ONLY ON 3: Teachers say pay, opportunity have them following former NHHS principal to Georgia

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Submitted: Sat, 05/17/2014 - 3:47am
Updated: Sat, 05/17/2014 - 11:26pm

WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — Former New Hanover High School principal Todd Finn is leading a new high school in Georgia, and his staff this fall will have many familiar faces.

Finn has hired six former colleagues currently teaching in New Hanover County and nearly a dozen more from North Carolina. So why are they following him to the Peach State?

Some critics say former Finn is poaching his old school, but teachers leaving North Carolina to join Finn in Georgia say that could not be farther from the truth.

“I’m not an egg, nor am I an elephant, so I can’t be poached,” New Hanover High School Science Department Chair Michelle Huffman said. “I am an adult, and I make adult decisions for my family.”

Huffman says the decision she and her husband made to follow Finn to Hampton High School in Henry County, GA, was an easy one.

“I would be making a huge mistake, and my husband would be making a huge mistake to walk away from this opportunity,” she said.

She’s one of 18 educators, including Finn, leaving the state for Hampton. Another, Jonathan Perry, who currently commutes from his home in Fayetteville to teach special ed at New Hanover High because he admired Finn after working with him before, says he does not want to leave. He says he’s being pushed out.

“My children were born in North Carolina. I really don’t want to leave North Carolina,” Perry said. “That is not what I wanted to do, but the opportunity was such that if I’m gonna do better for my family and as a man, I have to go.”

Perry says he’s an educator, and he can do simple math. Even a promotion in North Carolina would be a loss compared to teaching at Hampton.

“It’s almost a $17,000 pay increase for me to go from North Carolina to Georgia,” he said.

Money’s not the only reason. Some teachers we spoke with said they believe in Finn’s educational philosophy.

Finn says some members of the New Hanover County School Board did not like his style.

“Wilmington called me the polarizer, but down here, I’m the personalizer,” he said.

And personally he’d like to see more of his former colleagues follow his lead.

“I’ll tell you what: a year from now, I’ve got my eye on some science teachers, and I’ve got my eye on some math teachers that we really want to go up and see if we can bring them to Georgia as well,” Finn said.

Finn is also hiring two former New Hanover colleagues who now teach in Onslow County.

Before coming to Wilmington, Finn was principal at West Bladen High School, but he says he did not have any luck getting teachers to leave that school.


  • 100%teacher says:

    You nailed it. A former/retired teacher who looks back to the good old days and believes that education worked then so it should work now. What Steve Lee doesn’t get is that students today are not what they were five or even ten years ago. Students need to be taught by creative teachers who are supported by an administration who understand how students learn the most effectively. I can see Steve Lee know lecturing for half the class and then handing out worksheets to each student to work on in class. Mr. Finn understands that education has changed and is going to lead Hampton High School so that it is the beacon on the hill so to speak. If you polled every student Mr. Finn has taught when he was in the classroom or led a an administrator the results would be a landslide. Steve Lee I doubt many of your students remember who you are or what you even taught.

  • Old Guy says:

    Good riddance to bad rubbish! They are all a bunch of cry babies anyway. I say pay raise for ALL state employees not just the teachers. ALL state employees have not had a raise in seven years and should be paid better and also receive back pay and raised to where they should be. Teachers are no more important than anyone else in our community! Do your job and if you don’t like it I’m sure we can find someone else to do your job for you. ALL public servants is exactly what it means serve the public. Be good citizens, pay your taxes and be nice to one another.

  • Sara says:

    Sorry to bust your bubble; Mr. Lee taught me Advanced English in 1995 & I certainly remember him.

  • Fodd Tinn says:

    U ask me to follow
    U are the decider
    No opinion but one. Please
    Tell me what to think, and
    Understand — I am hopeless without U.

  • first-time guest says:

    Steve Lee: Since you were an English teacher allow me the pleasure of spelling something out for anybody who has the grotesque misfortune of reading your comments.

    You. Never. Worked. For. Todd. Finn. Ever.

