the board?
17 A November will be two years.
18 Q During your term on the school board, has
19 the superintendent ever recommended that a school
20 principal be transferred?
21 A I remember assistant principals more so
22 than principals. Right offhand, I cannot remember,
23 in my tenure, a principal from one school to
24 another. I'm sure there may have been.
25 Q Obviously, other than Mr. Bolinger.
1 A Other than Mr. Bolinger I can't remember
2 exactly, but I'm sure there have been, and --
3 Q I'm sorry. Go ahead.
4 A -- I don't -- I never have saw them as
5 being something that was -- well, they -- I guess
6 they do happen annually, but I don't remember any
7 right offhand.
8 Q Since you have been a member of the school
9 board, have there been people moved into principal
10 positions from other positions in the school
11 district?
12 A Yes.
13 Q On how many occasions?
14 A I can just remember a couple. If I'm
15 answering your question correctly, I remember just a
16 couple offhand that were assistant principals that
17 are now principals.
18 Q Do you remember what -- which principals
19 and to which schools they were moved?
20 A I remember Mike Kennedy, I think he was
21 assistant principal, and is now principal at
22 Rutherford.
23 Q That's a high school --
24 A Yes, ma'am.
25 Q -- Rutherford High School?
1 Okay. When did that occur?
2 A I believe it happened two years ago.
3 Q Okay. Any others?
4 A Dr. Haley at Arnold was an assistant
5 principal, as I remember, and is now a principal.
6 That happened two years ago.
7 Q He went from assistant principal to
8 principal at Arnold?
9 A I think so, yes, if I remember correctly,
10 yes.
11 Q And did Mr. Kennedy also -- stayed at the
12 same school; is that correct?
13 A I think so, yes, I think he was at
14 Rutherford, yes.
15 Q And when did Dr. Haley take the position
16 as principal of Arnold?
17 A I believe he took it -- I may be wrong in
18 terms of the dates, but I believe it was summer of
19 '04, I think.
20 Q Okay. And were both of those positions
21 that the superintendent brought to the school board
22 and the school board approved?
23 A Yes.
24 Q Has Mr. McCalister been the superintendent
25 the entire time you've been on the school board?
1 A Yes.
2 Q Am I correct that you voted to reject
3 Superintendent McCalister's recommendation to
4 transfer Mr. Bolinger to Jinks Middle School?
5 A Yes.
6 Q Would you tell me your reasons why?
7 A The primary reason was student
8 achievement, D school status.
9 Q You said D school status?
10 A That school was a D school status. There
11 were -- repeat your question, again, so I can --
12 Q I was asking for the reasons why you voted
13 to reject the recommendation to --
14 A Okay.
15 Q -- transfer Mr. Bolinger to Jinks Middle
16 School. And you've said student achievement, D
17 school status.
18 A And I did believe -- and based on my
19 motion, I made the motion, I believe it would have
20 an adverse effect on the students and the morale of
21 the teachers and faculty at Bay High.
22 Q Okay. Let's start with the last one. You
23 say that you believe it would adversely affect
24 teacher morale at Bay High; is that correct?
25 A Yes.
1 Q What facts do you have to support that?
2 A First of all, I visited the school prior
3 to Mr. Bolinger on -- I remember at least two
4 different occasions, and I visited the school on a
5 weekly basis after Mr. Bolinger. And I talked with
6 several teachers, support staff, and just an overall
7 observation saw the difference between the two
8 administrations at the school.
9 Q And what was that difference?
10 A Well, the differences were, prior to
11 Mr. Bolinger there were kids roaming the halls. I
12 had been given information that Mr. Goodwin, in many
13 cases, wasn't even at school as the administrator,
14 and that teachers were -- there was -- in some
15 cases, there wasn't much accountability for them
16 doing their jobs. And then after the fact
17 Mr. Bolinger came in -- in fact, one of the first
18 things he told me is that the kids are back in class
19 and we're learning, this was once I visited.
20 Q So would it be a fair statement, in your
21 opinion, that you think Mr. Bolinger improved things
22 at Bay High?
23 A Absolutely.
24 Q What facts do you have to -- well, do you
25 believe that no one else could go into Bay High and
1 continue to make improvements there?
2 A I do not believe they could.
3 Q Okay. You don't think there is anybody
4 that could?
5 A Well, I base that on what the
6 superintendent told me.
7 Q What did the superintendent tell you?
8 A The superintendent called me before hiring
9 Mr. Bolinger and before approaching him about the
10 job and asked me to -- well, he told me he wanted to
11 hand pick Mr. Bolinger.
12 Q And this was in the summer of 2005?
13 A This was -- yes.
14 Q And what else did he tell you?
15 A Our conversation involved Mr. Bolinger had
16 not been interviewed for the job, he had not applied
17 for the job. And Mr. McCalister called me and asked
18 me to support him if he, I guess the right word,
19 would appoint him for the job.
20 Q And did he tell you that there wasn't
21 anyone else anywhere that could fill the position,
22 or what did he say?
23 A He told me that this was the right person
24 for the job, if there was anybody in our system that
25 could do what needed to be done at Bay High, it was
1 Larry Bolinger.
2 Q Okay.
3 A And I told him that I thought it was very
4 courageous, it was bold, and he had my support.
5 Q Okay. Anything else that leads you to
6 believe that no one else could continue improvements
7 at Bay High?
8 A Well, I have a superintendent that has 35
9 years of experience. And when he calls me and says,
10 this is what we need to do, and asks me for his
11 support, that leads me to believe that based on
12 interviews that have already taken place from people
13 that have applied for the job, I trusted his
14 judgment.
15 Q But do you have reasons to believe that
16 Mr. McCalister no longer has the interest of Bay
17 High in mind when he makes recommendations?
18 A I question that, yes.
19 Q But what -- why do you -- why do you say
20 that other than his recommendation to transfer
21 Mr. Bolinger?
22 A I had a conversation with him.
23 Q With Mr. McCalister?
24 A Yes, ma'am.
25 Q What was your conversation with
1 Mr. McCalister?
2 A Once I had heard that Mr. Bolinger would
3 no longer be -- in fact, I had been told that he was
4 fired from Bay High, I immediately went to visit
5 Mr. McCalister.
6 Q Uh-huh.
7 A And I asked him --
8 Q Could you tell me when this was?
9 A This was the day, I don't remember
10 exactly, that Mr. Bolinger was informed and was
11 called into Mr. McCalister's office.
12 Q So this was before the May 30th meeting?
13 A Oh, yes.
14 Q I'm sorry. I interrupted you. You had a
15 conversation with Mr. McCalister, you went to see
16 Mr. McCalister sometime before the May 30th meeting;
17 is that correct?
18 A Yes.
19 Q And what was the substance of that
20 meeting?
21 A I asked him -- we closed the door, one on
22 one, and I said, "tell me what's going on. Why are
23 you doing this? You call me on the front end. You
24 don't call me on the back end. I want to support
25 you, but tell me what you're doing."
1 And he said, "I'm not telling you."
2 Q Okay.
3 A And I said, "Well, give me something where
4 I can support what you're trying to do."
5 And he said, "I don't have to tell you."
6 Q Okay.
7 A I said, "Well, can you tell me what your
8 plans are for Bay High? If you can't tell me what
9 you're doing with Mr. Bolinger, tell me what your
10 plans are."
11 He said, "I'm not telling you."
12 Q Okay.
13 A And I told him, "Then I will not support
14 you, if you can't give me and the public some
15 explanation as to what you're doing."
16 Q All right. So it's the lack of
17 explanation that leads you to the conclusion that he
18 doesn't have Bay High's interest at heart.
19 A Well, if it was -- that certainly plays a
20 role. I mean, some of it was basically a
21 conversation with the leader of our district who
22 could not give me any plans, any direction, as to
23 why the drastic move at this point in time, given
24 Bay High's situation.
25 Q Okay.
1 A And he could give me nothing.
2 Q Anything else?
3 A No, ma'am. I'm trying to recall some of
4 the conversation. That was about it.
5 Q You said he couldn't give you anything
6 else. Was it that he couldn't or he simply chose
7 not to?
8 A I believe he chose not to.
9 Q So you don't know, in fact, what his
10 reasons were.
11 A No, ma'am, I do not.
12 Q Any other facts or any other information
13 that leads you to believe that no one else could
14 continue improvement at Bay High?
15 A I don't have any additional information,
16 at least not at this point.
17 Q You also said that you believed that if
18 Mr. Bolinger were moved, that the students at Bay
19 High would be adversely affected.
20 A Yes.
21 Q Can you tell me what facts you base that
22 belief on?
23 A Well, the facts are is that student
24 achievement was obviously down based on the school
25 grades, and it took several years for the school
1 grades to be a D. And, therefore, to not allow a
2 hand-picked administrator to work there and
3 establish the leadership required for student
4 achievement and be removed before the school grade
5 ever -- even came out, certainly doesn't send a
6 message that anyone cares about their achievements
7 in the classroom. I don't know if I'm answering
8 your question or not, but if you want to ask it
9 again, I'll try it again.
10 Q Let me ask a follow-up question to that.
11 Do you know whether there was any information to
12 suggest whether there would be an improvement in
13 student achievement at the time the recommendation
14 was made to transfer Mr. Bolinger to Jinks?
15 A Did I have any information?
16 Q Do you know if there was information
17 available to either you or to Mr. McCalister?
18 A That the kids were improving?
19 Q Right.
20 A Yes.
21 Q So you understood there to have been some
22 improvement made.
23 A Yes, I was told that the kids had been
24 assessed prior to the FCAT and that the assessments
25 were way up.
1 Q Okay.
2 A Mr. McCalister knew that and I knew that
3 and other board members knew that.
4 Q And that was known before the May board
5 meeting, correct?
6 A Yes.
7 Q What facts do you have that leads you to
8 believe that that improvement couldn't continue
9 under someone else?
10 A Because Mr. McCalister hand picking
11 Mr. Bolinger to do the job. He led me to believe
12 there was no one else in the district that can do
13 that.
14 Q Mr. McCalister hand picked Mr. Bolinger in
15 the summer of 2005; is that correct?
16 A Yes.
17 Q And there was, in fact, improvement in
18 student achievement in the 2005, 2006 school year;
19 is that correct?
20 A Yes.
21 Q And then Mr. McCalister came to you in the
22 summer of 2006 and said, "I'm recommending
23 transferring Mr. Bolinger to Jinks," correct?
24 A Yes.
25 Q Now, my question is, do you have a reason
1 to believe that someone else couldn't come in, in
2 the 2006, 2007 school year, and continue improving
3 student achievement?
4 A Well, it's my belief that transition from
5 bad grades to good grades takes more than ten
6 months, just as it took good grades to bad grades to
7 the D status at Bay High took two years, and there
8 were questions whether or not it would be an F
9 school prior to Mr. Bolinger.
10 Q There was questions from whom?
11 A The public, the staff that was involved in
12 the school.
13 Q Was Bay High ever an F school?
14 A No.
15 Q Do you know why it was a D school rather
16 than a C school?
17 A Other than student achievement based on
18 the scores, no.
19 Q Do you know what affect the scores of the
20 lowest scoring 25 percent of the students had on the
21 overall grade that the school received?
22 A I believe it's one letter grade.
23 Q So, to your knowledge, did that affect the
24 overall score that Bay High received?
25 A Received when?
1 Q In the -- this last year or years in the
2 past.
3 A I know that the lowest quartile must reach
4 a 50 percent improvement on their scores or it will
5 cost the district -- or it will cost the school a
6 letter grade.
7 Q And is that what happened at Bay High?
8 A To my knowledge, yes.
9 Q Okay. To your knowledge did it happen in
10 both the 2005, 2006 school year and the -- I'm
11 sorry, the 2004, 2005 school year and the 2005, 2006
12 school year?
13 A Yes.
14 Q Okay. So when you said earlier that the
15 school had a D school status, I assume you're
16 referring to the 2004, 2005 school year; is that
17 correct?
18 A And the year before, I believe.
19 Q And what was it in 2005, 2006?
20 A A C school.
21 Q And in both of those instances, would it
22 have been a higher letter grade if there had been
23 enough improvement in the lowest 25 percent?
24 A Yes, but -- yes.
25 Q Do you know what, if anything,
1 Mr. Bolinger had in place at Bay to improve the
2 scores of the lowest 25 percent?
3 A I don't know any particulars, no.
4 Q Do you know how close the overall score of
5 Bay in the 2004, 2005 school year -- let me start
6 that over again.
7 Do you know how far away from receiving a
8 C in terms of points Bay was in the 2004, 2005
9 school year?
10 A I believe it was, to my knowledge, just a
11 few points.
12 Q So they were close to being a C school in
13 2004, 2005; is that correct?
14 A To my knowledge, yes.
15 Q Is there anything else that you have that
16 supports your conclusion that transferring
17 Mr. Bolinger to Jinks would have adversely affected
18 the students at Bay High?
19 A Not at this time, no, ma'am.
20 Q You mentioned student achievement as one
21 of the reasons that you voted against the
22 recommendation to transfer Mr. Bolinger to Jinks
23 Middle School. Are there any facts other than those
24 we've already discussed that relate to that basis
25 for your decision?
1 A Not right offhand that I can think of.
2 Q And the D school status, anything else?
3 You mentioned that as a reason you voted against the
4 recommendation.
5 A I'm trying to recall my motion. It
6 involved the hiring freeze and the timing of which
7 the transfer was being recommended.
8 Q Okay. What's your knowledge of the hiring
9 freeze? What did you understand -- what type of
10 hiring freeze did you understand there to be?
11 A It was my understanding that the
12 superintendent had told all the administrators in
13 the district you are not to hire any more teachers
14 for the classrooms until further notice. Now, that
15 was my understanding.
16 Q Did you understand that to preclude the
17 superintendent from hiring a principal for an open
18 position?
19 A I don't understand.
20 Q Well, you described the hiring freeze as
21 restricting principals from hiring new teachers; is
22 that correct?
23 A Yes.
24 Q Did you understand the hiring freeze to
25 also restrict the superintendent from hiring -- from
1 hiring a principal to fill an open position?
2 A No.
3 Q Okay. So what effect did the hiring
4 freeze have on transferring Mr. Bolinger to Jinks
5 Middle School?
6 A Well, hiring freeze was preventing Bay
7 High and Mr. Bolinger from hiring teachers he needed
8 for the school to function. I mean, you're talking
9 about right up to the point that the school year in
10 itself is about to start and they can't even hire
11 teachers with a teacher shortage, and I was living
12 under the assumption -- well, I couldn't come to a
13 conclusion why we had a hiring freeze.
14 Q And was this a hiring freeze that only
15 applied to Bay High School?
16 A No.
17 Q So this was a hiring freeze that was
18 district wide, to your knowledge.
19 A That was my understanding, yes.
20 Q What was your understanding of the length
21 of the hiring freeze? How long did it continue in
22 effect?
23 A To my recollection that it continued until
24 after our decision not to transfer Mr. Bolinger.
25 Q Okay.
1 A That was -- and I'm just telling you my
2 recollection.
3 Q And do you know when -- did you receive
4 any information prior to the June 28th meeting about
5 when the hiring freeze would be lifted?
6 A No, not to my -- I don't remember that,
7 no.
8 Q I'm going to hand you a document that we
9 previously used, and this was actually an e-mail
10 that was forwarded. It's the e-mail that begins
11 below with the sideways --
12 MR. HARRISON: There has to be a name for
13 those things.
14 MS. CHUMBLER: -- pointers. I know, I'm
15 sure there is. I just don't know what it is.
16 With Ann Smith.
17 THE WITNESS: Okay. And I don't remember
18 seeing such an e-mail, but I see it's sent to
19 our board secretary. I'm not suggesting that I
20 didn't get it, but I'm not --
22 Q You don't have a recollection one way or
23 the other?
24 A No, ma'am, not right off.
25 MR. HARRISON: That actually shows that it
1 was forwarded to the board secretary in October
2 of this year when I requested it.
3 MS. CHUMBLER: Can we get off the record a
4 minute?
5 (Discussion held off the record.)
7 Q Again, I'm struggling with why the hiring
8 freeze, in particular, led you to recommend against
9 the transfer of Mr. Bolinger to Jinks. How was his
10 ability to fill needed staff positions affected by
11 not being transferred to Jinks if he was under the
12 same freeze regardless of which school?
13 A Well, it was -- I guess to answer your
14 question, it was all encompassing to me. I mean,
15 why do we have a hiring freeze? We have a shortage
16 of teachers, and the man is trying to fill positions
17 at Bay High. I'm sure Ms. McLain was trying to fill
18 positions at Jinks.
19 Q But, again, what I'm getting at --
20 A Of course we couldn't get an answer.
21 Q What I'm getting at is how that's
22 related -- how that's tied to Mr. Bolinger being
23 transferred to Jinks.
24 A Well, I guess it's, as my motion basically
25 said, it's just sort of coupled with, in addition to
1 what we're already dealing with, is the best way I
2 can answer your question. In fact, my motion said,
3 coupled with the hiring freeze.
4 Q Okay. But --
5 A But to say the hiring freeze somehow
6 individually was -- you know, was -- had anything
7 necessarily to do with the transfer, I guess --
8 Q Finish the statement.
9 MR. HARRISON: He may have.
10 THE WITNESS: Yeah, I think I got a period
11 at the end of that one.
13 Q Well, I think you ended in the middle of a
14 sentence, but make sure that it's clear on paper, if
15 Mr. Bolinger -- if the hiring freeze had remained in
16 effect and Mr. Bolinger stayed at Bay, he would have
17 been subject to the hiring freeze, correct?
18 A Yes.
19 Q And if he had left Bay and someone else
20 had gone to Bay, they would have been subjected to
21 the hiring freeze, correct?
22 A Yes.
23 Q And if Mr. Bolinger had been sent to
24 Jinks, he would have been subject to the hiring
25 freeze, correct?
1 A Yes.
2 Q So regardless of how you voted on the
3 recommendation to transfer Mr. Bolinger, the effect
4 of the hiring freeze was the same.
5 A I would agree with that, yes.
6 Q Okay. Did you -- was it your belief that
7 Mr. McCalister had made some verbal commitment to
8 Mr. Bolinger that he would remain at Bay High for
9 more than a year?
10 A Yes.
11 Q And what was the basis for that
12 understanding on your part?
13 A Well, a couple reasons, one is that, to my
14 knowledge, we had never transferred a principal
15 inside of a year, so I guess there was a consensus
16 that he would stay longer than a year. I did have
17 some conversations with -- I believe I had a
18 conversation with William Harrison, who indicated to
19 me that he had -- that Mr. McCalister wanted to make
20 a commitment to Mr. Bolinger going to Bay High and
21 finishing his career.
22 Q When was that conversation with
23 Mr. Harrison?
24 A That conversation took place -- it was
25 soon after -- I'm trying to recall. It was during
1 the same period that Mr. McCalister called me and
2 asked for my support to pick Mr. Bolinger to do the
3 job, so exact dates and times, I can't recall.
4 Q Probably early summer of 2005?
5 A Oh, yes.
6 Q Did Mr. Harrison report to you that he was
7 a witness to a conversation in which that commitment
8 was made by Mr. McCalister?
9 A No.
10 Q Do you know what the source of
11 Mr. Harrison's information was?
12 A I understood it to be Mr. Bolinger.
13 Q So your understanding was that
14 Mr. Bolinger told Mr. Harrison this.
15 A Yes, but I also know that Mr. Harrison
16 told me he had a conversation with Mr. McCalister.
17 Q And what did he say?
18 A Well, that involved -- he wanted to -- he
19 wanted to pick Mr. Bolinger to do the job.
20 Q Okay.
21 A And so within that conversation with me, I
22 guess the assumption was, is that Mr. Bolinger would
23 go to Bay High, and I think what we had been
24 always -- the way we had verbalized it, was to clean
25 up the mess.
1 Q Okay. But, I mean, was there a statement
2 ever made by Mr. McCalister that Mr. Bolinger will
3 remain at Bay High for more than a year?
4 A To my knowledge, no. I have to tell you,
5 I was certainly under the assumption of that, or I
6 never would have voted for him to go, not without an
7 explanation of a plan.
8 Q You mentioned that the timing of it -- do
9 you recall when it was announced that Mr. Bolinger
10 would be assigned from Merritt Brown to Bay High,
11 what time of year?
12 A From Merritt Brown to Bay High, it was --
13 I can't -- I can't recall exactly when -- when it
14 was, especially given -- you know, the process of
15 hiring and transferring of employees, you know, it's
16 all relatively new to me.
17 Q If I were to tell you that it was on or
18 about June 23rd, 2005, would that seem about
19 accurate to you?
20 A June the 23rd? That seems a little late.
21 Q You think it was earlier than that; is
22 that correct?
23 A I can't recall.
24 Q I'm going to hand you a copy of what has
25 been actually given to me by your attorney. It's a
1 News Herald article from June 24th, 2005. I ask if
2 you would read that over and see if it refreshes
3 your recollection.
4 A Okay. And your question, ma'am?
5 Q Whether it would -- that refreshes your
6 recollection, that the announcement that -- that
7 Mr. McCalister's announcement of moving Mr. Bolinger
8 to Bay High occurred on or about June the 23rd,
9 2005.
10 A I would agree with that.
11 MS. CHUMBLER: I would like to make that
12 Exhibit 1.
13 (Petitioner's Exhibit Number 1 marked for
14 identification.)
16 Q Are you aware that Mr. Bolinger had a
17 written contract with the school district for a
18 one-year term?
19 A Yes.
20 Q At any time did Mr. McCalister come to the
21 board and seek authority for a multi-year contract
22 for Mr. Bolinger?
23 A No.
24 Q Do you know whether when Mr. Bolinger was
25 moved to Bay High in 2005, was there an adverse
1 effect on staff?
2 A Adverse?
3 Q Adverse.
4 A Meaning -- what do you mean by adverse,
5 bad?
6 Q Bad, yes.
7 A I don't recall. Not at that point in
8 time, no.
9 Q What do you mean by not at that point in
10 time?
11 A Well, there were members of the public
12 that spoke at the first meeting we had, and I guess
13 some of them had adverse feelings about Bay High.
14 Q Members of the public who had adverse
15 feelings about Bay High, what do you mean by that?
16 A There was a couple people that came to the
17 podium and said, "Larry Bolinger had no problem
18 transferring people when he was superintendent."
19 Q And this was the meeting -- which meeting
20 are you talking about?
21 A This would have been the first one. I
22 don't remember exactly what the date was.
23 Q The May 2006 meeting?
24 A Was it May? I guess it was May, yeah.
25 Q Okay. But my question, really, was
1 whether there was any adverse effect on staff at Bay
2 High when Mr. Bolinger was transferred there in
3 2005?
4 A I don't recall. No one told me there was
5 an adverse effect on --
6 Q The staff.
7 A -- the staff.
8 Q So it's not necessarily true, that when
9 you get a new principal, there's an adverse effect
10 on staff, correct?
11 A I don't know, I guess not.
12 Q Was there an adverse effect on students
13 when Mr. Bolinger was sent to Bay High in the summer
14 of 2005?
15 A No.
16 Q So it's not necessarily true that when a
17 new principal is assigned there's an adverse effect
18 on students, correct?
19 MR. MEYER: I'm going to object to the
20 continued leading questions.
21 MS. CHUMBLER: He's an adverse witness.
22 But go ahead.
23 THE WITNESS: I don't think I understand
24 your question. Is your question -- are you
25 asking me that when a new principal goes to a
1 school, there is not necessarily going to be a
2 bad effect on the kids?
3 MS. CHUMBLER: Right.
4 THE WITNESS: I think it depends on the
5 circumstances.
7 Q Does it also depend on the principal?
8 A Yes.
9 Q Does it also depend on other staff?
10 A Yes.
11 Q Does it also depend on the teachers?
12 A Yes.
13 Q Okay. When Mr. Bolinger was assigned to
14 Bay High in the summer of 2005, were operations at
15 Bay High disrupted?
16 A I'm sure when Mr. Bolinger took the job,
17 that he did things, from a leadership style, a
18 little different. So if they was disruptive, I
19 think they were probably for the best interest of
20 the school.
21 Q But a little disruption, are you saying,
22 may be just what comes with the territory --
23 A Yes.
24 Q -- of a new leader?
25 A Yes.
1 Q Is that correct?
2 A Yes, I would agree with that.
3 Q And are there ways to minimize that
4 disruption?
5 A I'm sure there are. I have never been a
6 principal.
7 Q Okay. And do you think there are other
8 people who have tools to minimize disruption other
9 than Larry Bolinger?
10 A Yes.
11 Q Do you have facts to support a conclusion
12 or -- let me strike that.
13 Is it your belief that student achievement
14 at Bay High will be hurt if Mr. Bolinger is
15 transferred to Jinks Middle School?
16 A Yes.
17 Q Why do you believe that?
18 A Based on the student achievement of the
19 kids prior to Mr. Bolinger, and then a transition
20 from Mr. Bolinger leaving at this point in time, I
21 believe would be -- have an adverse effect on the
22 student achievement of Bay High.
23 Q What I'm trying to get at is the facts
24 that you rely upon for that.
25 Now, there was a principal there that
1 didn't make improvement. You had Mr. Bolinger that
2 did. What facts do you have that someone else might
3 not be able to -- might not be able to continue that
4 improvement?
5 A Well, the facts are is that I feel very
6 comfortable with the improvement they've made, and
7 if he wasn't the man for the job to begin with, I'm
8 not convinced that someone else is going to improve
9 the student achievement of Bay High within the
10 district.
11 Q What about outside the district?
12 A I'm sure there may be someone maybe
13 outside the district.
14 Q Okay.
15 A I'd like to hear the superintendent's
16 recommendation.
17 Q Do you have a reason to believe that the
18 superintendent would be confined to looking within
19 the district?
20 A No, ma'am.
21 Q Are there any other reasons, other than
22 the ones that we've already talked about, that you
23 had for voting against the recommendation to
24 transfer Mr. Bolinger?
25 A There basically has been no plan for Bay
1 High presented to me as a board member to make a
2 conscious, rationale decision on the best interest
3 of the students at Bay High. There has been
4 absolutely nothing, so I can't vote -- feel
5 comfortable about helping that school without some
6 information.
7 Q Is that typically what's done, I mean,
8 typically expect the school superintendent to give
9 you a plan for the school when he recommends putting
10 a new principal in place or moving a principal
11 somewhere?
12 A Is it typical?
13 Q Yes.
14 A I think it's typical to ask and get an
15 answer of some kind.
16 Q And have you expected -- has the
17 superintendent done that in the other instances when
18 new principals have been approved at schools?
19 A I would say yes.
20 Q Okay. So when --
21 A I'm not sure I can give you an example of
22 that. I've never had, at any other time I've ever
23 asked him a question, he refused to answer.
24 Q When Mr. Kennedy was placed as the
25 principal at Rutherford, was the superintendent --
1 did he give you a plan for Rutherford High School?
2 A No.
3 Q When Dr. Haley was moved as the principal
4 of Arnold, did he give you a plan for Arnold High
5 School?
6 A No.
7 Q What about at other school levels, middle
8 school levels or elementary school levels, has the
9 superintendent provided an explanation of the plan
10 for that school?
11 A No.
12 Q In your opinion was Mr. Bolinger a good
13 principal at Merritt Brown?
14 A Yes.
15 Q And do you think he would do a good job at
16 Jinks Middle School?
17 A Yes.
18 Q Do you -- did you -- to what extent did
19 you take into consideration the needs of Jinks
20 Middle School when you voted against transferring
21 Mr. Bolinger to that school?
22 A I had visited Jinks. I had been to SAC
23 committee meetings. I had had conversations with
24 Ms. McClain. I knew that their student achievement
25 scores on the FCAT were improving, and so I
1 certainly considered the school when I heard that
2 Mr. Bolinger would be recommended over there. But
3 based on the information I had, that school was --
4 Ms. McClain was doing a wonderful job.
5 Q My understanding is that Ms. McClain --
6 there was a recommendation that Ms. McClain be
7 transferred, that was withdrawn when the
8 recommendation to transfer Mr. Bolinger was
9 rejected. Is that your recollection, as well?
10 A Yes.
11 Q If that had not been withdrawn, do you
12 know how you would have voted on the recommendation
13 to transfer Ms. McClain?
14 MR. MEYER: Objection as speculative.
15 You can answer it.
16 THE WITNESS: Do I have to answer that?
18 MR. HARRISON: He asked me, not you.
19 MS. CHUMBLER: Yes, but you do.
20 THE WITNESS: Ask the question again.
22 Q If the recommendation to transfer
23 Ms. McClain had not been withdrawn, do you know how
24 you would have voted on that recommendation?
25 MR. HARRISON: If you know.
1 THE WITNESS: I don't know how I would
2 have voted. It never got to that, and I
3 never -- I'm sure I would have had some
4 questions.
6 Q Have you ever voted against a
7 recommendation by the superintendent to transfer
8 personnel in the past?
9 A Never, other than this situation with
10 Mr. Bolinger.
11 Q This one.
12 And did you -- in other situations, did
13 you ask for an explanation for why the transfer was
14 being made?
15 A I can't remember if -- I can't remember
16 any transfers of D and F schools to justify an
17 explanation why or any questions.
18 Q Regardless of whether it's a D and F
19 school -- I mean, I'm asking, on any occasion, have
20 you --
21 A On any occasion what? I'm sorry.
22 Q Whether you've asked for an explanation as
23 to why the transfer was being recommended.
24 A I don't recall ever asking.
25 Q Okay. Is it being a D or F school, are
1 those the only reasons that you would have for
2 asking?
3 A I guess there could be other reasons for
4 asking.
5 MS. CHUMBLER: Mark this Exhibit 2.
6 (Petitioner's Exhibit Number 2 marked for
7 identification.)
9 Q After you have a chance to look at that,
10 could you identify that document, please?
11 A This is a memo, I guess, from our -- from
12 our attorney, Mr. Harrison, about state statutes and
13 school board policies.
14 Q Did you receive that memo?
15 A I don't remember it, but my name is on
16 here, and so I probably did, yes.
17 Q Okay. And do you know whether you would
18 have received it before the June 28th school board
19 meeting?
20 A I probably did, given the date the 26th is
21 on here.
22 Q You mentioned earlier that you spoke with
23 Mr. McCalister as soon as you heard that it was his
24 intent to move -- not to reassign Mr. Bolinger to
25 Bay High; is that correct?
1 A Yes.
2 Q Who told you that Mr. McCalister was not
3 going to reassign Mr. Bolinger to Bay?
4 A I had received phone calls that morning --
5 Q From --
6 A -- that it had took place.
7 Q From whom?
8 A There were several phone calls to my
9 office at approximately 7:30 in the morning. One of
10 those phone calls that I can recall, and there were
11 others, but I can't remember the names, Randall
12 McElheney did call me and ask me if I had heard what
13 was going on.
14 Q Okay. Who else called?
15 A I had several, I can't remember, there
16 were a couple of parents that called that -- and I
17 don't know who they are.
18 Q Okay. You say that morning, the
19 morning -- what morning was that?
20 A I guess it was the morning Mr. McCalister
21 called Bolinger into his office and told him that he
22 would not be going back to Bay High.
23 Q Do you know how Mr. McElheney received
24 that information?
25 A No, ma'am.
1 Q Did you talk to Mr. Bolinger about that
2 before -- about the information before the May 30th
3 meeting?
4 A I visited Mr. Bolinger the morning that
5 this took place.
6 Q Okay.
7 A Along with the superintendent.
8 Q You visited him at the same time or you
9 visited him at --
10 A Different times during that morning.
11 Q Describe to me the substance of your
12 meeting with Mr. Bolinger that day.
13 A I just stopped by his office, and there
14 were a number of his administrators in that office
15 with him, and I asked him what was -- you know, tell
16 me what's going on. He said he was called down to
17 the office and told he would not be going back to
18 Bay High.
19 Q Okay.
20 A In fact, the terms that were used was been
21 fired, that's what I had heard.
22 Q Mr. Bolinger told you he had been fired?
23 A Yes.
24 Q Did Mr. Bolinger suggest any reasons why
25 he had been fired?
1 A I asked him point blank why. He said he
2 did not know.
3 Q Did he offer any speculation as to why he
4 thought he had been fired?
5 A The only thing he said to me was -- the
6 only thing that he could think of was that he did
7 not do what Kathy Barr wanted him to do at Bay High
8 as the principal. What that was, I'm not -- don't
9 know.
10 Q Kathy Barr was the magnet coordinator?
11 A Yes.
12 Q But if I understand you correctly, you
13 don't know what he meant by what Kathy Barr wanted
14 him to do.
15 A No, ma'am, I don't know.
16 Q Did he suggest why he had reached that
17 conclusion, that that had something to do with
18 Mr. McCalister's decision?
19 A No, the common knowledge is that Ms. Barr
20 and Mr. McCalister are very close.
21 Q Other than the common knowledge that
22 Ms. Barr and Mr. McCalister may be close, anything
23 else that leads to that conclusion?
24 A No, ma'am. We still don't know.
25 Q And do you have any knowledge of what
1 Ms. Barr may have wanted Mr. Bolinger to do?
2 A No, ma'am.
3 Q Was there any other reason suggested at
4 that meeting or other meetings as to why
5 Mr. McCalister was not going to reassign
6 Mr. Bolinger to Bay High?
7 A There were -- I don't remember anything
8 additional as to why he, at that time, was being
9 fired, and that was -- that was the conversation.
10 Q But that turned out not to be correct; is
11 that right?
12 A Yes.
13 Q And, in fact, the transfer doesn't involve
14 a salary decrease; is that correct?
15 A I think there is a salary decrease to go
16 from a high school to a middle school, yes.
17 Q So it's your understand that Mr. Bolinger
18 would receive a lower salary if he were to be
19 transferred to a middle school.
20 A I learned that after the fact.
21 Q That what?
22 A That his salary would be less if he went
23 to Jinks.
24 Q Okay.
25 A It was not a topic of discussion in the
1 office with him that day, because no one knew that
2 he was going to be going to Jinks.
3 Q Who told you that his salary would be
4 less?
5 A I think someone in human resources told me
6 that long after the whole process had taken its
7 course, once we heard that the recommendation was to
8 be transferred.
9 Q Do you know who told you that?
10 A No, ma'am, not right off.
11 Q Okay. Since you learned that Mr. Bolinger
12 was not being fired, has any other explanation been
13 offered to you as to why Mr. McCalister was
14 transferring him to a different school?
15 A No.
16 Q Okay.
17 (Discussion held off the record.)
18 MS. CHUMBLER: I have nothing further.
19 MR. MEYER: I have nothing.
22 Q In your motion on the June 28th board
23 meeting, you made reference to a transferring of the
24 principal this close to the beginning of the school
25 year. Did you see the timing of this as an issue,
1 the timing of the superintendent's recommendation?
2 A Absolutely.
3 Q What did you see as a problem with the
4 timing?
5 A Well, the timing was that, you know, for
6 principals to be at their schools, to hire their
7 teachers, to put their plans into place, and then to
8 make a recommendation to transfer someone so late in
9 the year in terms of school starting was, in my
10 mind -- it wasn't good for any school, certainly not
11 Bay High.
12 MR. HARRISON: That's the only question I
13 have.
14 MS. CHUMBLER: I've got one follow-up
15 question.
18 Q Did the five-day difference between the
19 transfer of Mr. Bolinger in the summer of 2005 and
20 this recommendation in the summer of 2006 make a big
21 difference to you?
22 A I don't understand.
23 Q Well, we talked earlier about how the
24 transfer of Mr. Bolinger in the summer of 2005 was
25 on June the 23rd. This was June the 28th. So what
1 was the significance of the five days?
2 A Well, the significance, in my mind, is
3 that Bay High is just a completely different
4 situation. Because when Mr. Goodwin retired, they
5 knew they were getting a new principal. And they
6 hired Mr. Bolinger -- I mean, you know, I guess that
7 was as quick as he could get him in. But then on
8 the tail end, to be transferring with a hiring
9 freeze, I mean, it's just two different situations
10 in my mind.
11 Q Well --
12 A Considering this -- this was not an A
13 school getting a new principal. This was a D school
14 that had been in total disarray.
15 Q If there were a hiring freeze in effect
16 through June the 28th, a new principal going in
17 before that date couldn't have hired any new
18 teachers anyways, correct?
19 A I guess that's correct.
20 Q So, really, it wasn't until after June the
21 28th that anyone could have hired new teachers; is
22 that correct?
23 A That's correct.
24 MS. CHUMBLER: All right. I don't have
25 anything further.


