Parents ask board to reinstate Thomas Jefferson Classical Academy headmaster
Inside a packed auditorium at Thomas Jefferson Classical Academy in Mooresboro, parent Tom Carpenter pulled no punches when it came to demands to the school board after headmaster Joe Maimone unexpectedly resigned.
"The first thing you should do is re-instate Joe Maimone," said Carpenter. "The second thing you should do is resign your positions on the board."
The crowd of more than 100 parents and teachers, all with connections to Maimone and the charter school, erupted into applause.
"This is a man that founded the school," said another parent. "Without him, TJ (the school) wouldn't exist."
"There's no transparency," another parent stated during two hours of public speaking addressing the board. "No response to questions as to why actions were taken."
Parents accused the classical charter school's board of secrecy and allege its members forced out the school's founder and former headmaster over differences in long-term visions for the school and its academic programs.
"He is this school," said another parent. "Do the right thing and correct your wrong."
"We want Joe Maimone back!" another parent said as cheers erupted again.
Board chairman Ray Maxwell said, due to legal reason's surrounding personnel moves, he couldn't comment on Maimone's resignation. But, he said, Maimone left voluntarily. Maxwell, without naming anyone, said there had been pressure on the board to appoint business owners to the board. But, Maxwell said, the board refused, thinking parents should be on the board, representing the school and its mission to educate.
As for the news of Maimone's resignation, Maxwell apologized for not letting parents know sooner, stating the school could have sent out a mass email notification.
"We recognize mistakes were made sharing information with you," said Maxwell.
However, he and the board made no comments that indicated they would consider bringing back Maimone, who founded the school 19 years ago.