    So the next time I need to undergo heart surgery from someone who’s not a cardiologist, I’ll be sure to give you a call. In the meantime, stick to things you know like running a fledgling coffee shop and being a cancerous malcontent.

    Congratulations. You were a forgettable teacher then, and you are a monumental clown now.

    “Steve Lee – Engaging in buffoonery with anything New Hanover High School related since 1996.”

  • StrengthInNumbers says:

    The faculty photo taken on the lawn in front of New Hanover High School in the fall of 2011 reveals the faces of 143 educators. Educators who eagerly awaited their first paycheck. Strike that. Educators who eagerly awaited meeting their new students and who eagerly waited to hear more about the “new” vision for New Hanover.

    “Six” former colleagues from New Hanover are allegedly following Finn to Georgia. Of the six, three were Finn followers (read: Finn is having no luck getting any MORE teachers to leave West Bladen). In 2011, they were yet to be hired at New Hanover. Of the six, three are pictured in the 2011 photo. Of the three, two left to pursue other jobs (Onslow County) before the end of the 2011-2012 school year (technically leaving Onslow rather than Hanover). Of the three who were pictured that year, one is still employed by New Hanover County Schools. ONE.

    Of the 143 educators in the photo, 54 others left New Hanover. What are they doing? Not following Finn.

    Did 54 educators with an average of 15 years experience each leave because of Mr. Finn’s ideas? No. It can be said that Finn has some great ideas (he could sell the idea of raising taxes to Republicans). Did they leave because they don’t put children first? Come on, have you seen the paychecks? Did they leave because money was more important than all else? At least 18 made lateral moves in North Carolina (in the county or to a county nearby) to continue doing what they love – shaping the minds of our children. Did they leave because they feared the children? Teachers? Please. Did they leave because they couldn’t work with a new administration? The current principal was here when some of them started.


    Did they leave because of a single issue? A grudge? A chip on the shoulder of the man who would be king? Did they leave because they had the gall to stand up for what they believed in even if it meant disagreeing with the almighty Finn? Did they leave because disagreeing meant the end of personal contact with their principal (and the rest of the administration)? A simple disagreement? We can still work together, right?

    Did they leave because they believed they could find an administration that would honor the relationship above the narcissistic belief that one mind has all the answers? Did they leave because they were the umteenth person guaranteed the same money to pursue their classroom dreams only to find the money was promised to someone else? (Spent.) Did they leave because they were sick and tired of being sick and tired? Did they leave because grades EARNED by students were “officially changed on transcripts” months after the class had ended… without so much as an acknowledgement? Did they leave because they could no longer help the children if they couldn’t help themselves?

    Did they leave because their movements were being scrutinized by the man who spent hours watching video recordings of the FACULTY? Did they leave because the “open door” of the administrative office in a PUBLIC school was locked? (Access Denied.) Did they leave because of the window tint which was placed on the same office? Or the sign on the door that said the office was closed – day after day? Did they leave because they were told not to put mail in each others’ mail boxes? (All mail must be delivered by an administrative assistant.)

    Did they leave because they were looking to shake hands and move on, but all they found was a clenched fist?

    Did they leave because they now understood the “new” vision for New Hanover?

    54 to 1. Ball’s in your court, “George.”

  • 100%teacher says:

    Steve Lee at no time in his career obtained a degree in School Administration. Steve Lee has never served in the capacity of a school administrator or in the office of a superintendent. Therefore,Steve Lee does not have the credentials or the training to access the job performance of a principal at any school let along a principal he has never worked for. I can think of know other adjective that fits him better than clown. Kudos to a well thought out response to an ignorant post.

  • Cothran Harris says:

    With all due respect, your argument is flawed. Your agreement is based on the assumption that Steve Lee is a is an ineffective and uninspiring teacher, which couldn’t be further from the truth. As a former student of Steve Lee and a 2013 graduate of NHHS, I have experienced both the teaching of Steve Lee and the tenure of Mr. Finn. Steve Lee was one of the most memorable teachers for me at New Hanover. The lessons he taught us on effective communication and expressing ourselves were invaluable. Outside of the general curriculum, I still apply the proverbs he taught in that class daily. A perspective on life as fulfilling and unassuming as Steve Lee’s is something I strive for every day.