1 Deposition of Donna M. Allen
2 October 23, 2006
5 the witness herein, being first duly sworn, was
6 examined and testified as follows:
9 Q. State your name and address for the
10 record, please.
11 A. Donna M. Allen --
12 THE WITNESS: Do I state physical address
13 or P.O. Box?
14 MR. HARRISON: It doesn't matter.
15 THE WITNESS: 465 Wahoo.
17 Q. That's Panama City?
18 A. Panama City Beach.
19 Q. Is it correct that you currently serve on
20 the Bay County School Board?
21 A. Yes, ma'am.
22 Q. How long have you served?
23 A. November will be four years.
24 Q. Has Mr. McCalister been superintendent
25 during that entire period of time?

1 A. Yes, ma'am.
2 Q. During your term on the school board, has
3 the superintendent ever recommended that a school
4 principal be transferred other than Mr. Bolinger?
5 A. I don't know.
6 Q. You don't know or don't remember?
7 A. I don't remember.
8 Q. Has he recommended that other school
9 personnel be transferred during that period of time?
10 A. Yes.
11 Q. To your recollection, has the school board
12 ever rejected a recommendation to transfer an
13 employee other than Mr. Bolinger?
14 A. No.
15 Q. Could you tell me the reasons that you
16 voted to reject Superintendent McCalister's
17 recommendation to transfer Mr. Bolinger?
18 A. I didn't think it was in the best interest
19 of the students, faculty or the future of Bay High.
20 Q. Not the best interest of the students --
21 A. Faculty.
22 Q. -- faculty or future of Bay High?
23 A. Yes, ma'am.
24 Q. Okay. When you say not in the best
25 interest of the students, I assume you mean the

1 students of Bay High; is that correct?
2 A. Yes.
3 Q. What do you mean by that?
4 A. Well, I had an opportunity to do what the
5 school calls classroom walk-throughs. There was a
6 team of leadership over there that had asked several
7 people to do classroom walk-throughs, and so I
8 committed to do that once a month and continued to
9 do that. And in doing that, saw the interaction
10 with the leadership team, Larry Bolinger, other
11 administrators, and interacted with the students, as
12 I normally do at lunch and different things like
13 that, and just understood that there was a vision
14 going on that we had not seen in a very long time at
15 Bay High.
16 That the attitude was positive, the kids
17 were really feeling a security about their school.
18 And what I found enlightening is that they really
19 felt like Bay High was their high school now. And I
20 hadn't seen that in years before, a couple of years
21 before, so the students were very excited about the
22 changes.
23 Q. So you saw positive changes at Bay High
24 School.
25 A. Yes.

1 Q. Am I correct that the principal that
2 was -- preceded Mr. Bolinger at Bay High had been
3 there for quite a few year?
4 A. Twenty-seven years.
5 Q. A very long time.
6 A. Yes.
7 Q. Do you have facts that lead you to believe
8 that those sort of positive steps would not have
9 continued under some other principal?
10 A. I don't understand the question.
11 Q. I'll try to restate it. Do you have
12 reason to believe that if Mr. Bolinger had been
13 replaced at Bay, that there would have not continued
14 to be positive steps at Bay High?
15 A. I have reason to believe that transition
16 would have been adverse to the students of Bay High,
17 faculty, and the future of Bay High.
18 Q. And what facts do you have that lead you
19 to that conclusion?
20 A. Well, the way that I collect facts as a
21 board member is by being places, talking to people
22 and collecting information as you're in an area,
23 just -- you know, the students and the and faculty.
24 And when you've made a positive change, to then stop
25 that and change in any other direction would be

1 adverse because nobody knows where you're going.
2 And so I would have -- my fact would be
3 that adversely stopping a process that was going
4 forward hurts the students, the faculty, and the
5 future of Bay High, because there was no -- there
6 was an unknown. There was a, what are we going to
7 do now, what is happening.
8 And before they knew what they were doing,
9 there was a vision that was laid out for them. And
10 they were all on this boat and on the same track,
11 and to stop that -- I heard from several parents,
12 several students, faculty members, what is going on,
13 the unknown.
14 Q. But do you have facts that lead you to
15 believe that another principal couldn't have
16 continued and improved upon that vision?
17 A. Those are my facts.
18 Q. Again, I'm asking, do you have reason to
19 believe that someone else could not have continued
20 and improved upon that vision?
21 A. Yes, ma'am, I don't believe it would have
22 been the same vision.
23 Q. Well, what facts do you have to support
24 that conclusion?
25 A. I thought I answered it, just being at the

1 school, seeing the differences that had happened,
2 talking to the school -- talking to students,
3 parents and the faculty. The vision would have been
4 different; and, to me, that would have been adverse
5 to the track they were on when it was just a short
6 period of time to be on it.
7 Q. You say the vision would have been
8 different. How do you know?
9 A. Because it wouldn't have been the
10 leadership that was in place now.
11 Q. Well -- and so --
12 A. Because everybody is different, because
13 every leadership is different. The way I like to
14 put it is we have 42 families. We have 42 heads of
15 families. Mr. Bolinger was the head of that family.
16 Q. And is it your belief that no one else
17 could have continued that vision?
18 A. Yes, ma'am, that is my belief.
19 Q. And based upon what facts? Is it simply
20 that it wasn't going to be Mr. Bolinger? Was there
21 anything else that led you to believe that someone
22 else could not have stepped into that place and
23 continued those improvements?
24 A. Yes, ma'am.
25 Q. What were they?

1 A. They were the vision that he laid in front
2 of his faculty and the plan that he had for the
3 faculty, the students and the future of Bay High.
4 Q. And is it --
5 A. The plan that he had.
6 Q. I want to make sure you -- I understand
7 your answer.
8 A. Yes.
9 Q. Is your answer that no one else was
10 capable of continuing his plan other than
11 Mr. Bolinger?
12 A. I don't believe so.
13 Q. Okay.
14 A. Mr. Bolinger had the plan. I don't think
15 anyone else could have --
16 Q. Was it a secret plan?
17 A. No.
18 Q. It was a plan that was known.
19 A. Sure.
20 Q. Somebody who came into that position could
21 have read over his plan and said, yes, I agree, I'll
22 continue with that plan.
23 A. Sure, they could have; with the passion
24 that he has, no.
25 Q. How do know that?

1 A. Because I've seen how he worked the magic
2 that he worked at Bay High.
3 Q. Okay.
4 A. And we had someone there and we have other
5 principals elsewhere that haven't worked that kind
6 of magic. I think it's a formula.
7 Q. Okay.
8 A. Success is a formula.
9 Q. Right. And are you saying Mr. Bolinger is
10 the only successful principal in the Bay County
11 District?
12 A. I think for Bay High he's the successful
13 person that the superintendent put over there,
14 because he knew the formula, he knew he had the
15 vision.
16 Q. Are you saying Mr. Bolinger is the only
17 one in the Bay County School District who is capable
18 of continuing improvements at Bay High, is that your
19 opinion?
20 A. To continuing the vision at Bay High, yes,
21 ma'am.
22 Q. Continuing his vision at Bay High?
23 A. Yes, ma'am.
24 Q. Is his vision the only vision that will
25 lead to improvements at Bay High?

1 A. I don't know about the other ones. I know
2 the success we saw here. I don't know. That's an
3 unknown. I do know the success we saw here.
4 Q. Do you agree that there could be other
5 visions for Bay High that would lead to improvement
6 at Bay High?
7 A. I don't know. It's based on success.
8 You've got to base it on success.
9 Q. Let's look outside of the Bay School
10 District. Do you know whether there are other
11 school administrators outside of Bay County who
12 could pick up Mr. Bolinger's vision and run with it?
13 A. I don't know that.
14 Q. And is it the same -- you had indicated
15 not in the best interest of the faculty. Are there
16 any other reasons, other than this vision of
17 Mr. Bolinger's, that you believe it would have been
18 not in the interest of the faculty?
19 A. I know that one of the things that Larry
20 did when he came in is made the teachers accountable
21 with their lesson plans.
22 Q. Accountable?
23 A. Accountable.
24 Q. I thought you said canable, but I --
25 A. Accountable with their lesson plans, and

1 also made them accountable for making sure their
2 students were in class when they were supposed to be
3 in class. Those are all things that improved
4 academics.
5 Q. Is that unique -- is Mr. Bolinger the only
6 principal in Bay County that makes his teachers and
7 students accountable?
8 A. In the way that he does it, yes, ma'am.
9 Q. What's unique about the way he does it?
10 A. I think he does it with a passion and a
11 positive attitude, let's get on the boat, let's go
12 forward, we're here, we need to be there. I've seen
13 him talk to his faculty, and, you know, he kind of
14 gets people riled up, ready to go.
15 Q. Is he the only principal in the Bay County
16 School District who has passion for their job?
17 A. He's the only one I've seen do that. I
18 can't say that, but he's -- I have seen what
19 Mr. Bolinger does.
20 Q. Are you saying that others don't have it,
21 or you just don't know whether others have that kind
22 of passion or not?
23 A. I think it's to different degrees, of
24 course they have passion for being the principal,
25 they wouldn't be there if they didn't. But I

1 haven't seen them. I've seen him --
2 Q. Okay.
3 A. -- do a meeting in a rah-rah fashion, I
4 call it.
5 Q. So would it be correct that you don't
6 really know whether other principals or employees in
7 Bay County would have as much passion for that job
8 as Mr. Bolinger has?
9 A. I can't speak to that.
10 Q. Okay. Are there other principals in the
11 school district that make their teachers accountable
12 to having their lesson plans done?
13 A. Yes, ma'am.
14 Q. Are there other principals in the school
15 district who make sure their students are
16 accountable for being in class?
17 A. Yes, ma'am.
18 Q. So that's not unique about Mr. Bolinger;
19 is that correct?
20 A. It's unique for Bay High.
21 Q. Unique in the time frame that you've been
22 involved, in that there was two principals, correct?
23 A. Yes, ma'am.
24 Q. Okay. The other guy had been there for --
25 A. Twenty-seven years.

