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Goree asserts she did not jeopardize accreditation

BOE member says colleagues dislike her ‘outspoken’ nature

— Clayton County Board of Education member Jessie Goree said Wednesday that she may not hesitate to speak her mind, but it doesn’t make her a villain.

The school system’s accrediting agency, the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, and its parent organization, AdvancEd, expressed concerns this week about possible micromanagement by board members in a letter to district officials. The letter also cited “much conflict” between board members.

School Board Chairperson Pamela Adamson indicated Tuesday that outspoken board member Jessie Goree might be at the center of SACS’ new concerns. But, Goree said she has done nothing but look out for the interests of Clayton County residents and students.

“I may be outspoken, but I’m the one always pulling out the SACS mandates and saying we need to follow the mandates during board meetings,” said Goree. “We need to hold the superintendent accountable, and because I wanted to do that for the citizens, that — in essence — is apparently a problem.”

Clayton County Public Schools is finding its accreditation in jeopardy for the third time in less than a decade at perhaps the worst possible time. The school board is preparing to launch a search for a new school superintendent. Controversial outgoing Superintendent Edmond Heatley resigned a month ago to pursue a failed bid to become the superintendent of schools in Berkeley, Calif.

Retired school system administrator Luvenia Jackson will be sworn in Monday morning as the district’s interim superintendent.

The school board is still in the early stages of deciding how it wants to search for a superintendent, and how it will include citizen input. SACS told district officials in its letter that an outside search firm should be used to find a schools chief.

“There is no evidence that the current Board of Education has the skills and experience to conduct such a search without professional assistance and guidance,” Mark Elgart, the president of SACS and AdvancEd, wrote in the letter.

The Sept. 24 warning letter from SACS caught some board members by surprise, but Adamson said it wasn’t a shock to her.

“We have tried to maintain order, but we’ve been having trouble doing that,” said Adamson.

She argued Wednesday that she did not identify Goree in an interview she gave Tuesday to Clayton News Daily, where she pointed the finger of blame at a single board member whom she said was difficult to control.

During the Tuesday interview, though, she all but said Goree’s name when she described the board member in question by talking about all of the sanctions issued against the individual — sanctions which, cumulatively, have only been levied against Goree.

When Adamson was asked during the interview if she was talking about Goree, she did not deny it. Instead, she told a reporter “you know who I mean."

Comments

Lunchman 2 years ago

I have been at the meetings and Ms. Goree is outspoken for the right thing to do! She is trying to hold Dr. Heatley accountable and I am glad she tried to do it. She is the only one who really cares about her district and especially the children. I wish we had more board memebers with her convictions. Dr. Heatley would keep everyone so confused with all the double talk and slyness yet Ms. Goree when trying to keep him on target she is the one who got sanctioned. Ms. Goree keep to you convictions and you will see the rewards Ms. Adamson should be sanctioned for even pointing a finger of trouble at anyone or anything on the board, now by doing this she is showing she is not much of a leader?!

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FedupClaycoteacher 2 years ago

I applaud Jessie Goree for not being one of Heatley's minions. Mrs. Goree chose to voice her concerns and opinions instead of blindly agreeing with Heatley. Mrs. Goree spoke for the people of Clayton county when she voiced concerns about transportation changes. Mrs. Goree spoke for the teachers when she voiced concerns about a new personnel policy. I can name many other instances in which she showed concern not only for the students, but for the stakeholders, including the teachers. Mrs. Goree need not be removed from the board. We need more members like her.

Mrs. Adamson, you should be ashamed of yourself. You and other board members (you know to whom I'm referring), have blindly voted with Heatley on many issues that have alienated teachers, parents, and other stakeholders. You have tried to silence a voice simply because that voice does not believe agree with you at all times. Step back and take a look at what's really going on.

