Teachers, administrators and even an assistant superintendent spoke out Thursday in support of Plainfield High School Principal Willie Worley, asking the school board to retain him as principal.
Speakers praised Worley's intense attention to student needs and his ability to calm even the angriest parent who came to his door. One praised him for having "great character," while another called him "a great leader." They asked to board to bring him back for the next school year.
Shirley Johnson Tucker, the district's assistant superintendent for Educational Services, said she has seen people come and seen people go, but she said, "Mr. Worley is a jewel."
Late in the meeting, applause rang out as the board approved a "walk-on" resolution for Worley's appointment as an administrative staff member in Educational Services.
Other walk-on items not on the printed agenda included a resolution for Daniel Cone to manage the Plainfield Public Schools Athletic Department from July 1 until the appointment of a director. The board approved it, with Cone's compensation was not to exceed $2,500. Another one was for a $400,000 capital project to create a digital media production center in the vacant property at 1700-1800 West Front Street. That is the part of the property acquired earlier this year for $1 from the Schools Development Authority.
Items on the published agenda passed, including one to pay Dan Williamson $78.80 per hour as a Human Resources consultant from July 1 until Oct. 30, not to exceed $35,000. Williamson, formerly the city's corporation counsel and later executive director of the Plainfield Municipal Utilities Authority, had been serving the district in the same role previously.
Note: The vote was 7-2, with Emily Morgan, Terrence Bellamy, Lynn Anderson, John Campbell, Carletta Jeffers, David Rutherford and Richard Wyatt voting "yes" and Carmencita Pile and Dorien Hurtt voting "no."
In remarks at the beginning of the meeting, Schools Superintendent Anna Belin-Pyles said meetings will soon be televised on Comcast Channel 97 and district officials are in talks with Verizon about airing meetings on cable. Board President Emily Morgan announced the state Department of Education rejection of another proposed charter school in Plainfield, partly due to district letters to the DOE saying the city does not need another charter school. There are four charter schools in Union County, according to the DOE website, all of which are in Plainfield.