1 Q. Okay. Were you around when he became
2 principal at Bay High?
3 A. Mr. Bolinger?
4 Q. No, not Mr. Bolinger. Mr. Goodwin.
5 A. No, I wasn't.
6 Q. So do you know whether, when Mr. Goodwin
7 assumed that position, he had a passion for his job?
8 A. No, ma'am.
9 Q. Do you know whether when he first took the
10 position he made teachers accountable for having
11 their lesson plans done?
12 A. You have to understand, 27 years ago it
13 was a little different. It was before class --
14 before we were graded. It was before no child left
15 behind. It was before class rights amendment. So
16 real different now.
17 Q. There were a lot of changes during the
18 time he was principal.
19 A. Yes, ma'am.
20 Q. But teachers -- students were expected to
21 be in class 27 years ago; is that not correct?
22 A. I don't know that. I wasn't on the board.
23 Q. Were you in -- okay, I'll skip that.
24 MS. CHUMBLER: Off the record.
25 (Discussion held off the record.)

2 Q. Any other things unique about Mr. Bolinger
3 that he doesn't share with other principals in the
4 Bay County School District?
5 A. He has a proven record of taking a
6 situation and achieving in a situation that could be
7 challenging. When he took over Merritt Brown, he
8 did the same thing. So I think that he has a track
9 record of success with student achievement, faculty
10 achievement.
11 Q. Okay. Anything else?
12 A. No, ma'am.
13 Q. You were talking earlier about his vision.
14 What do you mean by his vision?
15 A. Well, what I mean by his vision is that he
16 knew the challenges he was going into. And he sat
17 down and honestly spoke to his faculty and his
18 students about where we needed to be and what we
19 needed to do and how we needed to get there, and
20 this is how we were going to get there.
21 He started these classroom walk-throughs
22 where he asked people from the community to come in
23 to help get involved. He started looking for a
24 program to help his kids come to school, want to be
25 at school. The discipline in the school increased

1 because they felt like there was someone accountable
2 now, that if they got in trouble, they were really
3 going to get in trouble.
4 So you find them in class. You find less
5 discipline. It appeared to be less discipline in
6 the hallways with running around. And the campus
7 was clean and --
8 Q. You said less discipline, but you meant
9 more discipline?
10 A. I meant more discipline, I'm sorry, more
11 discipline. And the campus was clean. It's just,
12 to me, the vision was, okay, we've been here, we've
13 got to get there. Let's get started. Very
14 positively. These are the -- and he mapped it out.
15 You know, he kind of mapped it out, this is how
16 we're going to get there to do this.
17 And the reason I know that is because I
18 ask a lot of questions. And I went in and spoke
19 with Carol Rine and said, "How are we doing this?
20 Why are you asking me to do classroom
21 walk-throughs?"
22 She said, "This is the plan." And she
23 kind of showed me some things, and I was amazed at
24 it, that -- it was just -- it was a vision.
25 Q. Okay. And that was a mapped-out plan that

1 was there, again, for anyone who was available to
2 look at it.
3 A. Yes, yes, yes.
4 Q. You've said the accountability, more
5 discipline, clean campus. Anything else?
6 A. Accessibility to the students and faculty.
7 Q. Accessibility of whom?
8 A. Of the principal.
9 Q. You mean the principal was accessible to
10 them or they were accessible to the principal?
11 A. Both ways.
12 Q. Okay.
13 A. And, actually, that whole team was more
14 accessible -- being very visible on campus, being
15 very involved, speaking to students, speaking to
16 faculty.
17 Q. Anything else?
18 A. That's it.
19 Q. Okay. And are those things,
20 accountability, discipline, clean campus,
21 accessability to students, are those unique to Bay
22 High, or would you find those at other high schools
23 in the Bay School District?
24 A. All I can answer is what's unique to what
25 I saw at Bay High. I wasn't asked to do the same

1 thing at the other high schools.
2 Q. Okay.
3 A. What I saw at Bay High was unique to Bay
4 High.
5 Q. Did you do walk throughs at the other high
6 schools?
7 A. I do now.
8 Q. During the same period of time?
9 A. No, I did not.
10 Q. You say you do it now.
11 A. Uh-huh.
12 Q. And have you found these things at the
13 other high schools?
14 A. Yes.
15 Q. Which high schools have you done walk
16 throughs now?
17 A. Arnold.
18 Q. That is where Dr. Haley is?
19 A. Uh-huh. I'm trying to think of the
20 last -- I was at Rutherford the other day. That's
21 all I can recall right now.
22 Q. Okay. Anything else other than what we've
23 talked about already that relates to the best
24 interests of the faculty or the students?
25 A. I don't know how to explain the attitude

1 of wanting to do better. I don't know how you would
2 explain that, but there was an attitude from the
3 faculty and the students of wanting to achieve,
4 of --
5 THE WITNESS: Help me out with the word,
6 Franklin.
7 MR. HARRISON: I can't.
8 THE WITNESS: Oh, sorry.
9 Wanting to achieve that -- that was
10 missing before.
11 MS. CHUMBLER: Okay.
12 THE WITNESS: There was a lot of apathy.
14 Q. Had you done walk throughs at Bay High
15 before?
16 A. Yes, ma'am.
17 Q. How frequently?
18 A. Probably when Fred was there, two or three
19 times a year, visiting, walking through. We didn't
20 call them classroom walk-throughs, and it wasn't
21 formal. Classroom walk-throughs are a little bit
22 more formal, you know what you're looking for. So
23 it was a visitation, going to classrooms and visit.
24 Q. Is that something you do at all of the
25 schools in the district?

1 A. Yes, ma'am.
2 Q. Had you done it at the other high
3 schools --
4 A. Yes, ma'am.
5 Q. -- prior to this?
6 A. I try to go to a different school each
7 week and spend the day and just hang out.
8 Q. I guess I misunderstood, because I thought
9 you said that you had not -- until recently you had
10 not walked through --
11 A. Oh, no, classroom walk-throughs. After I
12 learned what classroom walk-throughs were, then I
13 applied it when I went to Arnold and Rutherford.
14 Q. I got you.
15 A. Before that I had done a lot of classroom
16 visits.
17 Q. Okay.
18 A. But I didn't know what classroom
19 walk-throughs entailed --
20 Q. Okay.
21 A. -- until after I learned it from --
22 Q. So you had done informal visits at these
23 other high schools previously.
24 A. Yes, ma'am.
25 Q. And in your informal visits at these other

1 high schools, had you found that teachers were held
2 accountable?
3 A. Not always.
4 Q. Okay. But had you found instances or
5 schools where teachers were held accountable?
6 A. Had I found some?
7 Q. Yes.
8 A. Oh, yes, ma'am.
9 Q. Had you found schools where students were
10 held accountable for attending classes?
11 A. Not always.
12 Q. No, I'm not asking always. I'm asking --
13 A. Some, yes.
14 Q. Okay. Thank you. And had you found some
15 schools where principals were accessible to students
16 and faculty?
17 A. Yes.
18 Q. And student and faculty were accessible to
19 the principal?
20 A. Yes.
21 Q. And were some of those schools high
22 schools?
23 A. Yes.
24 Q. Which high schools were those?
25 A. Well, all of them. Do you want me to name

1 Arnold, Rutherford, Bozeman.
2 Q. You said some -- I'm sorry, I
3 misunderstood your answer then.
4 A. Okay.
5 Q. I asked you if you had found schools where
6 teachers were accountable and you said some, so I
7 thought you meant some schools.
8 A. Some teachers.
9 Q. Okay.
10 A. And -- well, okay, some schools.
11 Q. Some schools?
12 A. Some schools do it better than others.
13 Q. Which were the schools that you found had
14 been -- had done it pretty well in the past, high
15 schools?
16 A. Mosley.
17 Q. Any others?
18 A. Rutherford, Bozeman. We're talking high
19 schools, right?
20 Q. Yes. Who is the principal at Mosley?
21 A. Husfelt.
22 Q. And at Bozeman?
23 A. Now it's Sandra Harris.
24 Q. You said now. Is she new this year?
25 A. She wasn't there when I did it. It was --

1 MR. HARRISON: Eddie Joe.
2 THE WITNESS: Eddie Joe Comaford.
3 MS. CHUMBLER: What is it, Joe --
4 THE WITNESS: Comaford.
6 Q. How long has Ms. Harris been at Bozeman?
7 A. This is her first year.
8 MR. HARRISON: Eddie Joe is two words.
9 MS. CHUMBLER: I have it as two words.
10 I'm from the south.
12 Q. So Ms. Harris, this is her first year at
13 Bozeman?
14 A. Yes.
15 Q. And how long was Ms. Comaford there for?
16 A. Mr. Comaford?
17 Q. Mr. Comaford? So it's Eddie Joe. See,
18 I'm from the south, but I thought it was a woman,
19 Eda Joe.
20 A. I don't know how long, several years.
21 MR. HARRISON: Since it began.
22 THE WITNESS: Since it began.
24 Q. Okay. You also mentioned one of your
25 reasons, the future of Bay High School.

1 A. Uh-huh.
2 Q. Was there anything that went into that
3 reason other than the things we've talked about
4 already?
5 A. Well, yes, ma'am. Bay High School has had
6 a very hard time, struggled, and the past had not
7 been something that I was proud of as a board
8 member. I knew we had -- I don't know if I can
9 speak for the whole board. I knew we had problems
10 there, and making a change so soon after you had
11 seen some progress, to me, would not be in the best
12 interest of the future. How can you continue with a
13 plan when you didn't have time for your plan to work
14 its way out.
15 Q. When you say there were problems there,
16 what kind of problems?
17 A. At Bay High?
18 Q. Yes.
19 A. Achievement was down, teacher morale was
20 down, student morale was down, the principal was not
21 accessible, we had a -- the campus was filthy.
22 Q. Okay. And that was all under Mr. Godwin,
23 right?
24 A. Goodwin.
25 Q. Goodwin?

1 A. Yes, ma'am.
2 Q. Okay. Anything else about the future -- I
3 mean, do you have a reason to believe that that
4 campus could not have continued to be clean under a
5 new principal other than Mr. Bolinger?
6 A. All I know is the past and what I saw, and
7 I was looking forward to the future.
8 Q. But Mr. Goodwin is retired now; is that
9 correct?
10 A. Yes.
11 Q. So assume Mr. Goodwin was not going back
12 to Bay High School, do have reason to believe that
13 another principal couldn't have come in there and
14 taken steps to ensure that the campus stayed clean?
15 A. I wasn't given a choice of another
16 principal. That was the principal I was given a
17 choice of, so I went with that. I don't know.
18 You're asking me for something I don't know. I
19 don't know how another principal is going to perform
20 at Bay High, I don't know that.
21 Q. So you really don't know what the future
22 of Bay High would have been under a different
23 principal; is that correct?
24 A. No, I don't.
25 Q. Any other reasons for your decision to

1 vote against the recommendation to transfer
2 Mr. Bolinger?
3 A. Well, I can tell you that when I asked the
4 superintendent what his reasons were for not
5 renewing Mr. Bolinger, the superintendent said to
6 me, because I won't have someone working for me that
7 doesn't do what I tell him to do.
8 Q. Okay.
9 A. If you transfer Mr. Bolinger to Jinks, he
10 is still working for you, and doesn't -- what is the
11 difference? If you're -- if the reason was, I'm not
12 going to have someone working for me who doesn't do
13 what I ask him to do, he would still be in a
14 principalship at Jinks. What is the difference?
15 Q. You asked Mr. McCalister that?
16 A. Yeah.
17 Q. And what did he say?
18 A. I don't have to tell you.
19 Q. You've been on the school board for --
20 A. Four years.
21 Q. Four years, okay.
22 And through that time have you had parents
23 come and appear at school board meetings and call
24 you and e-mail you about things happening in their
25 school?

1 A. Yes, ma'am.
2 Q. Do you find that there is -- you get as
3 much of that from middle school parents as you do
4 from high school parents?
5 A. Well, actually, my district is the beach.
6 And that's a very vocal group, so I really get a lot
7 of e-mails and a lot of phone calls from all three
8 of the grade levels.
9 Q. Okay.
10 A. And I can't say one is more than the
11 other, to tell you the truth.
12 Q. What about members of the public who don't
13 have children at any particular grade level, do you
14 get more e-mails or phone calls from them about
15 what's going on in high schools, middle schools, or
16 elementary schools?
17 A. Most of the time it's the issues that
18 affect all of the students that they talk to us
19 about, like when we did dress code, for instance,
20 that was in all -- that didn't -- I mean, we went
21 through all of them.
22 I don't hear -- it's elementary and high
23 school mostly. I don't hear a lot about the middle
24 school level --
25 Q. Okay.

1 A. -- except for out of my district. And a
2 lot of times it's positive, but --
3 Q. Okay.
4 A. -- maybe that's because we have so many
5 students in elementary, but normally it's elementary
6 and high school.
7 Q. Okay. What is your job when you're not
8 being a school board member?
9 A. This is my full-time job.
10 Q. It's your full-time job?
11 A. Yes, ma'am.
12 Q. Have you ever been in a job where you've
13 supervised employees that reported to you?
14 A. Yes, ma'am.
15 Q. And you were responsible for hiring and
16 firing and placement of those people?
17 A. Yes, ma'am.
18 Q. And normally would you expect people
19 working for you to do what you tell them to do?
20 A. Yes, ma'am.
21 Q. Anything -- any other reasons that you
22 voted the way that you did?
23 A. Students, I'm going through -- students,
24 faculty, future of Bay High, why move someone who
25 has been successful at one school to another school

1 when he's still going to be working for you. That's
2 about it.
3 Q. Okay. Had anyone suggested to you that
4 Mr. McCalister had made a commitment to Mr. Bolinger
5 that he would remain at Bay High for more than a
6 year?
7 A. Yes, ma'am.
8 Q. Who told you that?
9 A. Larry Bolinger.
10 Q. And what did he tell you?
11 A. Well, right after Mr. McCalister called
12 and asked me about asking Larry to be the principal
13 of Bay High, which I told him I thought was a
14 brilliant idea --
15 Q. Uh-huh.
16 A. -- that it took a lot for him to put aside
17 a lot of things in order to do that, and then I
18 applauded him for it. But I went to Mr. Bolinger
19 and said, what can I do to help you?
20 Q. Uh-huh.
21 A. And he said to me, we're going to do these
22 classroom walk-throughs, be in touch with Mrs. Ryan,
23 can you help us out. I said I would be happy to.
24 In the course of that I said to him, Larry, how long
25 can we expect to keep you, and he said to me, the

1 superintendent promised I could finish out here at
2 Bay High. This is going to be, and his words were,
3 my swan song.
4 Q. Okay. And he told you that the
5 superintendent had promised that to him?
6 A. Yes, the superintendent promised him he
7 could finish his years out, that this was going to
8 be his swan song. And then I asked him how long is
9 that, and he said, well, I just went in DROP, four,
10 four more years. I said, that's great, that's what
11 we need, we need that continuity.
12 Q. Were you aware that Mr. Bolinger had a
13 one-year contract?
14 A. You know, at the time I wasn't.
15 Q. At what time?
16 A. When I was talking to him.
17 Q. Okay. Did you become aware of that later?
18 A. Well, yes, because all principals are on
19 annual contract, so, yes, I became aware of it
20 later. But at the time, in my mind, I guess I
21 thought that they had come up with another kind of
22 agreement. And I didn't know if that was written or
23 not written.
24 Q. Okay.
25 A. But, you know --

1 Q. Were you aware that there is -- whether or
2 not there's a procedure under you-all's policies
3 whereby a superintendent can ask the school board to
4 approve a multi-year contract?
5 A. Yes, ma'am, there is.
6 Q. To your recollection, did Mr. McCalister
7 ever request approval for a multi-year contract for
8 Mr. Bolinger?
9 A. He did not.
10 Q. Do you have -- do you know whether there
11 was any adverse effect on students when Mr. Bolinger
12 was assigned to Bay High?
13 A. Adverse effect on students?
14 Q. Yes.
15 A. I can't imagine it. No, ma'am, I don't
16 know. I know that through -- through when we had
17 the hearings, special meeting, there were a couple
18 of students that came -- that did talk to us about
19 special programs that they thought had not gotten
20 the attention they needed.
21 Q. Do you remember what those special
22 programs were?
23 A. The magnet program.
24 Q. And what did they say?
25 A. They said -- what did they say? Let me

1 get this right. They said that they had lost their
2 guidance counselor. They had lost their
3 coordinator, and that Mr. Bolinger said that he
4 supported the magnet program but how could he when
5 they lost those people.
6 Q. What time frame was this that the students
7 were speaking?
8 A. Special meeting.
9 Q. So is this the June meeting, you think?
10 A. I think it was the May meeting.
11 Q. May meeting?
12 MR. HARRISON: Whatever you recall.
13 THE WITNESS: I don't recall.
15 Q. It was May or June of 2006.
16 A. It was when we were talking about -- when
17 the students got to speak and when the public got to
18 speak, and that would have been that very first
19 meeting.
20 Q. So probably the May 2006 meeting?
21 A. Yes, ma'am.
22 Q. Okay.
23 A. Whatever that first meeting was when
24 people got to speak.
25 Q. Okay. All right. And do you -- do you

1 have any understanding of what Mr. Bolinger's plan
2 is for the magnet program?
3 A. No, ma'am -- oh, I do now. We had a
4 workshop on it.
5 Q. What do you know now?
6 A. Well, I know what the board knows, we had
7 a workshop on it.
8 Q. When was the workshop?
9 MR. HARRISON: It's been since all these
10 meetings.
13 Q. Last month, last two months?
14 A. Last month.
15 Q. It was within the last couple of months?
16 A. Yes, ma'am, after the -- yes, ma'am.
17 Q. Okay. And what's your understanding at
18 this point of what the plan is for the magnet
19 program at Bay?
20 A. They will continue in the way that it
21 has -- that it was going.
22 Q. Which --
23 A. That there will be a coordinator, that
24 that person will teach classes and that the program
25 itself will continue to offer the classes that it

1 offers.
2 Q. Okay. Do you -- so Mr. Bolinger's plan is
3 that there won't be any change with the magnet
4 program?
5 A. As far as the programs that they're
6 offering and having a coordinator and a guidance
7 counselor, that's my understanding, it's not going
8 to change. Now, the people in it will change, I
9 guess, because those people have left. They left.
10 Q. Uh-huh.
11 A. But the program itself will continue.
12 Q. There will be personnel changes.
13 A. The only reason I know there will be
14 personnel changes is because those people aren't
15 there anymore.
16 Q. Okay. So at least personnel changes to
17 fill vacancies; is that correct?
18 A. Yes.
19 Q. Do you understand any other changes that
20 are going to be made with that program?
21 A. They'll continue to offer the courses that
22 have the kids' interest.
23 Q. Do you know why the guidance counselor
24 left?
25 A. My understanding, he wasn't happy.

1 Q. Okay. And who was that?
2 A. Dave Browning.
3 Q. Where is he now, do you know?
4 A. Bozeman, I believe.
5 Q. Do you know why he wasn't happy?
6 A. He didn't like the leadership of the
7 school.
8 Q. Is that Mr. Bolinger?
9 A. I don't know which leadership.
10 Q. Okay. But that was during the time when
11 Mr. Bolinger was principal; is that correct?
12 A. Yes.
13 Q. And the coordinator, was that Ms. Barr?
14 A. Yes, ma'am.
15 Q. Do you know where she is now?
16 A. No, ma'am.
17 Q. Do you know why she left?
18 A. I do not.
19 Q. Do you know what about -- do you know
20 anything specific about Mr. Browning's -- what it
21 was Mr. Browning didn't like about the school
22 leadership?
23 A. No.
24 Q. Mr. Browning didn't speak at the school
25 board meeting; is that correct?

1 A. He did not.
2 Q. Other than this Mr. -- Mr. Bolinger
3 telling you that Mr. McCalister had made a promise,
4 do you have any other information about a
5 commitment, that Mr. Bolinger would remain at Bay
6 for more than a year?
7 A. No.
8 Q. Did Mr. McCalister ever tell you that he
9 had made that commitment?
10 A. I didn't ask him.
11 Q. Do you have any reason to believe -- or
12 let me start again.
13 Is it your belief that if Mr. Bolinger
14 were transferred and a different principal assigned
15 to Bay High, that operations at Bay High would
16 necessarily be disrupted?
17 A. Yes, ma'am.
18 Q. And what's the basis for that?
19 A. I thought I already answered it. You want
20 me to answer it again?
21 Q. Yes, please.
22 A. I think it would be an adverse effect on
23 the students, faculty and the future of Bay High.
24 Q. But is it anything relating to the
25 operations other than that?

1 A. Yes, ma'am.
2 Q. What is that?
3 A. The plan and the vision of the school that
4 was Mr. Bolinger's.
5 Q. Because Mr. Bolinger's vision wouldn't be
6 in place, that would necessarily disrupt operations?
7 A. Yes.
8 Q. Okay. Regardless of what plan or vision a
9 new principal might have; is that correct?
10 A. Yes, because it would be a change in a
11 transitional period within ten months, difficult for
12 people. Change is very difficult.
13 Q. So is it your position that any change at
14 Bay High would be bad?
15 A. Any change?
16 Q. Yes.
17 A. Any change for your top leadership, yes,
18 ma'am.
19 Q. Okay. And is it your opinion that the
20 improvements at Bay High were solely the -- due to
21 Mr. Bolinger?
22 A. Mr. Bolinger and his team.
23 Q. Okay. And who all do you consider to be
24 on his team?
25 A. I would consider most of the faculty, the

1 students, his foundation.
2 Q. Is that the business leaders -- who is the
3 foundation?
4 A. That's --
5 Q. Business leaders?
6 A. -- Bay High's Foundation, yes, ma'am.
7 Q. Okay.
8 A. Carol Rine, Bill Payne, the other two
9 administrators, I think Mr. Early, and I can't think
10 of the other man's name, Garrison, Garrison --
11 Garrison, is that right?
12 MR. HARRISON: (Nods head.)
13 THE WITNESS: Garrison.
15 Q. Now, understand that -- is it Mr. Rine,
16 Ms. Rine?
17 MR. HARRISON: Ms. Rine.
19 Q. Ms. Rine was not returning to Bay High; is
20 that correct?
21 A. That's what I understood.
22 Q. Did you have an understanding about --
23 that Mr. Payne was not returning to Bay High?
24 A. I didn't have an understanding about
25 Mr. Payne.