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nikster75 2 years ago

I am completely OUTRAGED by this article!! I can not believe that Madam Chairperson, Pamela Adamson, had the UNMITIGATED GALL to state that Ms. Jessie Goree might be at the center of SACS' new concerns!!! I dare she, and many other board members, try to throw Ms. Goree under the bus like this; in which all of the board members are on with Heatley at the helm. Clayton County Public Schools Board of Education's mantra, that they want all of us to buy into, is that "It's All About the Kids"......well, if it's all about the kids, then why are we trying to black ball the ONLY board member that has been trying to make a change for the students, parents, and community here in Clayton County. Ms. Goree fights for us at board meetings, she attends PTA meetings for all of the grade levels in her district, she attends sporting events, and many, many other events that are happening in our community. She's always visible, concerned, caring, and diligent about what she sets forth to do. I have NEVER seen any of these other board members attend a fraction of the events that she has attended. It's imperative for all of the parents of Clayton County to show their support for one of the few people that are on our side and has our children's best interest at heart. For Ms. Goree, it is "ALL ABOUT THE KIDS"!! I advise each and every one of you to do your research and look at your own district and district leaders to see what's really going on. Ms. Goree has my full support and I pray that this calculated attempt to cast doubt over who she truly is, does not run her away. If anything, this should open all of our eyes to see which members must be voted out EXPEDITIOUSLY!! After all, it is "ALL ABOUT THE KIDS"........I digress........

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james171 2 years ago

Jessie Goree is not the problem! She is what is right about the BOE. If Pam Adamson wants to blame someone, she needs to blame herself for any dissension. After all, she is the one who had conducted herself in a rude and unprofessional manner with regard to Ms. Goree. Pam is the one who has tried to sweep under the carpet everything amd amything that Heatley has done. For those of us who know the real Pam Adamson, we are not surprised by her misbehavior. Pam has always backed the person in power and then, once that person is gone, she badmouths the person and backs another in power. That is Pam Adamson's MO and has been for decades!

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katie721 2 years ago

Shame on Pam Adamson for blindly supporting Heatley. After all, Pam is the one who is responsible for Heatley coming to Clayton County. Pam is the one who for as long as I and others have known her back to her teaching days in the school system has always, and I mean always, backed the wrong horse (She backed Lovin, She backed Hairston, She backed Colwell, etc.). Pam is for Pam and will sell Ms. Goree downstream and not bat an eyelash if she has an opportunity to do so. I just hope that Pam has not misused her power and her so-called relationship with SACS to do the system more harm.

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OscarKnight 2 years ago

.......It might wise for the supporters, of Jessie Goree , to write letters and petition SACS to back off.

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Draykster 2 years ago

What???????????? Jessie Goree is indeed outspoken but she really just says the things many of us wish we had the courage to say. From where I sit, she does all that she can for the betterment of our schools, our county, and our children and need not defend any of her actions. I am, and will continue to be a Jessie Goree fan.

SMH... I'm literally shaking my head as I type this message... Per Oscar Knight's suggestion, I'll definitely be wrting SACS to get them to back off. They have gone too far, and need to sit down somewhere....

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katie721 2 years ago

I, too, have written SACS to let them know that the real problem is Pam Adamson and her high and mighty attitude, not Jessie Goree, who is getting the blame because she went against Pam Adamson and tried to hold Heatley accountable for his actions. Someone on the BOE had to stick up for the employees and the students, for Pam Adamson and Heatley, who were joined at the hip, were not going to support either the employees or the students. Pam was for Heatley and did not realize that she, too, was being used by that egomaniac. Pam has never been able to read the tea leaves accurately, for backing Heatley is certainly not her first professional mistake. Heatley is gone now, hopefully forever. Now, we just need to get rid of Pam. Maybe Jessie Goree can be our new BOE chairperson! I do not trust Pam Adamson and am very suspicious of her motives and involvement with SACS. I really hope that Pam did not take it upon herself to notify SACS in an effort to get rid of Jessie.

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