    As for Mr. Finn, he oozed charisma and reenergized the school. He increased school pride and school spirit. However, power corrupts. He used his power to push his agenda for the school, even though many disagreed with his view. He attempted to weaken the esteemed Lyceum program so his own “Apollo Academy” could gain traction. His policies also created a toxic environment for teachers that did not share his agenda. Not mentioned in this article is the scores of teachers and administers who retired early or fled to other schools to escape this environment. While Mr. Finn was a fantastic orator and had some great ideas for the school, his abrasive personality prevented the views he had to come into fruition.

    After all things considered, I would say Steve Lee’s metaphor is spot on. Who is Steve Lee, by the way? I think I was taught by him, but I’ve forgotten everything he taught me. Students have changed. Clearly he doesn’t possess the ethos to comment on this matter.

  • Alexandria says:

    You sound dumb. I had Mr. Lee and I must say his class was one of the most educational and influential classes I’ve ever had in all my years of being a student. Mr. Finn was my principal my senior at NHHS and it was the best year of all my high school years. He understands and identifies with his students. He’s not a robot that just sits behind a desk and commands things to happen. He interacts with his students, he’s not afraid to let his students explore their creativity. Students need interaction incoporated with authority. During his time at New Hanover supention rates dropped extremely, but that’s not talked about right? Yes teaching has changed and so are times. All the people commenting on this post wouldn’t know a positive educator from Adam or Eve because they’re so stuck in the past. Wake the hell up and realize that you wasting your time being angry and just accept the fact that these teachers have made their decision and in my opinion it’s the right one. You’re getting paid to do what you love in a fashion that you would love to do it. Not just waking up for a paycheck. Are y’all really mad because teachers are leaving or are you mad because someone has come in and changed your perfect little school system. He didn’t do what you all wanted and now you’re mad because people are actually behind what he stands for. And to the childish and petty teachers who hung his picture in the bathroom and put it on Facebook, grow the hell up. You’re worst than some of the students you call yourself teaching. You people kill me. Quick to judge but don’t stop to look at your own shit , which you don’t have together. Get a fucking grip and get over it.

  • Susan Arnold says:

    Why did this former principal send this “news” back to Wilmington? Ego? Good for his self esteem? Who cares? Why did he make a point to reach for NC teachers to go to GA? Ego? Good for his self esteem? Who cares? Move on Finn and quit taunting us. Grow up!

  • The Proletariat says:

    U gliness

    B egets

    U gliness

    N o

    T eacher left

    U nscathed

  • Todd Sham says:

    U nfortunately

    B ad administrators

    U rge

    N eophytes

    T o abandon

    U rbanity

  • first-time guest says:

    “Be careful with whom you attach your sails to” writes one poster. “Who cares about Todd Finn?” writes another. And lastly, this from another commenter: “You’re going to need that $17,000 and then some if you want to survive the jungle in GA.”

    Those statements are interesting, but let’s just look at some random facts in no particular order about North Carolina, Todd Finn, and even the city of Wilmington and New Hanover County.

    The fact is NC ranks 46th in the nation in teacher salary. It also ranks 49th in educational spending. Teachers haven’t had a raise in NC for what is going on seven years. NC pays its teachers $10,000 less than the national average. Average teacher pay has dropped 16% over a 10-year period when adjusted for inflation — worst in the nation. The latest bit of news concerning education in NC? A sanitation worker in Charlotte, with no bachelor’s degree, now makes more than a starting teacher in North Carolina. Not a teacher? Don’t worry. North Carolina’s got you covered as well with a state that ranks #41 in pollution, #43 in economy, and is ranked in the top 5 for states that do the least amount with taxpayer dollars.