1 Q. What about Mr. Early?
2 A. I don't know.
3 Q. What about the other administrator,
4 Garrison?
5 A. I didn't know.
6 Q. Do you have any reason to believe that
7 there were going to be major changes in the faculty?
8 A. Yes, ma'am.
9 Q. What led you to believe that?
10 A. I believe that from what the faculty
11 testified and what they told us in e-mails and phone
12 calls and different meetings, that they just had
13 held on knowing that they were going in the right
14 direction and they just couldn't do it. They were
15 going to jump ship, leave.
16 Q. You had e-mails saying that faculty was
17 going to quit?
18 A. Yes, ma'am, I had e-mails that said -- all
19 the shared e-mails, you know, I just don't know, you
20 know, are we going to leave or we can't continue
21 this route, you know, that kind of thing.
22 MS. CHUMBLER: Can we go off the record
23 for a minute?
24 (Discussion held off the record.)
25 THE WITNESS: And phone calls, I mean,

1 phone calls, teachers talking to you one on one
2 when you're in the grocery store.
5 Q. So you had faculty who said they were
6 going to quit?
7 A. I had faculty who said I'm going to have
8 to leave if Larry is not there.
9 Q. Now, students, did you have students that
10 say they were going to go somewhere else?
11 A. Students saying we can't -- we can't go
12 with the unknown. You know, I don't know what to
13 do, we've been on this with Larry and now what are
14 we going to do, don't tell us we're going to go back
15 to where it was, we're not zoned for Bay High, we're
16 going to go to our zoned school, yes, ma'am.
17 Q. District wide, does that harm the district
18 for people to go back to their zoned school?
19 A. It's just a choice.
20 Q. Right.
21 A. I mean, it's an individual parent choice.
22 I think it harms the student if they felt like
23 they're in an insecure environment and they can't
24 figure -- that's what I got, that they were feeling
25 very insecure about pulling the rug out from under

1 them with this leadership.
2 Q. Uh-huh.
3 A. And so --
4 Q. And was this, again, e-mails?
5 A. More phone calls, more, you know, seeing
6 people at the mall, students coming to my house.
7 Q. About how many students came to your
8 house?
9 A. Probably -- well, I'm sorry, walking
10 through the neighborhood, coming out into the
11 neighborhood. Nobody came to my house, I apologize.
12 In my neighborhood --
13 Q. Right.
14 A. -- probably five or six.
15 Q. How many called you on the phone?
16 A. Oh, gosh, I don't even know, I couldn't
17 even put a number.
18 Q. Twenty-five?
19 A. Probably less than 25.
20 Q. Okay.
21 A. But I wouldn't -- I don't know.
22 Q. What is the student population at Bay?
23 A. 1300.
24 Q. How many teachers at Bay High?
25 A. I don't know that.

1 Q. A hundred?
2 A. I don't know.
3 Q. You don't have any idea?
4 A. I'd guess it would be around 80, 90, 80,
5 based on population.
6 Q. How many teachers did you talk to on the
7 phone?
8 A. I really don't have an idea. I mean, it
9 would just be a guess. I don't feel comfortable
10 guessing.
11 Q. But do I understand you correctly, that
12 with the exception of Mr. Rine --
13 MR. HARRISON: Ms. Rine.
14 MS. CHUMBLER: Ms. Rine, I'm sorry.
16 Q. Ms. Rine, you didn't really know whether
17 there were going to be any changes in the rest of
18 the Mr. Bolinger's team --
19 A. I didn't know -- well, I knew Carol Rine
20 wasn't coming back, but I didn't know about anyone
21 else, no, ma'am.
22 Q. Okay. Those people who worked under
23 Mr. Bolinger knew his plan, as far as you knew, may
24 have been continuing?
25 A. As far as I knew, may not have been

1 continuing because the leadership was leaving.
2 Q. But you don't know?
3 A. I didn't know.
4 Q. Okay. Was it your belief that if
5 Mr. Bolinger was transferred, that the improvement
6 in student scores would not continue?
7 A. Yes, ma'am.
8 Q. Why did you believe that?
9 A. Because of disruption of the leadership
10 there.
11 Q. But by leadership, you mean just
12 Mr. Bolinger?
13 A. Mr. Bolinger and I didn't know what was
14 going on with the rest of the team.
15 Q. And you didn't think that anyone else
16 could come in and improve -- have scores continue to
17 improve at Bay?
18 A. Well, I can just tell you that when the
19 superintendent called me about Larry, he said he was
20 absolutely the person for the job, and that's who he
21 wanted to be over there. So I was supporting the
22 superintendent, and still support that that's who we
23 need over there.
24 Q. Okay. And there was improvement in the
25 2005, 2006 year?

1 A. Yes.
2 Q. But did you have reason to believe that
3 someone else couldn't come and continue that
4 improvement?
5 A. Because of the transition of the students
6 and the unknown, yes, ma'am.
7 Q. The --
8 A. Because of it being an unknown factor and
9 the transitional time for changing your leadership
10 and it was really late in the year, yes, ma'am.
11 Q. When you say it was really late in the
12 year, what do you mean?
13 A. It was late to be changing principals.
14 Q. Do you know what time of year Mr. Bolinger
15 was selected to go to Bay?
16 A. Whenever there is a vacancy, I would guess
17 it would have been in June, because that's usually
18 when things happen, but we knew there was going to
19 be a vacancy there.
20 Q. But you said June is usually when it
21 happens, so when --
22 A. We usually know there's going to be
23 vacancies before that, though. I mean, we're
24 usually abreast of this is changing, that's going
25 on, and the faculty and the students and everybody

1 usually kind of knows what's going on, and --
2 Q. Do you -- I'm sorry.
3 A. Go ahead.
4 Q. Did you know prior to the May 30th meeting
5 that -- or had you at least heard that Mr. Bolinger
6 was not going to be reassigned to Bay?
7 A. Yes, ma'am.
8 Q. So you knew some time in May that this was
9 going to be the recommendation of Mr. McCalister,
10 correct?
11 A. Well, not until I got it on -- I was
12 hoping he'd change his mind, so, no, ma'am, not
13 until I got it on paper that that was really the
14 recommendation.
15 Q. All right. But you had heard that this
16 was going to be Mr. McCalister's recommendation,
17 correct?
18 A. I did hear that.
19 Q. Okay. When did you hear that?
20 A. The day that the evaluations were done on
21 the Bay High staff.
22 Q. Do you know what date that was?
23 A. No, ma'am.
24 Q. Do you know how many days it was before
25 the May school board meeting?

1 A. I do not.
2 Q. Was it more than a week, less than a week?
3 A. I don't have a recollection.
4 Q. How did you learn that Mr. Bolinger was
5 likely not going to be returned to Bay?
6 A. Early in the morning on that morning, got
7 a phone call from William Harrison.
8 Q. Okay. What did Mr. Harrison say?
9 A. Mr. Harrison said, did you know that Larry
10 is not being renewed at Bay High.
11 Q. And how did Mr. Harrison tell you he had
12 learned of that?
13 A. I didn't ask him.
14 Q. So you don't know who told Mr. Harrison?
15 A. No. I didn't believe him.
16 Q. And what did you do when he told you that?
17 A. I just -- I said I don't believe you,
18 you're pulling my leg, he said, no, Larry has been
19 fired, Donna.
20 Q. He said fired?
21 A. He did.
22 Q. Do you know who told him that Larry had
23 been fired?
24 A. (Shakes head.)
25 Q. It turned out that he wasn't fired, isn't

1 that correct?
2 A. I said, how do you know this? And he
3 said, I've just gotten off the phone with the people
4 at Bay High.
5 Q. He said he had just gotten off the phone?
6 A. With the people at Bay High. I don't know
7 who he was speaking to about, but he said with the
8 people at Bay High.
9 (Discussion held off the record.)
11 Q. I think you had just told me that
12 Mr. Harrison told you he had just gotten off the
13 phone with the people at Bay; is that correct?
14 A. Uh-huh, and I asked him how he knew it.
15 Q. And that's what he told you?
16 A. He just got off the phone with the people
17 at Bay.
18 Q. And what else did he say to you?
19 A. What are we going to do about this?
20 Q. And what did you tell him?
21 A. I said, "I don't know. I have to check
22 some things out. Talk to you later."
23 Q. And what did you do then?
24 A. I tried to call the superintendent's
25 office, couldn't get through. I received another

1 phone call from a parent. I received another phone
2 call from a parent saying that they were having a
3 meeting at Bay High.
4 Q. Do you know who the parent was?
5 A. I don't.
6 Q. And they were have -- who was having a
7 meeting at Bay High?
8 A. Parents, faculty.
9 Q. Was there a meeting at Bay High?
10 A. Yes, ma'am.
11 Q. And when was that?
12 A. That morning.
13 Q. Did you attend?
14 A. Yes, ma'am.
15 Q. Do you remember was there someone who was
16 in charge of that meeting?
17 A. It seemed to be -- I can just tell you
18 when I walked in there were teachers talking and
19 then Mr. Harrison said, "Well, there is a school
20 board member here. You can talk to her."
21 And I said, "I'm not here to talk to
22 anybody. I'm here to listen to you because I don't
23 know what is going on. I haven't had an opportunity
24 to talk to the superintendent but I will listen to
25 you-all."

1 So I sat there for an hour and a half and
2 listened to people talk to me.
3 Q. How many people were in attendance at that
4 meeting?
5 A. If I were to guess I'd say -- that's just
6 a guess. I didn't count. But there were a lot of
7 people there, a lot of teachers. There were some
8 parents there very emotional. Larry was not there.
9 I don't know.
10 Q. Well, let's start with parents. Were
11 there less than 100 parents?
12 A. Less than 100 people altogether.
13 Q. Okay.
14 A. Probably less than 75, but then I'd be
15 guessing after that.
16 Q. What about --
17 A. Less than 75.
18 Q. Less than 75 parents?
19 A. I don't know. They didn't identify
20 themselves.
21 Q. So you didn't know.
22 A. I know as they would talk to me, they'd
23 say I'm a parent or I'm a teacher. I didn't write
24 that down.
25 Q. You don't know how many parents, how many

1 faculty.
2 A. No, ma'am, I don't.
3 Q. Were there any other school board members
4 there?
5 A. No, ma'am, there were not. I was told
6 there was going to be but there were not.
7 Q. Okay. And do you know who called that
8 meeting?
9 A. No, I do not.
10 Q. Who organized it?
11 A. My understanding was the parent that was
12 on the phone with me.
13 Q. Again, I think I asked you who that was --
14 A. I don't know.
15 Q. -- and you don't know.
16 A. I don't know. I probably wrote it down,
17 but I just can't tell you who it was.
18 Q. Okay. What did you do after that meeting?
19 A. I went and came straight up here.
20 Q. Okay.
21 A. Because I tried again to talk to the
22 superintendent.
23 MR. HARRISON: Here being the school board
24 office.
25 THE WITNESS: I came straight to the

1 Balboa building, and Mr. McCalister was in a
2 meeting. And I told his secretary that I had
3 to see him, and I'd like to see him now,
4 please. She went and got him, and we stood in
5 the hallway of where the bathrooms are in the
6 board meeting and I said, "What is going on,
7 Mac?"
8 He said, "I don't know what you're talking
9 about."
10 I said, "What is going on at Bay High?
11 What have we done over there?" I said, "Why,
12 what is going on?"
13 And he said, "Ms. Allen, I'm not going to
14 have someone work for me that doesn't do what I
15 tell them to do."
17 Q. So that's when he made the comment that
18 you talked about earlier.
19 A. And I said, "I understand that, okay,
20 fine." And I left.
21 Q. Okay. And did you talk to Mr. McCalister
22 outside of school board meetings? Did you talk to
23 Mr. McCalister on any other occasions about
24 Mr. Bolinger?
25 A. Yes, ma'am, I talked to him probably four

1 or five times after that.
2 Q. Okay. Tell me about the next time you
3 talked to him.
4 A. Okay. I have to remember it. The next
5 time I talked to him was when we got the
6 recommendations, and it didn't have any of the -- it
7 didn't list any of the schools they were going to.
8 The recommendations for administrators, and it
9 didn't list any of the schools they were going to.
10 I made an appointment and sat down with
11 him and asked him what he was planning on doing.
12 And he said he wasn't ready to tell us that yet.
13 And I said, "Well, usually you give us a
14 list that has where they're going, and this list
15 doesn't have that."
16 He said, "No, ma'am, I've never done
17 that."
18 I said, "Yes, Mac, if you'll check, ever
19 since I've been on the board you've done that every
20 time you give us a recommendation, you say where
21 they go."
22 And he said, "No, I haven't."
23 He called me back, "I've always done that,
24 I've always given you."
25 I said, "Well, I would really like that."

1 And he said, "Let me think about it."
2 I called Franklin, and had a conversation
3 with him. And then decided that if -- whatever Mac
4 wanted to do as far as presenting that information
5 to us he could present it. I said you present this
6 however you want.
7 Q. And that related to whether he gave
8 specific assignments.
9 A. Yes.
10 Q. At that first meeting or not?
11 A. Yes.
12 Q. What about the next time you met with him
13 or talked to him?
14 A. The day of the meeting.
15 Q. This is again the first meeting.
16 A. Yes.
17 Q. Okay.
18 A. I went in and had some prior time with him
19 and explained to him, as is my custom, that I was --
20 I disagreed with what he was trying to do, that I
21 thought we were -- that he was going in the wrong
22 direction, but I wanted to go right and it seemed
23 like he was going left, and I couldn't support him.
24 But that I wouldn't throw him under the bus, that I
25 would hope that he would listen to the people who

1 were out there because the room was full. And that
2 no matter what, the Lord would be with us.
3 Q. Okay. Anything else, did he say anything
4 to you?
5 A. He thanked me.
6 Q. Okay.
7 A. He said you'll never know how much it
8 means to me that you came in here and worried about
9 me personally.
10 Q. Okay.
11 A. And we went in the room together.
12 Q. Okay. And was there another meeting that
13 you had with him outside of the school board
14 meetings?
15 A. It was after that recommendation meeting.
16 Q. Okay. But before the June meeting?
17 A. Yes, ma'am.
18 Q. Okay. I went in and asked him what he was
19 planning on doing. He said he wasn't ready to tell
20 anybody that yet. And I said, is there any way that
21 you and Mr. Bolinger can just get in a room and work
22 this out, I said, because, you know what, I had
23 employees that worked for me, if they didn't do
24 something I asked them to do, I would sit down with
25 them, we would work it out and we would at least go

1 on probation or something like that. Is there any
2 way you-all can just get in a room and work this
3 out?
4 Q. Uh-huh.
5 A. And he said, no, ma'am.
6 Q. Okay.
7 A. Then when we got the recommendation on
8 where people were going, I went and met with him
9 again, and I said, why. If he didn't do what he
10 asked him to do in one position, why would he do
11 what you ask him to do in another position? I don't
12 understand it. Don't you really know that this is
13 not the best thing for students at Bay High? He
14 said he didn't agree with me, that he had the best
15 interests of the students. And then I said point
16 blank, does this have -- look me in the eyes, does
17 this have anything to do with Kathy Barr? And he
18 said, no, ma'am, Ms. Allen, it doesn't.
19 Q. Okay.
20 A. And I said, I don't believe that.
21 Q. And why don't you believe that?
22 A. I told him that the uproar of the
23 community and the faculty and that no matter what
24 happened, there was a perception that Kathy had her
25 fingers in this, and that just wasn't right.

1 Q. So it's not right that there is the
2 perception that Kathy Barr --
3 A. No, that Kathy had her fingers in it.
4 Q. Okay. But you said --
5 A. Kathy having her fingers in it wasn't
6 right.
7 Q. You used the word perception in your
8 earlier --
9 A. I did. I said --
10 Q. So is it just a perception, or do you have
11 facts that show that she did have influence in this?
12 A. No, ma'am, I don't have any facts.
13 Q. Okay. What leads you to believe that
14 Kathy Barr was influencing this decision?
15 A. As I collect information on other things,
16 it would be the students, the faculty, the parents,
17 the public, all giving you pieces of information
18 that help you research and collect what you know as
19 a school board member.
20 Q. Okay. Let's start with the students, what
21 information did you have from the students that led
22 you to believe Kathy Barr was influencing this
23 decision?
24 A. We had some e-mails, we had some phone
25 calls, we had some, you know, one on ones, you know,

1 I can't believe that, you know, you're going to
2 let -- they would say things, like I can't believe
3 you're going to let Kathy Barr run the school again.
4 I can't believe, you know -- and I would say to
5 them, I don't know what you're speaking of. Well,
6 MacMac is letting Kathy Barr run the school again,
7 because their perception was, this is what they said
8 to me, that Larry had made Kathy and Dave Browning
9 mad.
10 Q. Okay. But you said the student -- this
11 was the students' perception. Do you know what
12 facts they were basing their perceptions on?
13 A. No, ma'am.
14 Q. Okay.
15 A. I can just tell you what they were sharing
16 with me.
17 Q. Any other information you received from
18 students that led you to the conclusion that Kathy
19 Barr was influencing the decision?
20 A. No ma'am.
21 Q. What about faculty?
22 A. Same kind of thing.
23 Q. What about the public?
24 A. Same kind of thing.
25 Q. Okay.

1 A. I did hear from a person in the public,
2 that as soon as -- and, you know -- never mind, I
3 don't know if it's true.
4 Q. Go ahead.
5 A. I don't know if it's true.
6 Q. You received a comment from someone in the
7 public?
8 A. I did hear from someone in the public that
9 as soon as Larry was let go and Carol Rine was let
10 go, Mac got flowers on his desk the next day saying,
11 thank you for doing the right thing, Kathy Barr.
12 What that meant, nobody knows, I don't know that
13 that's true. I'm just telling you.
14 Q. Well, let's assume that Kathy Barr were
15 pleased that Mr. Bolinger would not return to Bay --
16 A. Uh-huh.
17 Q. -- is there a reason that leads you to
18 believe that Kathy Barr being pleased is the reason
19 why Mr. McCalister recommended Mr. Bolinger being
20 transferred?
21 A. Yes, ma'am.
22 Q. What is that?
23 A. Politically, they're his biggest
24 supporters.
25 Q. Kathy Barr is his biggest political

1 supporter?
2 A. Politically, they ran his campaign, they
3 give him money. They had his -- biggest supporter.
4 Q. Okay. Anything else?
5 A. No, ma'am.
6 Q. Okay. Do you know if there were other
7 people who were supportive of Mr. Bolinger being
8 moved to a school other than Bay besides Ms. Barr?
9 A. Only the ones that said something at the
10 board meeting.
11 Q. Did you receive any e-mails from people
12 saying they were supportive of Mr. Bolinger --
13 A. Yes, ma'am.
14 Q. -- being moved?
15 A. Yes, ma'am.
16 MR. HARRISON: Of not being moved or --
17 THE WITNESS: Not being moved.
18 MS. CHUMBLER: Being moved.
19 THE WITNESS: Being moved, yes, ma'am.
20 MR. HARRISON: Being moved, you're right.
21 I'm sorry.
22 THE WITNESS: Yes, some of those e-mails
23 yes, ma'am, excuse me.
25 Q. So it was not just Ms. Barr; is that

1 correct?
2 A. I never talked to Ms. Barr --
3 Q. Okay.
4 A. -- about this.
5 Q. But would it be correct that you knew that
6 it wasn't only Ms. Barr that supported Mr. Bolinger
7 being moved from Bay High School?
8 A. Oh, yes, ma'am.
9 Q. Okay.
10 A. I knew Ms. -- uh-huh.
11 Q. Okay. But aside from your knowledge that
12 Ms. Barr ran Mr. McCalister's political campaign --
13 A. Oh, she didn't run his campaign. She's a
14 big supporter.
15 Q. I thought you said that.
16 A. No. She was a big supporter and he had
17 his victory party at her house.
18 Q. Okay. I misunderstood you.
19 A. No, she didn't run his campaign that I
20 know of.
21 Q. Okay.
22 A. I know her and her husband are very big
23 supporters.
24 Q. Did he have other big supporters in the
25 community?

1 A. Cramers.
2 Q. And who else? Were there other people
3 that supported his political campaign?
4 A. I'm sure, had to be, or he couldn't have
5 won with only two people.
6 Q. Okay.
7 A. But I don't know their names. I just know
8 that those two people were big supporters.
9 Q. Okay. Other than -- you said somebody
10 told you that he had flowers?
11 A. Uh-huh.
12 Q. Who told you that he had flowers from
13 Kathy Barr?
14 A. A person on the faculty.
15 Q. Can you tell me who that is?
16 A. No, ma'am.
17 Q. You don't know or you won't tell me?
18 A. I don't know who it is.
19 Q. Okay.
20 A. It was in a phone conversation.
21 Q. So somebody on the Bay High faculty
22 reporting on flowers that Superintendent
23 McCalister --
24 A. Yes, ma'am, had in his office.
25 Q. Do you know how this faculty member would

1 know what flowers were on the superintendent's --
2 A. She said she happened to be by there, had
3 a meeting with him, happened to be by there and saw.
4 I don't know if that's true.
5 Q. Okay.
6 A. I didn't see them.
7 Q. Anything else that leads you to believe
8 that Ms. Barr was behind all this?
9 A. Well, I do know that Mrs. Barr and
10 Mrs. Cramer were very instrumental in trying to find
11 a principal for Bay High when none of those
12 principals panned out. The committee was expanded
13 to include them. It's very unusual, never had been
14 done before. And the three recommendations that
15 went up to the superintendent, he did not accept.
16 He decided to go out and find Mr. Bolinger.
17 Q. And this was in 2005; is that correct?
18 A. Yes, ma'am.
19 Q. Okay. So the committee that Ms. Barr and
20 Ms. Cramer participated in had made recommendations
21 in 2005 which the superintendent did not accept; is
22 that correct?
23 A. (Nods head.)
24 Q. You have to say yes.
25 A. Yes, ma'am.

1 Q. Sorry. It's just hard for her to record
2 the nodding of the head.
3 A. Yes, ma'am.
4 Q. And is there some reason that you thought
5 that Ms. Barr and Ms. Cramer were against
6 Mr. Bolinger when he went to Bay to begin with?
7 A. I wouldn't know that.
8 Q. What about Ms. Cramer, do you have reason
9 to believe that Ms. Cramer was not pleased with
10 Mr. Bolinger being at Bay?
11 A. Yes, ma'am.
12 Q. Why?
13 A. Well, I was over there doing a CWT
14 and noticed that there was new furniture --
15 Q. CWT?
16 A. Classroom walk-through.
17 Q. Okay.
18 A. Noticed there was furniture in the lobby,
19 new furniture in the lobby, and I said, what
20 happened to the other furniture, it was so nice.
21 And Ms. Carol Deeton told me that Mrs. Cramer came
22 and got it because she was mad because of where it
23 had been moved. She's mad at Larry.
24 Q. Okay.
25 A. She was pulling her support.