    And as for Wilmington and New Hanover County? Where to begin? Let’s start with education and we’ll work our way from there. Your school board, which succeeds in making every superintendent it hires irrelevant, has gone through by last count at least 15 principals in roughly the last 10 years. New hires, re-hires, interims, you name it and the county has done it. That’s an average of nearly 4 principals per high school in 10 years.

    That leads us back to the question, “Who cares about Todd Finn?” As the dozen or so principals before him would likely say — “No one.” At least not in New Hanover County, where this school board makes even the Oakland Raiders, L.A. Clippers, or Cleveland Browns (insert nightmare pro sports team here) look like a bastion of stability. Sure sounds like a great school board to work for, doesn’t it?

    So let’s look at the numbers: Todd Finn leaves for the chance to open a new school built with a $40 million bond and backed by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, gets a $30,000 pay raise, and takes 18 educators from NC, including 6 from New Hanover County. The answer to the poster’s aforementioned question is quite simple: Georgia cares. And those in North Carolina, and in Wilmington, continue to allow these things to happen.

    Speaking of Wilmington — the place that seems to remind me of when you finally break up with someone and soon after wonder why you were ever with them in the first place. These are just some of the tidbits about the area: Road conditions are some of the worst in the state, gang violence escalating, highest auto accident rate in the state, nearly half the residents of Wilmington are renters, and not too long ago the city ranked 10th on a list of the drunkest cities in America. There’s more, but if you live there you already know about the traffic, the lack of good jobs, and the cost of living that is crippling a good portion of the area’s residents.

    I say congratulations to Todd Finn and any other person for that matter that chooses to better their lives elsewhere. As New Hanover County and North Carolina have painfully shown its residents, be careful with whom you attach your sails, indeed. And as for decision makers in Wilmington? The beaches and 8 minutes of air time in Iron Man 3 only get you so far. Try paying people wages that accurately reflect the area’s inflated cost of living, provide more than service industry jobs, get a handle on your gang violence, value education, and demand accountability from your school board.

    It’s a long to-do list, and quite frankly one I’m not sure Wilmington and/or North Carolina is prepared to tackle. Good luck.

  • Steve Lee says:

    Pied Piper as metaphor:

    1.a charismatic person who attracts followers that offers strong but delusive enticement
    3.a leader who makes irresponsible promises

    From-Merriam Webster definitions

  • guest wheat says:

    Congrats to all the teachers, that have decided to leave for a better opportunity. I am sure it was a difficult decision for some. It is disappointing as a resident of NC that our state does not value you the way other do. Great job govoner, keep it up!

  • Guest CommonTater says:

    So anybody that tries to do better for themselves and their family is “bad rubbish” and a “cry baby”? While I don’t disagree that there are deserving folks across the board as far as raises go this is a very childish thing to say about teachers, or ANYBODY looking to better themselves.

    You ever take a job for more money there “Stupid Old Man” or have you accepted min. wage all your life? Yea… thought so….

  • AJ says:

    Steve Lee taught my Creative Writing class in the spring of 2002.

  • George says:

    If these folks are following a pied piper, does that not make them mindless children or rats? I’d say that is an insult to teachers, Mr. Lee. Are you implying that 18 educators with masters and doctoral degrees fell under the spell of a pied piper? What promises are you aware of they this piper made, Mr. Lee? Perhaps, the promise of a 40 million dollars building, the backing of the Gates foundation, a higher paying state, and the chance to work with a man they actually like is promise enough? Perhaps Mr. Lee can expand on the promises he claims were made, as I’d be curious as to whether or not he has specific information to back his claim.

  • Guesteasy says:

    “Over the decade from 2001–02 to 2011–12, in
    constant dollars, average salaries for public
    school teachers changed -2.8 percent.

    Wyoming (18.4%), District of Columbia (14.4%),
    Massachusetts (14.1%), North Dakota (11.9%),
    and Montana (10.6%) had the largest real
    increases in salaries during that 10-year period.

    Thirty-two states saw real declines in average
    teacher salaries over those years, adjusting for
    inflation. Those with average salaries declining 5
    percent or more: North Carolina (-15.7%),
    Indiana (-10.1%), Illinois (-8.7%), Virginia
    (-8.7%), Michigan (-8.1%), Florida (-7.3%),
    South Carolina (-6.9%), Georgia (-5.9%),
    Washington (-5.9%), and Colorado (-5.5%)”

  • Get over it says:

    Seriously Steve Lee. I am tired of you fixating on Todd FInn. You are a disgruntled retired teacher who never even worked for Mr. Finn. Last I checked you were still burning coffee and living vicariously through the other individuals of who are not interested in seeing NHCS progress. Let’s look at the facts. The recent story regarding Mr. Finn was about what NC is not doing for its teachers and how that is forcing highly qualified educators to seek employment elsewhere. If NC does not watch itself this story will be the norm across the state. As for you and the “Finn haters”…well it has now been 6 months since his departure to a better opportunity. Why cant you and others let it go? Why cant you focus on what is important……our youth. They are the ones who will suffer unless the state decides to make a change. The only thing I can say…..I am grateful that educators like yourself are no longer in the system. Because people like you still don’t get it and I am not sure if you ever will.

  • Status Quo Failed says:

    Indeed it is a sad state of affairs when Steve Lee and his ilk – after having failed a generation of our children – can conspire to run off a dedicated educator with a passion for excellence and the energy and work ethic to move public education out of the ditch that Lee and his kind left it and frankly would rather keep it……as long as the Steve Lee’s of the world have exist, the future of public education in our country – certainly in our area – will be no better than ditch it sits today……it is indeed a sad state of affairs.

    What we have here is an epic failure of leadership… all levels of our system. A failure at the educator level in that the status quo is not only acceptable, but preferred. A failure at the Superintendent level by not provided the support and authority that progressive and innovative administrators with a passion for excellence require to succeed and in that the educators are empowered to believe that the status quo is not only acceptable but preferred. A failure at the Board level by not empowering and holding the the Superintendent to do the job for which he was hired as well as…..nevermind, it is useless. What young gifted administrator with is going to want to relocate his family to NHC after this debacle???? None….we stuck with what we have….thanks Mr. Lee

  • Old Guy says:

    Apparently you have the brain of a COMMON Tater! Through my life I had to yes take min. wage and unemployment but yes I have accepted jobs with lower pay for the satisfaction of peace of mind. You on the other hand sound like a money grubbing yuppie that went to college, got a degree and did nothing with it. Even all of the so called engineers at GE make mistakes and pretty much are stupid when it comes to common sense. This is something that you have no concept in! Just like your moniker “Common Tater”. Hah, hah, hah! You make me laugh out loud! Either love it or leave it!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Grits says:

    George? You write JUST LIKE MR. FINN!!!!!! Is that really you crazy Todd?

  • George says:

    Grits, although I appreciate the compliment, I would like for my opinion to be valued as much as you would, therefore passing my points and counterpoints off as those of this departed principal serves only to devalue my two cents. Inded this stand is to comment on the flight of teachers to GA, not a guessing game as to who is whom. I am certain your name probably isn’t Grits, If so, how unfortunate, and unhealthy. Carbs and butter are a recipe for disaster. If I were playing this game, I would guess that you are a teacher or former teacher who disliked Mr. Finn because he held you accountable, or as you would say, played favorites. In fact, your post sounds like that of a Mr. Finn hater, referring to him as “crazy Todd”. Therefore I assume you are one of the the 30 or so still gnashing their teeth that he and a large group of teachers escaped the draconian practices and principles unique to Wilmington public education and left you behind to feed off of each other. As for this topic, Grits, do you have an opinion or something of value to contribute?

  • One of the 143 says:

    Thank you. Well written and absolutely true.

  • SnarkmeisterGeneral says:

    So, o’matic, you’re telling me that there are no racism, crime or traffic problems in Wilmington? Or do you simply have some obnoxious compulsion to tell people critical of your precious podunk here to leave?

  • 211 says:

    I agree with o’matic. You’r welcome to join the exodus from this Podunk town to, if you like. Racism, crime, and traffic problems are not found in Wilmington, but all over the country. Maybe you don’t even live in ilm?