1 Q. Okay. Anything else?
2 A. No ma'am.
3 Q. Were there any other reasons why you
4 believe that Mr. McCalister has made the
5 recommendation to transfer Mr. Bolinger?
6 A. Any other reasons?
7 Q. Uh-huh.
8 A. No, ma'am.
9 Q. Have you heard any other reasons suggested
10 to you of why Mr. McCalister has recommended to
11 transfer Mr. Bolinger?
12 A. Yes, ma'am.
13 Q. What else have you heard?
14 A. That Kathy Barr and David Browning were
15 upset.
16 Q. You already mentioned that.
17 A. That's it.
18 Q. Anything else?
19 A. (Shakes head.)
20 Q. Had Mr. Browning attempted to contact you?
21 A. He did not.
22 Q. Do you have reason to believe that Mr.
23 Browning has undue influence on Mr. McCalister?
24 A. I can't answer that.
25 Q. Do you know of any particular influence

1 that Mr. Browning has on Mr. McCalister?
2 A. No, sir -- no, ma'am.
3 Q. Okay. To your knowledge, was Mr. Bolinger
4 a good principal at Merritt Brown?
5 A. Yes.
6 Q. Do you have any reason to believe he
7 wouldn't be a good principal at Jinks Middle School?
8 A. No.
9 Q. Okay. To what extent did you consider the
10 needs of Jinks Middle School when you voted to
11 reject him being transferred there?
12 A. Well, Jinks didn't look like it needed the
13 help. B, B, A. Jinks is doing a good job.
14 Q. Jinks is doing a good -- by B, B, A, you
15 mean on its FCATS?
16 A. Yes, ma'am, on the score for the school,
17 the last two years they were a B and this year they
18 made an A.
19 Q. Is FCAT all you look at in determining
20 whether a school has particular needs?
21 A. No, ma'am.
22 Q. Do you know whether Jinks had other needs
23 that might have -- that the superintendent may have
24 felt needed to be met?
25 A. I think Anna McClain is doing a good job,

1 and he told me that on several occasions.
2 Q. When was the last time he told you that?
3 A. He told me that the year before when we
4 were moving principals around. I had gotten a phone
5 call, and he said we were moving principals around.
6 And I said, are we going to keep the same people at
7 Jinks or are we going to keep the same people at
8 Surfside? I was just kind of going through. And he
9 said, yeah, he said -- I said, Anna seems to be
10 doing a good job. And he said, yeah, she's doing a
11 good job.
12 Q. And that was the summer of 2005?
13 A. It might have been the summer before that.
14 It might have been 2005.
15 Q. But sometime 2004, 2005?
16 A. I kind of have conversations with him
17 through the years -- through the year about what's
18 going on here and there with all the schools, not
19 just -- you know, just checking up.
20 Q. Uh-huh.
21 A. So, yeah.
22 Q. Do you have reason to believe that he had
23 given you that same assurance about Ms. McClain
24 during the 2005, 2006 year?
25 A. That she was doing a good job?

1 Q. Uh-huh.
2 A. Yes, ma'am.
3 Q. When did he tell you that?
4 A. Around the same time.
5 Q. Around the same time. Was that before the
6 beginning of the school year, 2005, 2006?
7 A. Before the beginning of the school year.
8 Q. Okay.
9 A. That's usually when those -- when school
10 gets out right before we start, we usually have
11 those conversations during that time. I can't nail
12 down a month for you, but that's when we have those
13 conversations.
14 (Petitioner's Exhibit Number 1 marked for
15 identification.)
17 Q. Look that document over and tell me if you
18 can identify it.
19 A. Yes, ma'am.
20 Q. Can you tell me what it is, please?
21 A. It's a document that Mr. Harrison prepared
22 for us on the statutes and school board policy
23 rights and responsibilities.
24 Q. And did you receive that prior to the
25 June 28th school board meeting?

1 A. It's dated June 26th, so I would say, yes,
2 ma'am, I did.
3 Q. Okay. Did you have any knowledge of a
4 hiring freeze that was in effect during the summer
5 of 2006?
6 A. I found it out later. I found it out
7 after the May meeting, and I can't tell you who told
8 me. I can't tell you who told me, but I found out
9 there was a hiring freeze.
10 Q. What was your understanding of the hiring
11 freeze?
12 A. My understanding of the hiring freeze is
13 it was for the whole county.
14 Q. Uh-huh.
15 A. But my understanding is also that Larry
16 would not be able to hire anyone in and out while we
17 had not made this decision, that it was particularly
18 put there because he didn't want Larry hiring
19 anybody in and out.
20 Q. And who told you that?
21 A. It's my opinion.
22 Q. What led you to that opinion?
23 A. Based on the atmosphere and the
24 conversations that I had with the superintendent
25 earlier.

1 Q. Did you have a conversation with the
2 superintendent about a hiring freeze?
3 A. No, I did not.
4 Q. Okay. But it was your understanding that
5 the hiring freeze was in place throughout the
6 district, right, not just at Bay High?
7 A. Yes, ma'am, I do understand that he did
8 that.
9 Q. And is it your understanding that the
10 hiring freeze was lifted after the June 28th
11 meeting?
12 A. I don't know.
13 Q. Did you ever receive any e-mails about the
14 hiring freeze?
15 A. No, ma'am, I don't think I did.
16 Q. So you don't really have an understanding
17 of when it may have been lifted or whether it's even
18 still in effect?
19 A. I don't.
20 Q. Okay. Did you ever see anything in
21 writing about the hiring freeze?
22 A. I can't recall if I did.
23 Q. Did anyone tell you that there had been a
24 district-wide dissemination of information about the
25 hiring freeze?

1 A. No, ma'am.
2 Q. Did anyone tell you that something had
3 been sent out to all the principals telling them
4 that there was a hiring freeze?
5 A. Yes. Hold on. Who called me? I had a
6 conversation with one of our principals, who was
7 trying to fill a job, and she said to me, how am I
8 going to fill these jobs when we have a hiring
9 freeze. And that's the first thing I had heard
10 about a hiring freeze.
11 Q. Okay.
12 A. I said, what do you mean you have a hiring
13 freeze. She said, the superintendent has put on a
14 hiring freeze, we can't hire any teachers. I said
15 this close to the school year.
16 Q. Do you remember who that principal was?
17 A. I think it was Ellie Spivey.
18 Q. What school --
19 A. She is -- she is at Patronis.
20 Q. Is that an elementary school?
21 A. Yes, ma'am, it's one of the schools in my
22 district. I don't know who it was, but I think it
23 was Ellie, because she was trying to hire a teacher.
24 I'm not sure who it was, but I think it was Ellie.
25 Q. Do you know whether there were any

1 restraints on interviewing and making offers to
2 people?
3 A. They couldn't do anything, from what she
4 said to me.
5 Q. Okay.
6 A. We can't do anything.
7 Q. Her understanding was she couldn't do
8 anything?
9 A. Right, she couldn't do anything.
10 Q. Did she tell you how she received that
11 information?
12 A. No.
13 Q. So you don't really know whether she was
14 accurate in the way she reported it to you?
15 A. Well, I don't know that, but she called me
16 for that particular reason.
17 Q. Do you remember when she called you?
18 A. No, ma'am.
19 Q. Okay. Was it early May -- I mean,
20 generally, you don't know?
21 A. I can't even recall that.
22 Q. Okay.
23 MS. CHUMBLER: I have nothing further.
24 MR. MEYER: I have no questions.

Brock ----------------

1 Deposition of Johnny Brock
2 October 23, 2006
5 the witness herein, being first duly sworn, was
6 examined and testified as follows:
9 Q State your name and address for the
10 record, please.
11 A Johnnie Brock, 430 South Star Avenue,
12 Panama City, Florida.
13 Q Mr. Brock, are you currently a member of
14 the Bay County School Board?
15 A Yes, ma'am.
16 Q How long have you served on the school
17 board?
18 A This is my tenth year.
19 Q During your term on the school board, has
20 the superintendent ever recommended that a school
21 principal be transferred?
22 A Yes, ma'am.
23 Q Approximately, how many times?
24 A A few.
25 Q So it's not an unusual event; is that
1 correct?
2 A No, ma'am. It's common.
3 Q In the ten years you've been on the school
4 board, how many times has the school board rejected
5 a recommendation of the superintendent to transfer a
6 principal?
7 A I roughly remember three times.
8 Q And what were the three times?
9 A One of them when Larry Bolinger was
10 superintendent, and it was about Jerry Long, who was
11 at Shaw. And my feelings was he wanted to close the
12 school, and I didn't have no problem with him moving
13 the principal. Closing the school is what I had a
14 problem with. And I opposed it and didn't think it
15 was right.
16 Q Okay. And what was the outcome of that?
17 A The school is still open.
18 Q Okay.
19 A And that's where I was coming from, is
20 that I was looking at the school to stay open.
21 Q Okay.
22 A And that's what it was.
23 Q What about -- that's one of the times.
24 When is the second time?
25 A We had a -- I'm going to say it's a
1 teacher, it might have been an administrator, at
2 Haney, and -- was asked to be transferred or
3 something, and we didn't think it was a great idea,
4 and that's another time that I opposed it.
5 Q And why did you oppose it? This was a
6 teacher, correct?
7 A I'm thinking it was a teacher because it
8 was over some area that had been there for a long
9 time. I don't remember all the situation.
10 Q Do you remember why you voted to reject
11 that recommendation?
12 A No, ma'am, I don't remember why.
13 Q Do you remember where -- was the teacher
14 being moved to different type of responsibilities?
15 A It seemed like they was just going to get
16 rid of them, but I don't remember.
17 Q Okay.
18 A I don't know the answer. I'm sorry.
19 Q Was this under when Mr. Bolinger was
20 superintendent or when Mr. McCalister was
21 superintendent?
22 A I think Mr. Mac was superintendent under
23 this one --
24 Q Okay.
25 A -- that we was having problems.
1 Q Do you remember how many years ago?
2 A No, ma'am.
3 Q Could you tell me the reasons why you
4 voted to reject the superintendent's recommendation
5 to transfer Mr. Bolinger to Jinks Middle School?
6 A I'll try.
7 Q Okay.
8 A We knew that we had a school that was a D.
9 Q Uh-huh.
10 A And it's been a D for two years by the
11 time we knew we had a problem. And I looked at the
12 other schools and we had high schools that was doing
13 quite well. And when Mr. Bolinger was put at Bay
14 High, my understanding was that we needed something
15 there to improve, and I thought that's what Mr. Mac
16 was going to put somebody there to help improve the
17 school.
18 And so when Larry was put there and then
19 almost a year later was asked to be taken away --
20 and the things that I saw when I went to the school
21 was before Larry got there, the principal was
22 nowhere to be found most of the time.
23 I'd go there and eat lunch, and most of
24 the time he was not there. I would go there and
25 visit people and still couldn't find them. And that
1 was a hardship, knowing that we had a school not
2 doing good and the principal not being able to be
3 found.
4 And so when Larry got there, it was just
5 the opposite. I would go there and he would be on
6 the grounds talking to people and making sure people
7 was going to class and moving people along, and he
8 was visible. And I think that made a difference, of
9 what I could see with my own eyes.
10 Q Do you have any reason to believe that
11 another person might not be appointed as principal
12 there and be very visible?
13 A No, they could.
14 Q Okay.
15 A Uh-huh.
16 Q Is there anything other than -- other
17 reasons why you felt that you should vote against
18 the recommendation to transfer Mr. Bolinger?
19 A After having seen what was going on,
20 students started doing better, and I could see they
21 was in class when I went there. They was there
22 to -- it seemed like their momentum was moving
23 forward. And to see the school as a whole doing
24 better made me feel good. And so as it was going
25 forward, I could see things happening, kids felt
1 better about themselves, the ones I talked to. And
2 I didn't talk to a lot of administration or nothing
3 like that, I was talking to students. And they said
4 they was -- liked Mr. Bolinger because he was
5 visible.
6 And when you see -- and I've got a lot of
7 children myself, and I know when I say no to one of
8 them, it takes two or three yes, sirs, to get back
9 up on the plateau where we were before we keep going
10 forward again.
11 And to take this school that I thought to
12 myself was pulling up and doing better and to pull a
13 principal out, like snatching the rug out from
14 somebody, they would fall, and that's my opinion.
15 And to get the kids back up to where they was even
16 at before, I think it would take more than just a
17 day or two. I think we're talking a long time to
18 pull it back up.
19 Q When Mr. Bolinger was moved to Bay High
20 School, was there a dip down in performance?
21 A It was already down.
22 Q But was there a dip further down?
23 A Not to my knowledge, no.
24 Q Okay. When Mr. Bolinger was moved to Bay
25 High School, was there a dip further down in student
1 morale?
2 A Not that I know of.
3 Q Was there a dip down when Mr. Bolinger was
4 assigned to Bay High in classroom attendance?
5 A Not that I know of.
6 Q So in that instance, transferring in a new
7 principal did not result in further decline in
8 student attendance, correct?
9 A Not that I know of.
10 Q Or further decline in student morale --
11 A Uh-uh.
12 Q -- is that correct?
13 A Not from what I saw, no, ma'am.
14 Q Did you have any reason to believe that
15 someone else might not be able to become principal
16 there and, like Mr. Bolinger did, continue the
17 forward movement?
18 A Possibly could, yes.
19 Q Now, you didn't -- no one suggested to you
20 that Mr. McCalister intended to return Mr. -- was it
21 Mr. Goodwin, is that who the prior --
22 A Yes.
23 Q No one suggested to you that there was any
24 intent to return Mr. Goodwin as principal at Bay
25 High; is that right?
1 A Not to me, no, ma'am.
2 Q And no one has suggested that in your
3 hearing and you have not heard that gossip around
4 the community.
5 A No, ma'am.
6 Q Okay. So Mr. Goodwin is sort of out of
7 the picture.
8 Do you have any reason to believe that
9 someone else couldn't, at Bay, take the leadership
10 reigns and continue improvements in student morale?
11 A Possibility, yes, ma'am.
12 Q Could someone else possibly step into that
13 position and result in at least as good a student
14 attendance and classes as is there now?
15 A It's a possibility, yes, ma'am.
16 Q Okay. What about student achievement, do
17 you have any reason to believe that someone else
18 could not become principal there and continue
19 improvements in student achievement?
20 A The right person could, yes, ma'am.
21 Q Okay. What about effects on staff, do you
22 have any reason to believe that someone else
23 couldn't become principal and take over the reigns
24 without there being any bad effect on staff?
25 A It could be.
1 Q Could be someone --
2 A It could be good. It could be bad.
3 Q Okay.
4 A I've been able to see a principal come in
5 and things have got better at different schools.
6 And I've seen a principal come in and they have got
7 worse.
8 Q So it would depend on the person that was
9 chosen; is that correct?
10 A Yes, ma'am.
11 Q Had anyone ever indicated to you that
12 Mr. McCalister promised Mr. Bolinger that he would
13 be at Bay High School for more than a year?
14 A Not to me, uh-uh. I've heard it, but, no,
15 nobody has --
16 Q No one said it to you?
17 A No, ma'am.
18 Q And Mr. McCalister didn't say that to you?
19 A No, ma'am.
20 Q Mr. Bolinger hasn't said that to you?
21 A No, ma'am.
22 Q Okay. Do you have any knowledge of a
23 hiring freeze that was in effect during the summer
24 of 2006?
25 A I have been told about it, but as far as
1 somebody writing me a letter or a note or something,
2 no, ma'am.
3 Q What was your understanding of the hiring
4 freeze?
5 A I didn't understand why we needed one, why
6 it went on.
7 Q But what was your understanding of what
8 the hiring freeze was, who was -- who was frozen
9 from hiring who?
10 A I thought it was county wide.
11 Q For principals to hire teachers?
12 A Yes, ma'am.
13 Q And when did you understand that that
14 hiring freeze was imposed?
15 A I don't know.
16 Q You don't know.
17 Do you have an understanding of when it
18 was lifted?
19 A No, ma'am.
20 Q Okay. Do you know why there was a hiring
21 freeze?
22 A No, ma'am.
23 Q Who told you about the hiring freeze?
24 A I just heard it through the people
25 talking. I don't -- nobody has actually told me.
1 It's just the things that I've heard.
2 Q Okay.
3 A But I don't know who, uh-uh.
4 Q Do you have any reason to believe that a
5 different principal couldn't be assigned to Bay
6 without there being a significant disruption in
7 operations at that high school?
8 A Repeat that again.
9 Q I'll try. Do you have any reason to
10 believe that a new principal couldn't be placed at
11 Bay without there being significant disruption in
12 operations?
13 A I think any time you move a new principal
14 in, there will be some.
15 Q To your knowledge was there some
16 disruption when Mr. Bolinger took over in the summer
17 of 2005?
18 A There was some, yes, ma'am.
19 Q Do you have any reason to believe that
20 there would be more than that if -- regardless of
21 who might take Mr. Bolinger's place?
22 A No, ma'am. We'd still have some.
23 Q Would it be a fair assessment to say that
24 you think there probably would be some people happy
25 about Mr. Bolinger leaving and some people not happy
1 about Mr. Bolinger leaving?
2 A Yes, ma'am.
3 Q And some people happy about him staying
4 and some people not happy about him staying?
5 A Yes, ma'am.
6 Q Is that correct?
7 A Uh-huh.
8 Q Do you have any reason to believe that
9 moving Mr. Bolinger from Bay would necessarily have
10 a bad effect on student achievement at Bay High?
11 A My opinion, I think it would.
12 Q Why do you think that?
13 A Any time you started moving forward, and I
14 call it climbing a hill --
15 Q Uh-huh.
16 A -- then you take somebody out, I think
17 they're going to be a little ruffled.
18 Q Do you have a reason to believe that
19 necessarily student achievement would be adversely
20 affected?
21 A I think it could be, yes, ma'am.
22 Q You say it could be.
23 A Yes, ma'am.
24 Q But would it necessarily be?
25 A Now, that I don't know. I'm not a
1 principal.
2 Q You mentioned as reasons for your vote
3 that Mr. Bolinger was put at Bay to improve problems
4 and he was visible on campus --
5 A Yes, ma'am.
6 Q -- students were doing better. Any other
7 reasons that you voted not to approve the
8 recommendation to move him to Jinks Middle School?
9 A I was thinking about the 1500 or so kids
10 that we've got there, it might be a little bit more
11 or a little bit less, but around 1500; and, as I
12 said, when somebody starts doing good and there's a
13 change made and it might be a change for better, it
14 might be a change for worse, I think there's going
15 to be a stall for a while. I think it's going to
16 affect some students.
17 Q Okay. You said it could be for the
18 better, it could be for the worse.
19 A Yes, ma'am.
20 Q Do you recognize that a change at Bay
21 could be for the better ultimately?
22 A Sure it could be.
23 Q To your belief, was Mr. Bolinger a good
24 principal at Merritt Brown Middle School?
25 A Yes, ma'am.
1 Q Do you have any reason to believe that he
2 wouldn't be a good principal at Jinks Middle School?
3 A No, ma'am.
4 Q Did you take the needs of Jinks Middle
5 School into consideration in making your vote to
6 reject the recommendation to move him there?
7 A I did consider what Jinks is today -- at
8 that time and the principal that was there, and they
9 are a good school.
10 Q When you say they're a good school, what
11 do you mean by that?
12 A Their grades show that they are a good
13 school.
14 Q Okay. Their FCAT grades?
15 A Yes, ma'am.
16 Q Okay.
17 A The year prior to that, because, to my
18 knowledge, we hadn't even got theirs in at the time
19 when this was going on.
20 Q Did you consider any other factors about
21 Jinks other than their FCAT grades?
22 A Not really. That was my big thing I was
23 looking at, what kind of school it was, what kind of
24 grade they had and where they was going at the time.
25 Q When did you first hear that
1 Mr. McCalister was considering not returning
2 Mr. Bolinger to Bay High School?
3 A I don't remember what time it was.
4 Q Was it before the May 30th meeting?
5 A I can't remember whether it was the time
6 that I got my board book or what, but nobody
7 actually told me, that I know of, that anybody was
8 moving or anything, I don't remember that now.
9 Q So you think the first time you knew --
10 when you got your May board book, it didn't really
11 say where Mr. Bolinger was going to be; is that
12 correct?
13 A I don't think so, now.
14 Q Okay.
15 A I don't remember exactly, but I don't
16 think so.
17 Q So before that meeting, had anyone
18 indicated to you that there was an intent not to
19 return Mr. Bolinger to Bay High?
20 A I've heard rumors.
21 Q Okay.
22 A But that's about it.
23 Q Who did you hear rumors from?
24 A I don't even know. I run a service
25 station. A lot of people come in. I can't keep up
1 with them.
2 Q Okay.
3 A I don't know.
4 Q Did anyone call you and tell you that
5 Mr. Bolinger was not going to be returned to Bay?
6 A Not to my knowledge.
7 Q Did anybody tell you that Mr. Bolinger had
8 been fired?
9 A No, ma'am.
10 Q Okay.
11 A I don't remember that word, now. Nobody
12 has ever come up with that.
13 Q Okay.
14 A Not to me.
15 Q Have you ever received phone calls from
16 Randall McElheney about Mr. Bolinger being -- the
17 recommendation of Mr. Bolinger being transferred?
18 A Yes, ma'am.
19 Q When did Mr. McElheney call you?
20 A Now, that I don't know.
21 Q Was it before the June meeting?
22 A I don't know.
23 Q Do you know if it was before the meeting
24 where you had to vote on the recommendation to
25 transfer Mr. Bolinger?
1 A I don't know when it was.
2 Q Okay. What was --
3 A That was a blank statement. I don't know.
4 Q What was the substance? I mean, what did
5 Mr. McElheney call you about?
6 A If he was the only person that called me,
7 I would probably remember. Now, you have to
8 realize --
9 Q Sure.
10 A -- what I'm in, okay, and I get a lot of
11 calls --
12 Q Okay.
13 A -- and people coming by. I don't know
14 exactly what it was.
15 Q Okay.
16 A I just remember that they talked about
17 Mr. Bolinger, you know, not being rehired back. I
18 don't even know what all we talked about.
19 Q Was this a phone call?
20 A I have talked to him in person. I have
21 talked to him over the phone. I'm visible, and
22 people come by and talk to me.
23 Q What about William Harrison?
24 A I have talked to him, too, yes, ma'am.
25 Q Anyone else that comes to mind that you
1 met with on this issue?
2 A (Shakes head.)
3 Q I don't mean people stopping by the
4 service station, I mean real meetings.
5 A Well, that's where they came by.
6 Q They just came by the service station.
7 A Yes, ma'am.
8 Q Any phone calls, in particular, that you
9 remember from people other than Mr. McElheney or
10 Mr. Harrison?
11 A I know there was some. I don't know. I
12 don't know who it would be.
13 Q Did you receive phone calls from people
14 who were supportive of Mr. Bolinger being moved from
15 Bay High School?
16 A Yes, ma'am.
17 Q Did you receive -- we've already heard
18 that you received phone calls from people who were
19 not supportive of that; is that correct?
20 A Yes, ma'am.
21 Q Did you receive e-mails supportive of
22 Mr. Bolinger being moved to a school other than Bay?
23 A Yes, ma'am.
24 Q And you received e-mails that were not
25 supportive of that; is that correct?
1 A Yes, ma'am, both sides. I don't know how
2 many. I can't say half and half, I can't say. I
3 don't know.
4 Q Okay.
5 A But, yes, I received both.
6 Q Did you ever speak directly to
7 Mr. Bolinger about the issue of him not being
8 returned to Bay?
9 A I have talked to him. I don't know
10 exactly when. I don't know whether it was before
11 the board meeting or whatever. I don't know.
12 Q Okay.
13 A But, yes, I have talked to him.
14 Q What was said during that? Was that a
15 meeting or a phone conversation?
16 A Probably a phone conversation.
17 Q Okay.
18 A Now, I do visit Bay once in a while, okay.
19 Q Uh-huh.
20 A And it might have been when I was there.
21 I know I've talked to him.
22 Q What did you-all talk about?
23 A Probably a bunch of things. But I know
24 the point that you're trying to get is about moving,
25 and he wanted to know why.
1 Q Okay. He was asking you why?
2 A (Nods head.)
3 MR. HARRISON: Is that a "yes"?
5 MS. CHUMBLER: It's hard for the court
6 reporter --
8 MS. CHUMBLER: She puts down Mr. Brock
9 nodded, and we don't know if you nodded this
10 way or --
11 THE WITNESS: Yes, ma'am, sorry.
12 MR. HARRISON: Or you nodded off.
14 Q Okay. Did Mr. Bolinger suggest to you any
15 reason that he thought that Mr. McCalister was
16 making the recommendation that he did?
17 A No, ma'am.
18 Q Has anyone else suggested to you why
19 Mr. McCalister was making the recommendation?
20 A I have heard a lot of people want to know
21 why it was happening. I did not have an answer.
22 Q Has anyone suggested to you what they
23 thought the answer to that was?
24 A Not to my knowledge, no.
25 Q So you have not heard any reasons floated
1 around for why Mr. McCalister was recommending the
2 transfer?
3 A No, ma'am.
4 Q Okay.
5 (Petitioner's Exhibit Number 1 marked for
6 identification.)
8 Q Mr. Brock, if you could look at this
9 document and tell me if you --
10 A I can't hardly see it, but I will in a
11 minute.
12 MS. CHUMBLER: We all get to that stage,
13 don't we?
15 Q If you can identify for us --
16 A I remember seeing it.
17 Q Do you know -- can you tell me what it is?
18 A Yes, it is a document that Mr. Harrison
19 has sent to us.
20 Q Mr. Harrison, being Franklin Harrison?
21 A Franklin Harrison.
22 Q Not William Harrison, Franklin?
23 A Yes, ma'am, Franklin.
24 Q And do you know if you received that prior
25 to the June 28th school board meeting?
1 A If I sat here and said -- to tell you the
2 truth, I could not tell you. I know what date is on
3 it and I know we probably got it, so, yes, it was
4 before the board meeting, by looking at it.
5 Q Okay. Mr. Brock, did -- has anyone ever
6 told you that Mr. McCalister promised Mr. Bolinger
7 that he could remain at Bay for more than one year?
8 A Nobody has ever told me that.
9 Q Was it your understanding that that
10 promise had been made?
11 A No, ma'am. I have heard it after things
12 have started boiling around, but before that, no,
13 ma'am.
14 Q Okay.
15 MS. CHUMBLER: I have no other questions.
16 MR. MEYER: I have no questions.
17 MR. HARRISON: I don't have any either.