  • SnarkmeisterGeneral says:

    211, I live in and pay taxes here in “ilm” as you say. You have piqued my curiosity, though. Did your English teacher leave the area before finishing educating you or did you leave sixth grade when you turned eighteen??

  • Guest-o-matic says:

    …so allow mw to suggest the use of I-95N or I-40W. Both are generous and expeditious avenues of exit to destinations that may better suit your needs!

  • SnarkmeisterGeneral says:

    Absolutely, Timothy… it’s not cut and dried. Unfortunately I believe that the solution would be a more effective union representing teacher interests, but in this state that would be shoveling sand against the tide.

  • SnarkmeisterGeneral says:

    Amazing… the same interests that don’t want to give educators decent pay and working conditions NOW criticize a leader calling him a “poacher”… BALONEY. The teachers who have left have done what the right wing elements who own this state now want… they LEFT to work in better conditions for higher pay! Good for them. These Republican’t Conservatards who have stolen the government of this state are more senile than Reagan in his second term.

  • Greg Dail says:

    That’s a very bigoted and immature comment. I agree teacher pay should be higher, so why didn’t “Bev” bring it up to standard? The Democrats controlled both houses so there was no impediment there, so what happened?
    I think pay is only one issue. I think the constant testing and the paperwork and the vile, ill-mannered and sometimes dangerous students play a part as well. But sounding off about how the Republicans are solely to blame is ludicrous. Besides, everyone know it was Bush’s fault.

  • Timothy Turner says:

    Well if you care to point fingers and make it one party Vs. the other I’d say the Democrats constantly taxing and putting those $ to “Social Programs” left nothing for teacher pay.. It’s not that cut and dried though.

  • 100#teacher says:

    I currently have two weeks left to put my soul and heart into educating students in North Carolina. I have worked for years closely with Mr. Finn and feel blessed to be one of the 18 educators leaving North Carolina to be part of the Hampton High School family!!!

  • molly says:

    The NCGA doesn’t want us (teachers and the film industry) but GEORGIA does. Their Governor Nathan Deal is a REPUBLICAN also…so why does Pat McCrory want to kick us out?

    Could the Cathy Family {Pinewood Studios) be his motivation???

    North Carolina, once the jewel of the South is on a race to the bottom. Sad.

  • Vog46 says:

    If you paid attention to the legislative discussion regarding film incentives you would realize the support for film incentives in georgia is waning.
    NC was NEVER the jewel of the south when you consider teacher salaries and the state by no means wishes to kick teachers out.
    But like any other industry – when shortages of labor appear hard choices will have to be made and I suspect they will come through with better pay raises for teachers to attract them to NC. Right now, Georgia has a competitive advantage – that can and will change over time.
    The day is coming when NC will realize its mistakes, as will
    Georgia and others. My guess is that if, and its a big IF, NC does away with film incentives it may be a trigger for other GOP states to stand up and do the same.
    They are a give away that has no positive economic impact. Does Georgia benefit? We don’t know and CAN’T know because according to Georgia state law – state funded studies are government secrets and cannot be released. So film supporters cannot say they are benefitting Georgia and film detractors cannot say they’re a waste in Georgia BECAUSE WE DON’T KNOW.
    If fewer states have incentives but film company’s go where there are incentives then those states left giving out incentives will slowly realize these are bribes and nothing else.
    This in itself is HARMING the industry arguments in favor of incentives!


  • Don Smith says:

    Who really cares what Todd Finn is doing??? The educators who are leaving need to remember he will always lookout for himself. Too bad he doesn’t take the superintendent with him, since they were such big buddies before their falling out….I feel very sorry for the staff that he assembles in Georgia. All the “fresh new leaders” hired by the superintendent have all gone on to greener pastures……good riddance!

  • George says:

    Obviously you care. You watched or read the story, logged in and made a comment. You hate this man, and feel passionate about spreading that hatred. When you read the story again, you will see that the story isn’t about Mr. Finn. It is about a large group of teachers moving to his new school. His favor or lack thereof with Dr. Markley has little to do with anything. As for Dr. Baldwin and Dr. Bowen, they both left for higher and better paying positions as well. Since when are folks indentured servants to the people of Wilmington? If you did not like your working conditions, would you not feel empowered to leave as well? You obviously represent those who did not like or agree with any of Markley’s hires, especially Finn, which on some level proves that their leadership wasn’t welcomed here either. All three school leaders were recognized as talented for what they did here, and hired away from Wilmington, which leads me to believe that perhaps Dr. Markley does, indeed recognize talent. However, his board of education is unable to support the leaders he chooses, and we lose them to communities who will. The solution, to folks like you, is to hire only those from New Hanover County who will recycle old and traditional ideas and maintain the education system we are accustomed to. Meanwhile, the rest of the nation passes us by, recruits our teachers, and we are stuck with the leftovers. Welcome to the minor leagues of education.

  • Monkey Junction says:

    Best of luck to those teachers leaving NC. It is a shame our teaching salaries do not match the surrounding states. Many teachers are leaving for Virginia, Georgia and other states where the compensation is much higher.

    Be careful with whom you attach your sails. Mr. Finn seems the type to wear out his welcome within 2-3 years. How many times has he left or been asked to leave a school? It is one thing to come into a new situation, change things, and move on to another job. It is quite another to build a stable educational community where all students and faculty are valued.

  • George says:

    I’d say the teachers who are leaving are educated adults. Therefore, it is reasonable to state that they made educated decisions for their careers and their families and didn’t hitch their sails to anyone. You may not like Mr. Finn, and you are among many who didn’t but many of us did, and our numbers are many as well. As for his propensity to move on quickly, is that not his right as a worker in America? Is he legally obligated to remain in a place where he was not welcomed? The man spent a year in one school, did a great job, and was hired at New Hanover. After 2 1/2 years of dealing with a questionable school board and a lame duck superintendent, he probably had enough. Did he want out? Probably. Did they want him out? Definitely. He questioned them, stood up to them, and made their lives difficult. He was selected to lead a brand new school for probably more money and a lot more say in how things are done. Why in the world would he ever stay in a place where he was not wanted? As for Georgia, will he stay there longer? Who knows? That isn’t the story. What is the story is that NC lost 18 educators directly to a guy we used to have right here in our city, and we had better take a long hard look at what we are not doing before we lose any more. Best of luck to Mr. Finn, and to the 18 brave teachers who followed their hearts, and may you find the support for your vision in GA that you did not have in our school system.

  • Former Teacher says:

    No one can blame any teacher in this state for looking for better pay and working conditions. The General Assembly is doing everything they can do to make working conditions miserable and a teacher’s work is not rewarded with a salary high enough to support a family or purchase a home in this area. These are not the first teachers to seek employment in another state. Many near the Virginia state line are crossing that border and being rewarded for doing so. When I speak to college students who want to major in Education in our colleges and universities they tell me they will get their education here, but then will leave to find jobs elsewhere. We have an aging teacher population and many will be retiring in the coming years. We will need good, highly qualified teachers to replace them. Where will they come from? There will be no incentives for our students to stay here.

  • taxpayer says:

    Where was your outrage regarding compensation while you were a teacher? I find it humorous that teacher compensation is such a problem now that Republicans are in control. Is it because the Democrats kept you and other teachers muzzled?

  • missing nc says:

    I moved to GA. 2 years ago and now I am moving back to NC. Racism in GA. is like being in the 1960’s. The crime is horrible. The traffic is horrendous. Atlanta is spreading into the suburbs and brings all the crime with it. You’re going to need that extra 17,000 and then some if you want survive the jungle in GA. Just don’t burn any bridges when you leave you might need to cross them again.

  • SnarkmeisterGeneral says:

    Racism, horrible crime and horrendous traffic… sounds a lot like Wilmington.

  • seriously says:

    When did they say anything about republicans. Teachers were complaining about the lack of pay raises from the Dems. However they have been straight up under attack under the current administration!

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