Danzey ------------------

1 Deposition of Ron Danzey
2 October 23, 2006
5 the witness herein, being first duly sworn, was
6 examined and testified as follows:
9 Q Could you state your name and address for
10 the record, please?
11 A Ron Danzey, 2910 Kings Harbour Road,
12 Panama City.
13 Q Mr. Danzey, I understand you serve on the
14 Bay County School Board; is that correct?
15 A That's correct.
16 Q How long have you served?
17 A I'm in my third term.
18 Q So how many years is that?
19 A Twelve.
20 Q How many superintendents have there been
21 during your term as a school board member?
22 A Three.
23 Q And who was it prior to Mr. Bolinger?
24 A Stephanie Gall.
25 Q G-A-L-L?
1 A Yes, ma'am.
2 Q How long was she superintendent?
3 A For a four-year term.
4 Q During your three terms on the school
5 board, have superintendents recommended that high
6 school principals be transferred?
7 A Yes.
8 Q Can you recall how many times?
9 A Not offhand, no, ma'am.
10 Q Could you tell me, approximately, how many
11 times there have been recommendations that any
12 principal be transferred?
13 A Say that again?
14 Q Can you tell me, approximately, how many
15 times there has been a recommendation that a
16 principal at any school level be transferred?
17 A I don't have a number, no.
18 Q Is that something that you would
19 characterize as relatively common?
20 A It's not an every-year occurrence, but
21 it's not uncommon.
22 Q With the exception of this summer's
23 rejection of the transfer of Mr. Bolinger to Jinks
24 Middle School, on how many occasion has the school
25 board rejected the transfer of a principal?
1 MR. HARRISON: Of Mr. -- recommendation by
2 Mr. McCalister?
3 MS. CHUMBLER: No, by any superintendent.
4 MR. HARRISON: While he's been on the
5 board?
6 MS. CHUMBLER: Right.
7 THE WITNESS: State the question again.
9 Q Okay. With the exception of this summer's
10 rejection of Mr. McCalister's recommendation, on how
11 many occasions, since you've been on the school
12 board, has the school board rejected any
13 superintendent's recommendation to transfer a
14 principal?
15 A None.
16 Q Mr. Danzey, it's my understanding that you
17 voted to reject the recommendation to transfer
18 Mr. Bolinger; is that correct?
19 A That's correct.
20 Q Can you tell me what your reasons were?
21 A The biggest reason is for the students at
22 the school. In my mind they had just had a
23 principal change by the retirement of the prior
24 principal. Mr. Bolinger came in and was doing a
25 good job, and I believe a change in that short of
1 period would have been detrimental to the students.
2 Q Anything else?
3 A Not really.
4 Q Let's start with the last item you
5 mentioned. What facts do you have to support the
6 conclusion that the change would have been
7 detrimental to the students?
8 A Any time there is a change in
9 administration, for good or bad, there are -- I
10 reckon it's just the fact of having to get used to
11 the change.
12 Q And do I understand you to say that that
13 occurs just about any time there's a change; is that
14 correct?
15 A It could.
16 Q Anything else supporting your conclusion
17 that the change would be detrimental to the students
18 at Bay High?
19 A Well, I can only tell you that looking at
20 the environment of the school was better, in my
21 opinion, with Mr. Bolinger's leadership. The proof
22 is in the pudding now, FCAT scores were up. The
23 school's grade was a little up in points, and so it
24 was going in the right direction.
25 Q So, in your opinion, Mr. Bolinger had made
1 improvements at Bay High?
2 A Yes, ma'am.
3 Q Do you have any facts to support a
4 conclusion that improvements would not have
5 continued under someone else?
6 A I don't believe I can -- ask that again.
7 Q I'll try. Do you have any facts to
8 support a belief that improvements at the school
9 could not have continued under someone else?
10 A There are no facts to support anybody
11 else.
12 Q Okay. I'm not sure you answered my
13 question. Is it your belief that there would not
14 have been continued improvements at Bay High under
15 another principal?
16 A No, I don't have any facts to say that it
17 would not have improved with another principal.
18 Q Okay.
19 A I'm not sure I understand. Where would I
20 get a fact to support an unknown somebody?
21 Q Mr. Danzey, did you have any knowledge or
22 belief that there was a verbal contract between
23 Mr. Bolinger and Mr. McCalister, that Mr. Bolinger
24 would remain at Bay for more than one year?
25 A Just from what I've heard in the
1 community.
2 Q From whom, who have you heard something
3 from?
4 A Well, just concerned citizens, some that
5 had students at Bay, some were alumni.
6 Q And did some of them tell you that they
7 believe there to be a verbal contract between
8 Mr. McCalister and Mr. Bolinger?
9 A Yes, ma'am.
10 Q What exactly did they say?
11 A They believed and led me to believe that
12 since Larry was -- had entered the DROP Program for
13 retirement, that it was his wishes to stay at Bay
14 High through the remainder of his DROP, and I was
15 led to believe that the superintendent did not
16 disagree with that stance.
17 Q Did any of these people tell you that
18 Mr. McCalister had told Mr. Bolinger that he could
19 remain at Bay until he completed his DROP?
20 A There was that feeling, yes, ma'am.
21 Q Well, no, what I asked you is, did anyone
22 tell him that, not what the feeling was, but did
23 anyone report to you that Mr. McCalister
24 specifically told Mr. Bolinger that he could stay at
25 Bay for the remaining four years before DROP?
1 A I have heard people say that, yes, ma'am.
2 Q And who told you that?
3 A I believe that -- I believe that the
4 chairman, Mrs. Rohan, had said that.
5 Q Anyone else?
6 A I believe that some business partners at
7 Bay High had said that.
8 Q Who would that be?
9 A I believe that Mr. McElheney had said
10 that.
11 Q Anyone else?
12 A Not off the top of my head, no, ma'am.
13 Q Did Mr. McElheney tell you that he
14 actually witnessed a conversation between
15 Mr. McCalister and Mr. Bolinger?
16 A No, ma'am.
17 Q Okay. Do you know what the source of
18 Mr. McElheney's information was?
19 A I believe it was from the superintendent.
20 Q Do you think that Mr. McElheney got that
21 information directly from Mr. McCalister?
22 A Yes, ma'am.
23 Q To your knowledge, did Mr. McCalister ever
24 seek approval for more than a one-year contract for
25 Mr. Bolinger?
1 A He did not.
2 Q Were you aware that Mr. Bolinger had a
3 one-year contract?
4 A Yes, ma'am.
5 Q Is it your belief that if Mr. Bolinger
6 were transferred from Bay High, that the staff at
7 Bay High would necessarily suffer an adverse effect?
8 A Repeat the question.
9 Q Is it your belief that if Mr. Bolinger
10 were transferred from Bay High, that the staff at
11 Bay High would necessarily suffer an adverse effect?
12 A Some would.
13 Q Does that mean that some wouldn't?
14 A Yes, ma'am.
15 Q Do you have a belief about whether overall
16 the staff in general would be adversely affected?
17 A The only way I can answer that is the
18 staff that are there, for the most part, are very
19 pleased with Mr. Bolinger's leadership. So to
20 remove him, they might be displeased.
21 Q Okay. Well, do you -- the fact that
22 they're displeased, do you connect that with adverse
23 effect, is that -- are you using those two terms --
24 A We could -- I could, uh-huh.
25 Q I'm asking you, are you using those two
1 terms synonymously?
2 A Well, the teachers are professionals.
3 They could be displeased and still do their job, but
4 there might be some that that displeasure would
5 adversely affect what happens, yes, ma'am.
6 Q So for some -- there's some subset of
7 those who would be displeased who would actually be
8 adversely affected, is that what you're saying?
9 A I believe so.
10 Q And then on the flip side, are there those
11 who you believe would not be displeased if
12 Mr. Bolinger were transferred?
13 A Sure.
14 Q Okay. Do you know whether when
15 Mr. Bolinger was sent to Bay High some of the staff
16 were displeased?
17 A I don't know of any, but I'm sure that
18 there are.
19 Q Okay.
20 A That there were.
21 Q Do you know whether, when Mr. Bolinger was
22 sent to Bay High, some -- at least some of the staff
23 were adversely affected?
24 A I reckon I would want a definition of
25 adversely affected, now that I'm thinking about it.
1 But it's a possibility.
2 Q What do you -- if you use the term
3 adversely affected in relation to staff, what do you
4 mean?
5 A Sometimes that's just a feeling,
6 displeasure, if you will, since I've used that term
7 before, not liking change.
8 Q Well, what would adversely affect their
9 performance as staff members at Bay High?
10 A The teachers that I know that I'm familiar
11 with are professionals and, while there might be
12 shock and displeasure, I think they would do their
13 job.
14 Q Is that whether or not Mr. Bolinger is
15 transferred from Bay to Jinks; is that correct?
16 A Certainly.
17 Q Is it your belief that if Mr. Bolinger is
18 transferred to Jinks Middle School, that the
19 students at Bay High will necessarily be adversely
20 affected?
21 A I believe that there is a group that may
22 be, yes.
23 Q So a group, does that also mean that there
24 would be a group that would not be?
25 A Certainly.
1 Q What group do you think would be?
2 A I'll answer it this way, my visits to Bay
3 High in the past school year, the climate
4 environment was different than it was under the
5 prior leadership. Students were enjoying the
6 change, and it was just a different place.
7 Q So, in your opinion, Mr. Bolinger made
8 things better at Bay High School?
9 A Yes, ma'am.
10 Q Do you have any reason to believe that
11 someone else couldn't move in there and also make
12 things better at Bay High School?
13 A I'm sure there is someone that could have.
14 I don't know who that would be.
15 Q Is it your belief that if Mr. Bolinger is
16 transferred to Jinks Middle School, that the
17 operations at Bay High would necessarily be
18 disrupted?
19 A Yes, I believe the operations at Bay High
20 would be disrupted.
21 Q And how do you believe they would be
22 disrupted?
23 A My opinion, Bay High is moving in the
24 right direction under his leadership, and an unknown
25 someone to be named later to come to Bay High may
1 not have the same vision, may not have the same work
2 ethic, may not have the same camaraderie with staff,
3 and I reckon, in my mind, why change when things are
4 going in the right direction.
5 Q Okay. You say someone else may not have
6 the same work ethic or the same -- I don't
7 remember the other --
8 A Vision.
9 Q -- vision, but do you know that for a
10 fact?
11 A There again, I can't say a fact with an
12 unknown person.
13 Q So is that, no, you can't say for a fact?
14 A Your words, yes, ma'am.
15 Q Well, the deposition here is to try to get
16 your words, at least, in the deposition.
17 MR. MEYER: I'm going to object to the
18 question. It calls for speculation.
19 MS. CHUMBLER: I'm asking about your
20 belief as a school board member.
21 MR. HARRISON: Would you repeat it so I
22 know exactly what we're asking?
24 Q Okay. Do you have a belief as a matter of
25 fact that -- or do you have a belief that if someone
1 else came in as principal of Bay High, that they
2 would -- they necessarily would not have the same
3 work ethic as Mr. Bolinger had?
4 A There's probably someone out there that
5 would have the same work ethic.
6 Q Do you have any facts to believe -- to
7 support a belief that if someone else came to Bay
8 High, they wouldn't have a vision for Bay High that
9 was equally as good as Mr. Bolinger's?
10 A No.
11 Q To your knowledge was there any disruption
12 in operations when Mr. Bolinger was transferred to
13 Bay High in June of 2005?
14 A I believe there were some teachers that
15 transferred out.
16 Q Do you know why they transferred out?
17 A No, ma'am.
18 Q Any other disruption?
19 A No, ma'am.
20 Q Is it your belief that if Mr. Bolinger
21 were transferred to Jinks Middle School, that
22 student achievement at Bay High would necessarily
23 suffer an adverse effect?
24 A Say that again.
25 Q Is it your belief that if Mr. Bolinger's
1 transferred to Jinks, that student achievement at
2 Bay would necessarily suffer an adverse effect?
3 A Not necessarily.
4 Q Is it your belief that if Mr. Bolinger
5 were transferred to Jinks Middle School, that there
6 would be no further academic progress at Bay High?
7 A Not necessarily.
8 Q Do you have any knowledge of a hiring
9 freeze in the school district during the summer of
10 2006?
11 A Yes, ma'am.
12 Q And what's your knowledge of that hiring
13 freeze?
14 A I was told that there was a hiring freeze
15 during that time.
16 MS. CHUMBLER: Do you mind if I use these
17 ones with the yellow highlights?
18 MR. HARRISON: That's fine.
19 MR. MEYER: I've got them, thanks -- would
20 you prefer a clear one?
21 MS. CHUMBLER: Well, actually, it might be
22 a little clearer with that, if you don't mind.
23 Okay, you gave him one.
25 Q Let me ask you to look at a couple of
1 e-mails. And just for clarification, I've been
2 instructed by your attorney that the October 19th
3 date, that there is -- is the date that this e-mail
4 was forwarded, and, really, the date I'd like you to
5 look at is the one there by the little -- I don't
6 know, what do you call those marks, little V marks,
7 sideways V marks by the N. Smith. I direct you,
8 first, to look at the one dated June the 21st. Were
9 you aware of this e-mail?
10 A After the fact.
11 Q Okay. So after it was sent, is that what
12 you're saying?
13 A Sometime after, yes, ma'am.
14 Q Okay. So were you aware that the hiring
15 freeze was only in effect until after the June 8th
16 board meeting?
17 A Repeat that question.
18 Q Were you aware that the hiring freeze was
19 in effect only until after the June 28th school
20 board meeting?
21 A Yes, ma'am, that's what the e-mail says.
22 Q Okay. And if I can ask you to look at the
23 second e-mail dated June the 29th, were you aware
24 that, as of the date this e-mail was sent, the
25 hiring freeze had been lifted?
1 A Yes, ma'am, after the fact.
2 MS. CHUMBLER: I'd like to make these
3 Exhibit 1 and 2 to the deposition, please. I'm
4 making the June 21st e-mail one, and the
5 June 29th e-mail two.
6 (Petitioner's Exhibit Numbers 1 and 2 marked for
7 identification.)
9 Q Mr. Danzey, were there any other reasons
10 that you voted to reject the recommendation to
11 transfer Mr. Bolinger to Jinks Middle School that we
12 haven't already discussed?
13 A And we've discussed that my vote was
14 basically for the students.
15 Q Right.
16 A Okay.
17 Q I think you mentioned early on that they
18 had just had a change, Mr. Bolinger was doing a good
19 job, and you felt that change in that short of time
20 would be detrimental to students; is that correct?
21 A That's correct.
22 Q Anything else?
23 A I don't believe so.
24 Q In your opinion, was Mr. Bolinger a good
25 principal at Merritt Brown Middle School?
1 A Yes, ma'am.
2 Q Do you have any reason to believe he
3 wouldn't do a good job at Jinks Middle School?
4 A No, ma'am.
5 Q When you voted to reject the
6 recommendation to transfer him to Jinks, did you
7 take the needs of Jinks Middle School into
8 consideration?
9 A Yes, ma'am.
10 Q And what -- how did you weigh that? I
11 mean, what strengths or weaknesses did you think
12 Mr. Bolinger had to offer to Jinks Middle School?
13 A Well, he -- Larry has succeeded in every
14 position he's had, but when I considered the
15 movement to Jinks, I was surprised, because the
16 principal at Jinks that's currently there has done
17 an outstanding job, as well.
18 Q Okay. But you -- wasn't her -- now, her
19 transfer was recommended but then withdrawn; is that
20 correct?
21 A That's correct.
22 Q Had it been your intent to reject that
23 recommendation?
24 A To tell you the truth, I really didn't
25 think about a rejection with that one.
1 Q Why not?
2 A Well, it was obvious to me that that was
3 the vacancy that was the superintendent's way to
4 make a place to put Larry, by moving that principal
5 to a staff position.
6 Q But do you know why he was going to move
7 that person from Jinks other than your --
8 A My belief, that's the only reason, was to
9 make a place to put Larry.
10 Q When did you first hear that
11 Superintendent McCalister was considering
12 transferring Mr. Bolinger from Bay High?
13 A Well, I first knew that he was going to
14 transfer Mr. Bolinger to Jinks when I got the board
15 packet item for the June 28th, maybe, meeting. That
16 was the first time Jinks was mentioned as Larry's
17 possible placement.
18 Q Okay. But had you heard -- but you had
19 heard before then that Superintendent McCalister
20 intended to move Mr. Bolinger somewhere; is that
21 correct?
22 A Correct.
23 Q When did you first hear that
24 Mr. McCalister was considering sending Mr. Bolinger
25 somewhere other than Bay?
1 A I don't know.
2 Q Do you know if it was before the May 30th
3 meeting?
4 A No, it was not.
5 Q Mr. Danzey, did you receive any e-mails
6 from members of the public about the transfer of
7 Mr. Bolinger from Bay?
8 A Yes, ma'am.
9 Q Do you know if you received any e-mails
10 before the May 30th meeting --
11 A I'm sure I did.
12 Q -- received and read?
13 A Yeah, I'm sure that I did.
14 Q So you believe that you may have at least
15 got information from the public suggesting that they
16 had heard that Mr. McCalister intended to move
17 Mr. Bolinger; is that correct?
18 A Maybe a play on words, but I believe that
19 the community's -- or the e-mails was the
20 non-renewing of Larry at Bay High, not necessarily
21 the transfer of Larry to somewhere.
22 Q All right. So you had heard before the
23 May 30th meeting that there might be an intent not
24 to return Mr. Bolinger to Bay High; is that correct?
25 A I'm not sure of the date, but, yes.
1 Q Do you think that when you went into that
2 May 30th meeting, you had at least received some
3 information that he might not be recommended for
4 return to Bay High?
5 A Correct.
6 Q Do you know who you received that
7 information from?
8 A There were several e-mails from concerned
9 citizens.
10 Q Do you know if you received any phone
11 calls?
12 A Yes, I did.
13 Q Do you know who you received phone calls
14 from?
15 A Various people.
16 Q Can you tell me approximately how many?
17 A No, ma'am.
18 Q Did anyone come and visit you, talk to you
19 directly about it?
20 A Before May 30th?
21 Q For the time being, yes, before May 30th.
22 A I don't remember anybody coming to talk to
23 me, no.
24 Q Did you speak to Mr. Bolinger about his
25 possible -- the possibility he would not be
1 reassigned to Bay before the May 30th meeting?
2 A Yes.
3 Q And was that by phone or was that in
4 person?
5 A By phone.
6 Q What was the substance of the
7 conversation? What was said in that conversation?
8 A The phone conversation was Larry and, I
9 reckon, his shock that he was not going to be
10 renewed.
11 Q Do you remember approximately how many
12 days that was before the May 30th meeting?
13 A No, I don't.
14 Q Did he call you or did you call him?
15 A He called me.
16 Q Did Mr. Bolinger tell you how he learned
17 that he was not going to be reassigned to Bay?
18 A I don't remember his exact words, but it
19 was that he had recently had a meeting with the
20 superintendent and the superintendent told him he
21 was not going back to Bay.
22 Q Okay. Other than shock, do you remember
23 anything specific Mr. Bolinger said to you?
24 A Not that day, no, ma'am.
25 Q Now, did you have other meetings with
1 Mr. Bolinger between the May 30th and the June 28th
2 school board meeting?
3 A I wouldn't say we had a meeting. We've
4 seen each other out and had phone calls, but we
5 didn't have a meeting just to discuss that, no,
6 ma'am.
7 Q Okay. Did you have any phone calls to
8 discuss it?
9 A Probably, yes, ma'am.
10 Q Do you recall the substance of those phone
11 calls?
12 A I remember asking Mr. Bolinger if he knew
13 exactly why. I remember asking Mr. Bolinger if he
14 had done anything that I ought to know about that
15 would be wrong. And he did not give me any
16 reasons -- Mr. Bolinger did not give me any reasons
17 that he had done anything wrong. He was surprised,
18 as well.
19 Q Did Mr. Bolinger give you any explanation
20 of why he thought the superintendent was
21 recommending that he not --
22 A No, ma'am.
23 Q -- be returned?
24 A (Shakes head.)
25 Q So he said he had no idea?
1 A He was just surprised.
2 Q Did you have phone conversations with
3 members of the public about the possibility of
4 Mr. Bolinger not being returned to Bay High between
5 the May 28th -- I'm sorry, the May 30th and the
6 June 28th meetings?
7 A Yes, ma'am.
8 Q Do you remember approximately how many?
9 A No, ma'am.
10 Q And do you remember who you spoke to?
11 A I believe I talked to, other than counsel,
12 William Harrison. I believe I talked to Randall
13 McElheney. I talked to Carolyn Cramer. I'm sure
14 there are more, but I can't remember.
15 Q Okay. Who is William Harrison?
16 A He's a local attorney, Bay High business
17 partner.
18 Q And what did Mr. Harrison say? You say he
19 was an attorney. He's not an attorney representing
20 the school board.
21 A No. Pretty much the same as others,
22 disbelief, you know, that Bay High seemed to be
23 going in the right direction. And he's a business
24 partner there, has done a lot for Bay High, and he
25 was just kind of surprised, as some of the rest of
1 us, that there was going to be a change -- or a
2 possible change.
3 Q What about Randall McElheney?
4 A Same reason.
5 Q What about Carolyn Cramer?
6 A Different reason.
7 Q What did she say to you?
8 A She was more concerned over the placement
9 of some red chairs that she had given Bay High, and
10 Larry had moved them somewhere she didn't like.
11 Q Did you discuss the possible move of
12 Mr. Bolinger to Jinks?
13 A No.
14 Q So the phone call that she made with you
15 really didn't relate to the transfer of Mr. Bolinger
16 to Jinks?
17 A No, it related to his non-renewal.
18 Q And did she give any other reason other
19 than these red chairs?
20 A Evidently she and Larry didn't see eye to
21 eye, but that was the main reason that she voiced.
22 Q Who is Carolyn Cramer?
23 A In the past, a Bay High supporter, had
24 children go through Bay High, community member.
25 Q Do you remember any others besides
1 Mr. Harrison, Mr. McElheney and Ms. Cramer that you
2 spoke to?
3 A I know that there were more, but I don't
4 remember specifically names.
5 Q Were these all telephone calls?
6 A Yes, but I also met Mr. McElheney in
7 person, as well.
8 Q And that was, again --
9 A And Mr. Harrison, yeah.
10 Q -- Randall McElheney?
11 A Yeah, and Mr. Harrison, yes.
12 Q And what was the nature of that meeting?
13 Did they -- did they -- first, did they ask to come
14 and meet with you?
15 A Yes.
16 Q And what did they say when they came and
17 met with you?
18 A Both of those gentlemen had been big Bay
19 High supporters, for instance, like cleaning up the
20 campus, those kind of things, helping with those
21 kind of endeavors as business partners. And the
22 gist was that they were concerned about a change
23 because Bay High, in their mind, as well as mine,
24 was moving in the right direction. And they were
25 displeased, as I was, with an apparent possible
1 change in leadership.
2 Q Other than their concern of change and
3 their displeasure about a change in leadership, did
4 they mention anything specific to you about the
5 reasons why you should not support the recommended
6 transfer?
7 A No.
8 Q Did they speculate on the reasons why they
9 thought Superintendent McCalister was recommending
10 to transfer?
11 A No.
12 MS. CHUMBLER: This is the same memo.
13 I'll have that marked as Exhibit 3.
14 (Petitioner's Exhibit Number 3 marked for
15 identification.)
17 Q Mr. Danzey, I'm going to hand you a
18 document we marked as Exhibit 3, and ask if you can
19 identify it, please.
20 A Yes, ma'am, I recognize the memo.
21 Q Could you tell me what it is, please?
22 A It's Franklin Harrison's memo to board
23 members concerning certain Florida statutes and
24 school board policies.
25 Q Do you remember when you received that?
1 A Well, it's dated the 26th, so sometime
2 between the 26th and the next school board meeting.
3 Q Which would have been the June 28th school
4 board meeting?
5 A Yes, ma'am.
6 Q Mr. Danzey, do you have any opinions of
7 your own as to why Mr. McCalister recommended the
8 transfer to -- of Mr. Bolinger to Jinks Middle
9 School?
10 A I have no idea.
11 Q And has anyone suggested to you reasons
12 for the transfer?
13 A Members of the community have had their
14 opinions that they have told me, yes.
15 Q And what have they said?
16 A Some have said that evidently Larry didn't
17 do what the superintendent wanted. Some have said
18 that the superintendent was trying to protect Kathy
19 Barr's position.
20 Q Who is Kathy Barr?
21 A She was an employee at Bay High.
22 Q In what position?
23 A Magnet coordinator.
24 Q Okay.
25 A Some have said it was an effort to protect
1 a job of a guy named Dave Browning.
2 Q And who was he?
3 A An employee at Bay High.
4 Q In what position?
5 A I'm not sure.
6 Q David Browning?
7 A I think that's right.
8 Q Anything else?
9 A Well, the public is full of opinions, some
10 say it's just the personalities between the
11 superintendent and Mr. Bolinger.
12 Q Anything else?
13 A I don't think so.
14 Q Are you aware of facts to support any of
15 these reasons that have been suggested?
16 A Well, there are facts that Mrs. Barr left
17 Bay High.
18 Q And she was the magnet coordinator?
19 A Yes.
20 Q Okay.
21 A There are facts that Mr. Browning was
22 transferred or took a transfer.
23 Q Where did he take a transfer to?
24 A I don't remember.
25 Q Did that transfer have to be at least
1 approved by the superintendent?
2 A Yes.
3 Q Did Ms. Barr leave the school system
4 altogether?
5 A I believe she took leave.
6 Q Anything else?
7 A I don't think so.
8 MS. CHUMBLER: I don't have anything
9 further.
11 MR. HARRISON: Do you have any questions?
12 MR. MEYER: I have no questions.
15 Q Mr. Danzey, do you recall having a
16 conversation with Mr. McCalister regarding the
17 transfer of Mr. Bolinger from Merritt Brown Middle
18 School to Bay High School?
19 A Yes.
20 Q And was there any discussion in that
21 conversation regarding -- tell us what you know
22 about that discussion.
23 A If my memory serves me correct, the
24 superintendent called me and was kind of floating
25 the idea, if you will, those are my terms, of moving
1 Mr. Bolinger to Bay High. I remember telling
2 Mr. McCalister that I thought that was a good idea,
3 that Larry had done well, whatever he was assigned
4 to do, and I thought he was up to the challenge of
5 Bay High and encouraged Mr. McCalister to call Larry
6 and see if he was willing to go, and subsequently he
7 did.
8 Q Was there any discussion about turning
9 around Bay High or the length of time or anything
10 like that?
11 A I believe that Mr. Mac and I had a
12 conversation that there was room for improvement at
13 Bay High, and that something needed to be done so
14 that they did not continue to be a D school or
15 worse, and that Mr. Bolinger had the skills to do
16 that. And I believe I remember Mr. McCalister and I
17 talking, that it -- to do that, it would take
18 multiple years. Any time you turn around a
19 battleship, it takes time.
20 Q Were you left with any impressions
21 regarding Mr. Bolinger's stay or time of stay at Bay
22 High as a result of that conversation?
23 A I made the assumption that he would be
24 there for multiple years.
25 MR. HARRISON: That's all I have.
1 MS. CHUMBLER: Just one follow up.
4 Q During that conversation that Mr. Harrison
5 just asked you about, did Mr. McCalister tell you
6 that he was making any commitment to keep
7 Mr. Bolinger at Bay for multiple years?
8 A I don't believe he said, "I'm going to
9 offer Larry a multi-year contract," no, ma'am.
10 Q Did he suggest to you that he was going to
11 make any kind of assurance to Mr. Bolinger that he
12 would remain at Bay for multiple years?
13 A My assumption that he would -- that Larry
14 would be at Bay High for multiple years was based on
15 the conversation that Mac and I had, that it would
16 take multiple years to make Bay High gain more
17 points in the FCAT scoring, and so I made that
18 assumption, that that meant that Larry would be
19 there for more than one year.
20 Q So that was a conclusion that you drew; is
21 that correct?
22 A Correct.
23 MS. CHUMBLER: I have nothing further.

Rohan --------------------

1 Deposition of Thelma Rohan
2 October 23, 2006
5 the witness herein, being first duly sworn, was
6 examined and testified as follows:
9 Q. Is it Rowan or Rohan?
10 A. Rohan.
11 Q. Ms. Rohan, have you ever been deposed
12 before?
13 A. Yes, ma'am.
14 Q. And you've probably heard these
15 instructions before, but if I -- if you don't
16 understand a question, just please ask me to
17 restate.
18 The most important thing is that the court
19 reporter accurately get down your answer and my
20 question. So it's, therefore, also important that
21 you understand my question.
22 A. Okay.
23 Q. Could you give me your name and address
24 for the record, please?
25 A. Thelma Rohan, 239 South Cove Terrace

1 Drive, Panama City.
2 Q. And you are currently a member of the Bay
3 County School Board?
4 A. Yes, ma'am, district 3.
5 Q. How long have you served?
6 A. Finishing an eighth year, two terms.
7 Q. During your term on the school board, has
8 any superintendent ever recommended that a school
9 principal be transferred?
10 A. Yes.
11 Q. Approximately, how many times?
12 A. I have -- several, but I couldn't give you
13 an exact number.
14 Q. Would you say more than eight?
15 A. Yes.
16 Q. And since you've been on the school board
17 for eight years, is it my understanding that you
18 also served on the school board during the term of
19 the previous superintendent?
20 A. Yes.
21 Q. And would that have been Mr. Bolinger?
22 A. Yes, it would.
23 Q. When Mr. Bolinger was superintendent, were
24 there times when he recommended the transfer of a
25 principal?

1 A. I can't remember. I can't remember
2 specifics, but I'm sure he did.
3 Q. Okay. With the exception of the transfer
4 of Mr. Bolinger from Bay High to Jinks Middle
5 School, have you -- since you've been on the school
6 board, has there been an occasion when the school
7 board has rejected a recommendation to transfer a
8 principal?
9 A. Not a principal.
10 Q. Okay. Have there been occasions when the
11 school board has rejected the transfer of some other
12 administrator?
13 A. Transferring -- well, an administrator,
14 no.
15 Q. Has there been an occasion when the school
16 board has rejected the transfer of any employee of
17 the school district?
18 A. Yes.
19 Q. What was -- who was that and --
20 A. He was a plumbing instructor at Haney, and
21 I don't know -- I can't remember what his name is.
22 Q. And what was the transfer recommendation?
23 Where was that person -- was it a man?
24 A. It was a man.
25 Q. And where was he and where was he to be

1 transferred to?
2 A. He was at Haney and he was to be
3 transferred to -- oh, gosh -- he was to be fired.
4 He was to be removed. He wasn't to be transferred.
5 I'm sorry.
6 Q. Okay. Do you remember when that was?
7 A. It was either to New Horizons or to be
8 fired.
9 Q. What is New Horizons?
10 A. It's an alternative school that's right
11 across the street from Haney.
12 Q. Do you remember when that was?
13 A. That was when Mr. McCalister was in his
14 second or third year, so that would have been --
15 what year would that have been? 2002, maybe.
16 Q. And what were the reasons for rejecting
17 that recommendation?
18 A. We, the board, thought that it was an
19 unfair thing, since the man -- we didn't know all
20 the details at the time, and the man had served for
21 28 years in the school district, we got no details
22 of why he needed to be moved, and so we were siding
23 with the man because we thought it was an unfair
24 move.
25 Q. Were there any other reasons stated for

1 rejecting that recommendation other than it was
2 unfair?
3 A. No.
4 Q. Can you think of any other occasions when
5 a transfer has been rejected by the school board?
6 A. I know I said two at the time that we were
7 discussing this at the school board meeting, but
8 I -- right now I can't, but if I think about it
9 later, I'll --
10 Q. So you think there was another occasion?
11 A. I think there was another one, and I can't
12 remember what it was.
13 Q. Do you remember approximately when?
14 A. It was before 2002.
15 Q. So would that have been before
16 Mr. McCalister became superintendent?
17 A. It was Mr. McCalister. I remember saying
18 at the meeting that I have knowledge of two that we
19 rejected in the eight years that I've been on the
20 board with him as superintendent.
21 Q. Okay. And these were both recommendations
22 for transfer, you think, or any kind of
23 recommendation?
24 A. They were for transfer.
25 Q. Do you remember what the reason was for

1 the other transfer being rejected?
2 A. No, I can't remember the details of the
3 person nor the details of --
4 Q. Ms. Rohan, you voted to reject the
5 superintendent's recommendation to transfer
6 Mr. Bolinger to Jinks Middle School; is that
7 correct?
8 A. That's correct.
9 Q. Can you tell me all of your reasons for
10 voting that way?
11 A. Primarily, I thought that this was an
12 unfair, unjust, unprofessional decision that would
13 do harm to the school.
14 Q. Okay. Let's talk about each one of those.
15 What were the facts that led you to believe that it
16 was unfair?
17 A. When the superintendent asked us to
18 support his decision to place Mr. Bolinger at Bay
19 High School, he led me to believe, pretty
20 concretely, that Mr. Bolinger had leeway to do what
21 he needed to do to straighten out the situation at
22 Bay High School. And no time limits were put on
23 this. He said he wanted it straightened out.
24 In thinking over the situation and
25 following conversations during the decision time and

1 afterwards, it was clear that -- to me, it sounded
2 to me like -- and it was stated by other people that
3 this would be Mr. Bolinger's last move. It would be
4 a -- at least the remainder, which would have been
5 four years of service at Bay High, to take care of a
6 situation, knowing that it was a serious problem and
7 that it would take more than a year, more than --
8 who knew how much time it would take, but at least
9 Mr. Bolinger had four years left on his DROP, and
10 that it probably would take that long.
11 If after four years it wasn't taken care
12 of, even Mr. Bolinger said it would be time to get
13 rid of him, because he thought four years would
14 be -- he could do it in four years.
15 Q. Now, did Mr. McCalister say those things
16 that you've just repeated as reasons?
17 A. Mr. McCalister didn't put any time limit
18 on it to me.
19 Q. Did he -- by saying any time limit, did he
20 say that he was making a commitment to keep
21 Mr. Bolinger there for more than a year?
22 A. No, he didn't -- he didn't give me that
23 information. He just said, Mr. Bolinger needs to do
24 whatever he can to straighten this situation out.
25 Q. Did someone tell you that Mr. McCalister

1 had made a commitment to keep Mr. Bolinger at Bay
2 for more than a year?
3 A. In talking to Mr. Bolinger, I said, do you
4 have -- has he committed to you, that you're going
5 to have enough time to do this? We had a
6 conversation from -- a long-distance conversation on
7 it right after Mr. McCalister talked, and
8 Mr. Bolinger said, I haven't decided yet, but if I
9 need the time, I think I've got it, the four years
10 left.
11 I said, you know, Larry, you're going to
12 be moving from a secure place up there, Merritt
13 Brown, are you going to be able to do it?
14 He said, I've got a pretty good promise
15 to -- four years is going to be the end of my DROP
16 and this will be my last move, so, yeah, I think I
17 can do it.
18 So, yes, Mr. Bolinger said that he had the
19 commitment from the superintendent.
20 Q. So you're saying Mr. Bolinger told you
21 that he had a commitment from the superintendent to
22 keep him at Bay for four years?
23 A. Yes.
24 Q. Did he tell you that Mr. McCalister
25 actually said that or that's what he thought

1 Mr. McCalister meant?
2 A. He thought that's what Mr. McCalister
3 meant.
4 Q. Do you recall when Mr. McCalister ever
5 came to the school board and asked for authority to
6 give Mr. Bolinger more than a one-year contract?
7 A. He did not.
8 Q. Were you aware that Mr. Bolinger only had
9 a one-year contract?
10 A. Being an annual contract, yes, that's what
11 I assumed, and found out later, yes, that was the
12 fact.
13 Q. Are there any other reasons why -- or any
14 other facts that support your conclusion that it was
15 unfair to move Mr. Bolinger to Jinks Middle School?
16 A. I thought it was unfair to the students at
17 Bay High. I thought it was unfair to the staff at
18 Bay High that was working hard with Mr. Bolinger.
19 Q. Does that go along with your conclusion it
20 would do harm to the school?
21 A. Yes.
22 Q. What are the facts to support your
23 conclusion that it was unfair to the students at Bay
24 High?
25 A. To go through another transition, they

1 lost the one principal, they were -- they were
2 struggling. The school had been struggling for many
3 years. All five of my children went to Bay High,
4 and I have watched it since 1980 -- since the late
5 '80s. It's been a very devastating experience to
6 watch children get poor leadership from an
7 administrator and to go and try to make things
8 happen correctly and to be shunned, to be -- to
9 watch children, your own children get picked on by
10 the administrator that doesn't want you to get
11 involved to straighten things out, it was a -- it
12 really was pretty overwhelming, probably the main
13 reason that I ran for school board.
14 Q. You're talking about the person that was a
15 principal at Bay before Mr. Bolinger?
16 A. Before. And so knowing that history of
17 Bay High being so poorly run when somebody came in
18 that was on the spot, doing the job, straightening
19 out curriculum, being a positive role model for
20 students, being a cohesive leader in the school,
21 putting things together that were making children
22 feel good about themselves, putting things together
23 that were making teachers work together well,
24 everybody would have suffered, in my opinion, if
25 this administrator had been moved at such an early

1 time. You need time to make changes happen --
2 Q. Is it your -- I'm sorry.
3 A. -- that are so overwhelming.
4 Q. Is it your understanding that everyone at
5 Bay High, all staff at Bay High, supported
6 Mr. Bolinger?
7 A. No.
8 Q. Is it your understanding that all students
9 at Bay High supported Mr. Bolinger?
10 A. No.
11 Q. Is it your understanding that all parents
12 supported Mr. Bolinger?
13 A. No.
14 Q. Do you have any reason to believe that
15 Mr. Bolinger is the only instructional person or
16 administrator who could be a good leader at Bay
17 High?
18 A. Under the circumstances at the time, I
19 think that he was probably the only one in this
20 county that could have come in and done the job that
21 Mr. McCalister asked him to do.
22 Q. Why do you confine it to this county?
23 A. Because that's the only choice we had.
24 Q. Is there a reason that a principal
25 couldn't be hired from outside of Bay County?

1 A. Absolutely not.
2 Q. So there could have been someone brought
3 in from outside of Bay County?
4 A. Sure.
5 Q. Do you have any reason to believe that if
6 you look outside of the boundaries of Bay County,
7 that there might be someone else out there who could
8 have been a good leader at Bay High?
9 A. I'm sure there could have been. We
10 weren't given that choice. This dropped out of the
11 sky.
12 Q. Do you know who Mr. McCalister had in mind
13 to fill the principalship at Bay High?
14 MR. HARRISON: Which period of time are we
15 talking about?
16 MS. CHUMBLER: Talking about in the summer
17 of 2006.
18 MR. HARRISON: This most recent time?
22 Q. Okay. Was there anything else related
23 to -- any other facts relating to your conclusion
24 that moving Mr. Bolinger would have harmed Bay High?
25 A. I can't think of anything I haven't

1 covered.
2 Q. Okay. What about -- you said that you had
3 all so voted to reject the recommendation because it
4 was unjust. Any other facts relating to that
5 conclusion?
6 A. Well, the injustice of it was moving --
7 giving a man a promise to support him, move from
8 where you are in your comfort zone, come over here,
9 take on a job that's multiple times harder than what
10 you're dealing with, and do what you need to do, but
11 what parameters are being sidestepped, you know?
12 Are we saying do it on my terms only? When you say
13 to somebody, do what you have to do to get it done,
14 and then you come in six months later and say, oh, I
15 didn't tell you one of the parameters was don't
16 do -- and I don't even know what it is, we haven't
17 been given the information as to why the man was
18 moved -- or recommended to be moved.
19 Q. Okay.
20 A. So, you know, if you tell somebody to do
21 something, give him -- give him the space, give him
22 the time, give him everything he needs, don't strip
23 it away without even a warning or -- I don't know if
24 he had a warning or not, without justification to
25 him and to the rest of the school.

1 Q. Is it your view -- and I'm trying to make
2 sure I understand what your answer is. Is it your
3 view that Mr. McCalister should have simply let
4 Mr. Bolinger alone to do what he thought was best
5 for Bay High?
6 A. That is essentially the impression he gave
7 me in June of whatever that year was.
8 Q. 2005?
9 A. Was it '5?
10 Q. Are you talking about when he moved
11 Mr. Bolinger to Bay High?
12 A. Yes.
13 Q. If we can agree, that was in the summer of
14 2005.
15 A. Okay.
16 Q. And what did Mr. McCalister say that led
17 you to believe that he was simply going to leave
18 Mr. Bolinger alone to do what he needed to do?
19 A. Because he said so.
20 Q. He said --
21 A. He said, I am giving Larry what -- the
22 space he needs to take care of this problem.
23 Q. Did you ask him to explain what he meant
24 by that?
25 A. No, I didn't. I assumed we were talking

1 about the same thing.
2 Q. Anything else supporting your conclusion
3 that you think it was unjust?
4 A. No, I don't think so.
5 Q. You also mentioned that you thought it was
6 unprofessional. What were the facts supporting your
7 conclusion it was unprofessional?
8 A. When one professional administrator talks
9 to another one and gives him direction and a promise
10 and an assignment, and then, as Mr. Brock said,
11 pulls the rug out from under their feet, I think
12 that's an unprofessional activity. I think that's
13 an action that is inexcusable if there is absolutely
14 no explanation given as to why.
15 Q. But you don't know what Mr. McCalister's
16 reasons for making the decision he made were, do
17 you?
18 A. No, I don't. I asked him several times.
19 We had a little game going on in his office when he
20 said -- you don't know why I moved this
21 administrator, do you? And we just continued on a
22 little game. And he said, I don't need to tell you
23 any reason that I ever move an administrator.
24 Q. Ms. Rohan, what profession are you in?
25 What's your job outside of being on the school

1 board?
2 A. I serve as an office administrator at my
3 husband's orthopedic office.
4 Q. Are there employees that report to you?
5 A. Yes.
6 Q. Are you the person that has the hiring and
7 firing responsibility over that person, or is it
8 your husband?
9 A. My husband does that.
10 Q. Okay. And in his job as the person who is
11 the ultimate boss in his office with responsibility
12 over employees, is it important for him to be able
13 to reassign employees as he feels it's necessary for
14 the best interests of the office?
15 A. Yes, it is. We do jointly -- we discuss a
16 lot before he hires and before he fires. So it's
17 not just an autocratic position that he sets down.
18 Q. But is it ultimately his responsibility?
19 A. Yes.
20 Q. And that's because he is the person who
21 has the responsibility of the personnel functions in
22 that office?
23 A. Hiring and firing.
24 Q. Okay.
25 A. He doesn't do the everyday maintenance,

1 but he does hiring and firing.
2 Q. Okay. Do you know of any requirement that
3 the school superintendent give an explanation for
4 the personnel moves that he recommends?
5 A. I'm sorry?
6 Q. Do you know of any requirement that the
7 superintendent give an explanation for the personnel
8 moves that he recommends to the school board?
9 MR. HARRISON: Object to the form of the
10 question, insofar as it calls for a legal
11 conclusion.
12 MS. CHUMBLER: You can answer, if you
13 know.
14 THE WITNESS: I don't know.
15 MS. CHUMBLER: Okay. Thank you.
17 Q. Are you familiar with the school
18 district's manual of policies?
19 A. Yes.
20 Q. Do you know if there is anything in that
21 policy manual that requires the superintendent to
22 give an explanation when he makes a recommendation
23 regarding personnel moves?
24 A. No.
25 Q. Are there any other reasons that we

1 haven't discussed yet that you voted to reject the
2 superintendent's recommendation to transfer
3 Mr. Bolinger to Jinks Middle School?
4 A. I think those were the main ones that I
5 decided on that day. I just thought -- I think it's
6 a -- the moral issue of an unwritten contract, a
7 verbal contract, you're as good as your word, as I
8 said at the board meeting.
9 Q. Is that the most important reason for you,
10 your understanding of a verbal contract?
11 A. To be honest with each other?
12 Q. Was that your -- was the fact that you
13 believe there to be a verbal contract?
14 A. The most -- the most important was
15 probably the welfare of the school. Next in line I
16 would consider it to be the individual's integrity
17 being maintained, the individual being Mr. Bolinger.
18 Q. What facts do you have to support a
19 conclusion that if another principal was assigned at
20 Bay High, that it would necessarily be an adverse
21 effect at Bay High?
22 A. I don't believe I said it would be an
23 adverse effect. I said this was the best possible
24 match that I considered.
25 Q. Okay.

1 A. Somebody else wouldn't necessarily be
2 adverse -- adversely affecting the school. Is that
3 what you mean?
4 Q. Let me restate the question again.
5 A. Okay.
6 Q. Is it your belief that there would
7 necessarily be an adverse effect on the school if a
8 new principal was assigned?
9 A. A new principal assigned is a different
10 thing than removing one that was in the process of
11 correcting the problems.
12 Q. Well, I mean, is it your understanding
13 that if Mr. Bolinger was moved, there would be a new
14 principal assigned at Bay High School?
15 A. Yes.
16 Q. And is it your belief that that new
17 principal would be unable to prevent adverse effects
18 at Bay High School?
19 A. I think any transition stage in a big --
20 in an institution like that creates a certain amount
21 of time that adverse things are happening. Progress
22 is slowed down. Unity is divided. The whole
23 climate changes. You know, it's -- it might not be
24 severely adverse, but it is -- different areas of
25 the school are affected in different ways. And so,

1 yes, I think any change -- any change that is sudden
2 and not planned -- if it's a retirement, you
3 probably have planned on the next stages, but this
4 was dropped out of the sky, as I said, and it was --
5 I think it would have been pretty devastating to the
6 school so quickly after --
7 Q. Had you -- had there been principals
8 transferred to high schools or new principals
9 assigned at high schools during your eight years
10 with the school board?
11 A. Yes.
12 Q. And had that happened at a different time
13 of the year than the summer -- early summer?
14 A. I can't remember any of them except the
15 summer.
16 Q. So generally --
17 A. Regular hiring time.
18 Q. Generally summer is when those personnel
19 changes were made?
20 A. Right -- well, actually, they would have
21 been like -- what is it, 30 days before -- there is
22 some time period in there. I can't remember the
23 law. But there's a regular time when the
24 appointments are made for the administrators.
25 Q. And that regular time period is within the

1 summer months at some point?
2 A. Correct.
3 Q. Do you remember what time of year it was
4 when Mr. McCalister announced that he was going to
5 move Mr. Bolinger from Merritt Brown to Bay High?
6 A. It was in June.
7 Q. June of 2005?
8 A. Right.
9 Q. Was there an adverse effect when
10 Mr. Bolinger was put in as a new principal at Bay
11 High?
12 A. For the people that didn't like his
13 leadership style, yes.
14 Q. Okay. Well --
15 A. For the people who were surprised that it
16 happened, for the ones that wanted the old principal
17 to stay, yes, that was pretty adverse.
18 Q. And wouldn't that be the same if a new
19 principal came in, the people that liked Mr.
20 Bolinger might be adversely affected --
21 A. Sure.
22 Q. -- the people that didn't wouldn't be?
23 A. Sure.
24 Q. What about the students, were the students
25 adversely affected when Mr. Bolinger was transferred

1 to Bay High in July of 2005?
2 A. I can't imagine any students being
3 adversely affected. They might not have liked the
4 new set of rules that they saw, the new
5 expectations, the level of expectations. When you
6 get used to having free rein, it's hard to sometimes
7 be brought back into reality.
8 Q. Would you characterize Mr. Bolinger as
9 being a strong disciplinarian?
10 A. I think he's strong, but fair.
11 Q. Strong, but fair disciplinarian?
12 A. Uh-huh.
13 Q. And would you regard his -- that
14 characteristic about him to be one of his talents as
15 a school administrator?
16 A. Probably so, yes, ma'am.
17 Q. Do you have any reason to believe that
18 there isn't a principal that could be assigned at
19 Bay High School that would have at least no more of
20 an adverse effect on students than occurred when
21 Mr. Bolinger was sent there?
22 A. It's a little bit of a -- would you ask
23 that again?
24 Q. I'll try. Do you have any reason to
25 believe that there is no principal who could be

1 transferred to Bay High who would have no less
2 adverse effect on students than when --
3 MR. HARRISON: I'm not following.
4 MS. CHUMBLER: You don't like that
5 question either.
6 MR. HARRISON: I'm not following. I think
7 she already testified that there was not an
8 adverse effect.
10 Q. My question is, do you have a reason to
11 believe that another principal transferred to Bay
12 High would have -- necessarily have an adverse
13 effect on students?
14 A. I'm sorry.
15 MR. HARRISON: Is this 2006?
16 MS. CHUMBLER: Whenever.
17 THE WITNESS: No less of an adverse
18 effect?
19 MS. CHUMBLER: Right.
20 THE WITNESS: Is that what you're saying?
21 MS. CHUMBLER: Right.
22 THE WITNESS: I think Mr. Bolinger was
23 probably the best principal that could have
24 been put in that school in that situation.

1 Q. You're talking about the summer of 2005?
2 A. From Bay County.
3 Q. And, again, not confining ourselves to Bay
4 County, do you have facts on which you would base
5 the conclusion that there is no one else that could
6 be put at Bay High without there being an adverse
7 effect on students?
8 A. Nobody that was presented to us. We only
9 had one choice that summer.
10 Q. I'm talking about this summer.
11 A. This summer?
12 Q. Yes.
13 A. '06?
14 Q. Yes.
15 A. In Bay County, I think the best
16 principal --
17 Q. No.
18 A. I don't know all the possible people that
19 could come that could serve as principal. I have no
20 way of answering that question.
21 Q. Okay.
22 A. There are unknowns out there that probably
23 have magnificent talent --
24 Q. Okay.
25 A. -- absolutely, but I don't know them.

1 They haven't been given as a choice.
2 Q. In your experience, has the assignment of
3 a new principal to a high school always resulted in
4 disruption of operations?
5 A. As I said before, I think there is always
6 a group of people that could be affected by a
7 personality difference if they're used to doing it
8 one way. People are -- they don't like change,
9 people hate change, all people do.
10 Q. Okay.
11 A. And when they have to change their way of
12 managing their classroom or their way of discipline,
13 yeah, that -- it's some amount of adversity, but
14 it's not overwhelming in most cases, especially if
15 you see a good principal who has mentored another
16 assistant principal and that assistant gets to come
17 in as the principal, then that's a totally different
18 level of change, you know. And people are
19 comfortable with that.
20 Q. That's not what happened when Mr. Bolinger
21 went to Bay High; is that correct?
22 A. Oh, I think --
23 Q. He wasn't the assistant principal at Bay
24 High?
25 A. That's correct, he was not. He was the

1 principal at Merritt Brown Middle School.
2 Q. Okay. So there was -- if I understand
3 your answer correctly, is it true that there was
4 some measure of disruption when Mr. Bolinger was
5 assigned to Bay High?
6 A. Yes.
7 Q. Do you -- is it your belief that if
8 Mr. Bolinger were transferred to Jinks and another
9 principal were assigned to Bay High, that student
10 achievement at Bay High would be adversely affected?
11 A. If it happened today or if it happened
12 during the summer, when are you talking about this
13 happening?
14 Q. Whenever, at any time.
15 A. Student achievement probably is not going
16 to be affected nearly as much as the climate of the
17 school, as the process of doing it, as having to
18 turn things around, having to change directions,
19 those are the kind of things that are adversely
20 affected.
21 Students manage to survive in roles that
22 sometimes are very horrible, you know. But if it's
23 a level of comfort that these students have while
24 they're trying to accomplish this, I don't know what
25 degree the student accomplishment might happen. I

1 just know that if you're comfortable doing
2 something, if you feel supported doing something, if
3 you have an environment of positive activity going
4 on, you're probably going to do better, maybe it's
5 only 1 point better, but it's probably going to be
6 better.
7 Q. And do you know whether there -- another
8 principal could create the same kind of environment?
9 A. Of course another principal could.
10 Q. Are you aware of any hiring freeze that
11 was in effect during the summer of 2006 in the
12 school district?
13 A. Yes, we suddenly got this memo that there
14 was a hiring freeze, and it was like a little rumor
15 going around, that there was a hiring freeze. And
16 so I asked Sharon Smith, our secretary, if we could
17 get a memo from Ann Smith, and she sent us a memo
18 that, yes, there was a hiring freeze.
19 Q. Do you know what the date of that memo
20 was?
21 A. No, ma'am, I don't.
22 Q. Do you know when you received it?
23 A. I don't, I don't know the date, no.
24 Q. Was it during the summer of 2006?
25 A. Yes.

1 Q. So it would have been in June or after
2 June?
3 A. After June.
4 Q. July?
5 A. Yes. It was close to school starting. It
6 was close to school starting, and it was distressing
7 everyone.
8 MS. CHUMBLER: Can we go off the record a
9 second?
10 (Discussion held off the record.)
12 Q. Again, just to make sure -- I'm making
13 sure I get a complete picture of all your reasons,
14 are there any other reasons that we haven't
15 discussed yet this morning for your vote to reject
16 the recommendation?
17 A. I can't think of any more -- really, I
18 guess, I need to put on record that I really do
19 morally believe that people should take care of each
20 other. I'm not saying that if somebody is doing the
21 wrong thing, take care of them, because it's a
22 good-old-boy system, because I detest that. But if
23 somebody has been given a job to do and they have
24 been somehow circumvented -- circumvent the effort
25 that has been expected unbeknownst to this person or

1 even changing the direction that you gave them at
2 the beginning of the process, then that's just
3 totally unfair.
4 Q. Do you --
5 A. And that's a strong belief of mine.
6 Q. Do you believe that Mr. McCalister at some
7 point during the 2005, 2006 school year circumvented
8 Mr. Bolinger's work at Bay?
9 A. Yes, I do.
10 Q. And what is the basis for that belief?
11 A. Well, when I was asked to help support the
12 school and the principal that was there, I had made
13 an effort to get over to the school a lot, and I
14 talked to the teachers, I talked to the kids, I
15 talked to the principals, the assistant principal,
16 the main principal, the AAs, I talked to them a lot,
17 and there were just -- there were parts of it that
18 were getting more and more difficult to straighten
19 out.
20 Q. Specifically, tell me what you mean.
21 A. Specifically, I mean people who had been
22 really allowed to do their own thing with very
23 little direction from the principal were expecting
24 to be left alone, and particularly the magnet
25 program. And so when you try to rein in people who

1 have -- as I said before, people who have been
2 allowed to run free suddenly expected to do the job
3 that they were hired to do, it got more difficult.
4 I don't know why it got more difficult.
5 Q. So let me make sure I understand. Are you
6 saying that the people involved in the magnet
7 program were unhappy with Mr. Bolinger, or were they
8 unhappy with Superintendent McCalister, or were they
9 just generally unhappy?
10 A. I suspect they were generally unhappy.
11 Q. Okay. So --
12 A. But I don't know.
13 Q. How do you tie that back to Mr. McCalister
14 circumventing Mr. Bolinger?
15 A. Well, I was told, we're trying to get the
16 magnet program straightened out, it's a big part of
17 our school, we're meeting a lot of resistance.
18 People don't necessarily want to do what they're
19 expected to do.
20 Q. Who told you this?
21 A. Teachers and principals.
22 Q. Teachers and -- meaning Mr. Bolinger and
23 others?
24 A. Mr. Bolinger and other administrators at
25 the school.

1 Q. Okay.
2 A. And teachers.
3 Q. And what did they tell you they were
4 trying to do with the magnet program when they said
5 straighten it out? Did they explain what they meant
6 by straighten it out?
7 A. Well, the magnet students were being
8 directed to go into too many magnet classes, making
9 it impossible for some of them to even meet their
10 graduation requirements. They had lots of credit
11 hours, but they didn't have the right credit hours
12 to graduate. And so when you have students in 12th
13 grade and they don't have enough of their core
14 courses to be able to graduate, you have some pretty
15 hot parents that come around and say, what the heck
16 is going on? Who has allowed this to happen and why
17 is it going on?
18 And so getting to the bottom of that
19 question, getting to the answer, you find that it
20 was a group of people that weren't directing the
21 kids in the right way. That ultimately falls on the
22 principal. And so you have to get that issue
23 straightened out, because when you have second
24 semester seniors that can't graduate, parents are
25 really angry. And who do they get angry at? They

1 get angry at the principal. Straighten it out,
2 Mr. Principal.
3 Q. And, again, how do you tie that back to
4 Mr. McCalister circumventing Mr. Bolinger?
5 A. When the magnet coordinator was addressed,
6 I actually was there the day that the principal and
7 assistant principal had addressed the magnet
8 coordinator, and I just happened to walk in the
9 afternoon after the conference had happened, and the
10 magnet coordinator had walked off the campus,
11 surprised everyone.
12 Q. So you say the magnet coordinator was
13 addressed by -- what do you mean he or she was
14 addressed by?
15 A. By the principal and the assistant
16 principal, to try to straighten this kind of
17 guidance out.
18 Q. Okay.
19 A. To get the students' class schedule
20 straight so they can graduate. Which is really the
21 prime reason that we have high school students, to
22 try to finish school in four years with the right
23 credits and the right classes. And this was
24 happening more often than the principals wanted it
25 to happen.

1 Q. Okay. But, again, I'm still trying to get
2 back to how Superintendent McCalister circumvented
3 Mr. Bolinger. You said the magnet coordinator
4 walked off campus.
5 A. I was told that there was a lot of support
6 for the magnet coordinator, friends that live in the
7 Cove with me --
8 Q. Uh-huh.
9 A. -- which I've -- were starting to
10 complain, that I was helping Mr. Bolinger work
11 against their friend, who was the magnet
12 coordinator.
13 Q. Again --
14 A. That became a personal thing.
15 Mr. Bolinger was being directed by -- I suspect the
16 superintendent.
17 Q. Mr. Bolinger was being directed to do what
18 by the superintendent?
19 A. To back off.
20 Q. To back off of the magnet coordinator?
21 A. Uh-huh.
22 Q. And who told you that?
23 A. People in the school who had, I guess,
24 either witnessed the climate -- the feel of things
25 that was going on.

1 Q. Do you know if any of these people had
2 been privy or had witnessed any conversation between
3 Mr. Bolinger and Mr. McCalister?
4 A. I don't know that.
5 Q. Did any of them tell you that they had
6 witnessed a conversation between Mr. Bolinger and
7 Mr. McCalister?
8 A. No.
9 Q. Is there anything else that leads you to
10 the conclusion that Mr. McCalister was circumventing
11 Mr. Bolinger at Bay High?
12 A. No.
13 Q. Is there anything else that leads you to
14 believe that Mr. McCalister was somehow undermining
15 the work of Mr. Bolinger at Bay High?
16 A. Other than that, no.
17 Q. To your knowledge, was Mr. Bolinger a good
18 principal at Merritt Brown Middle School?
19 A. Yes, he was.
20 Q. Do you have any reason to believe that he
21 wouldn't be a good principal at Jinks Middle School?
22 A. No.
23 Q. When did you first hear that
24 Superintendent McCalister intended to recommend
25 transferring Mr. Bolinger from Bay to Jinks?

1 A. In May of 2006.
2 Q. Would it have been before the May 30th
3 school board meeting?
4 A. No.
5 Q. So was it at the May 30th -- was that the
6 first time you heard of it, was at the May 30th
7 school board hearing?
8 A. I actually heard about it the second day.
9 I was in Europe when this happened. I heard about
10 it via e-mails and newspaper clippings that I picked
11 up online.
12 Q. Did you have access to your e-mail when
13 you were in Europe?
14 A. Yes, ma'am.
15 Q. Did you read your e-mails when you were in
16 Europe?
17 A. Yes, ma'am.
18 Q. Do you know if you received any e-mails
19 before the May 30th meeting about rumors that --
20 A. No.
21 Q. -- Mr. Bolinger was going to be
22 transferred?
23 A. I did not.
24 MR. HARRISON: You didn't receive them or
25 you didn't read them?

1 THE WITNESS: Well, I didn't read them.
3 Q. Did you read -- by received -- let me be
4 perfectly clear. By received, I meant you actually
5 physically received them, not necessarily that your
6 computer received them.
7 A. Oh, physically -- the computer was the
8 only way. I didn't bother to call.
9 Q. But you were checking your e-mail
10 periodically while you were in Europe?
11 A. Right.
12 Q. And, to your knowledge, other e-mails that
13 were sent while you were over there, you received
14 and you read them, correct?
15 A. Correct.
16 Q. Okay.
17 A. And I didn't respond to any e-mails until
18 Sharon said call me. Because she has never asked me
19 to call in the six years she's been our secretary,
20 so I knew it must have been serious.
21 Q. Did you -- between the May 30th meeting
22 and the June 28th meeting, did you speak to
23 Mr. Bolinger directly about the possible
24 recommendation that he was going to be
25 transferred -- that he be transferred to Jinks

1 Middle School?
2 A. I can't remember specifically, but I'm
3 sure I did. I mean, I can't recall back a day and
4 say I sat down with Mr. Bolinger and we had a long
5 conversation. No, I can't remember.
6 Q. So you don't remember -- do you remember
7 having had a conversation with him about the
8 recommendation that he be transferred?
9 A. This was a pretty frenzied time, you know.
10 There was lot of conversations going on. A specific
11 one that I had with Mr. Bolinger, no, ma'am, I can't
12 remember, I truly can't.
13 Q. Do you remember any general conversations
14 with Mr. Bolinger?
15 A. I visited the school probably weekly, and
16 conversations become -- in a year's process, that
17 becomes one conversation, actually.
18 Q. Do you recall having talked to him about
19 the transfer to Jinks Middle School, though?
20 A. My issue wasn't so much the Jinks Middle
21 School transfer, it was the fact that he was being
22 dumped out of Bay High School.
23 Q. Did you take the needs of Jinks Middle
24 School into consideration when you rejected the
25 recommendation that he be transferred to that

1 school?
2 A. I probably could be quoted as having said
3 Jinks would be a better school if Larry was there,
4 but do we need to move him from Bay to make Jinks a
5 better school, I think I remember saying that.
6 Q. But to answer my question, and let me
7 repeat it. Did you take the needs of Jinks Middle
8 School into consideration when you voted to reject
9 the transfer of Mr. Bolinger to Jinks Middle School?
10 A. I think every school board member would
11 consider the needs of every school when an
12 administrator is being recommended. So, yes, that
13 probably crossed my mind. But robbing Peter to pay
14 Paul is not the way I like to solve problems.
15 Q. Well, are there needs at Jinks Middle
16 School that you believe Mr. Bolinger would be able
17 to fill?
18 A. Absolutely.
19 Q. Did you speak to any other school board
20 members about the possible transfer of Mr. Bolinger
21 between the May 30th and June 28th meeting?
22 A. They're on record at school board
23 meetings. We -- we're a pretty good group in
24 following Sunshine Laws, and that was something we
25 would have to vote on. So if I spoke to them, it

1 would have been at a school board meeting.
2 MS. CHUMBLER: Ask her to identify that,
3 Franklin.
4 COURT REPORTER: Thank you.
6 Q. Ms. Rohan, I've just handed you a
7 document, which, when you finish looking at it, we
8 could have marked as Exhibit 1. And after you've
9 had a chance to look at it, I ask you to tell me
10 whether you recognize that document.
11 A. It is a document that we got from our
12 attorney, Mr. Franklin Harrison.
13 Q. And you received that document?
14 A. Yes, I did.
15 Q. Did you receive it prior to the June 28th,
16 2006, school board meeting?
17 A. I don't know when I got it. It's dated
18 June 26th, so, yes, I assume I got it before the
19 June 28th meeting.
20 Q. Give me just a minute. We may be just
21 about done.
22 (Petitioner's Exhibit Number 1 marked for
23 identification.)
24 MS. CHUMBLER: Okay. I have no other
25 questions. Thank you.

1 MR. MEYER: I have no questions.
2 THE WITNESS: Thank you.
3 MR. HARRISON: I have just one.
6 Q. You said, as I understood your testimony,
7 Ms. Rohan, that moving Larry Bolinger to Bay High in
8 the 2005 -- summer of 2005, that in and of itself
9 would have a disruptive effect on the school, on Bay
10 High. Did I understand you to say that?
11 A. No, I said it would possibly have a
12 disruptive effect on certain people who might not
13 like his leadership style. That's what I meant, if
14 I said it, it would have a disruptive --
15 Q. Are you saying it would have a good or a
16 bad disruptive effect? I mean, can disruption be
17 good or bad?
18 A. It can be both.
19 Q. Would this have been a good disruptive or
20 a bad disruptive effect, as you see it?
21 A. If he had been able to change the climate
22 of those people -- change the climate of the
23 department that did not think that they were going
24 to be able to get along with him, it would have been
25 a negative disruption. But if he was able to change

1 the climate of those people and turning it into
2 something positive and constructive and productive,
3 then it would be a good thing. It would be a good
4 disruption. Disruption is not always a negative.
5 MR. HARRISON: That's all the questions I
6 have.

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