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Nealon transferred to teaching position at Middle School

The last official act of the current King George School Board at its final meeting of the year was a personnel action that included reassigning Supervisor of Special Services J. Patrick Nealon from the School Board office to a teaching position at the middle school for learning disabled students, with no downgrade in pay.

The word around the division for the last two weeks has been that Nealon would be “gone” by January. He’s been a magnet for increasing criticism over his five years in

King George that the division has employed tactics to delay and deny services to some students with special needs under his watch.

A lot of that criticism was borne out in January of this year, when the Virginia Department of Education (VDOE) formally cited the division in eight areas for noncompliance with federal regulations regarding provision of special education services to eligible students with disabilities, some of it found to be “systemic.”
There have also been numerous individual complaints to the state from parents verified as “founded,” including some for release of private student information protected by federal privacy laws, apparently due to careless record-keeping by Nealon’s staff.

Nealon’s transfer action took place without comment from School Board members, following a closed meeting session to discuss personnel. It was the last public action by Renee Parker, Dennis Paulsen and Lynn Pardee as members of the School Board and was unanimous, with Mike Rose and Rick Randall all voting in the affirmative.
Prior to the closed-door session, they all said farewell to each other and Superintendent Candace Brown, who is retiring.

THREE POSITIONS, THREE TRANSFERS
Nealon’s transfer will become effective on Jan. 4.

But that’s not the only transfer that was made by the School Board on Monday, Dec. 12.

Two others were also involved in related transfers that are steps up the ladder for them, at least temporarily, with all three set to go into effect when everybody comes back to school following the Christmas break.

Ann Bueche, one of King George High School’s two assistant principals, will take on Nealon’s current position as interim supervisor of special education.

Shelby Latney, a special education teacher and department chair at the middle school will be transferred to the high school to fill in Bueche’s current position, as interim assistant principal.

So, it’s like musical chairs, but all three get seats, along with two-percent raises that go into effect on Jan. 1. Nealon’s current salary is $91,686, which includes a supplement of $2,000.

In January, he will become the division’s highest paid teacher, with the teacher salary scale for everyone else topping out at the current $61,448 that will go up by two-percent.

According to the VDOE’s website, Nealon holds a doctorate degree and a postgraduate professional license from the state with endorsements in administration & supervision, specific learning disabilities K-12, economics, and emotional disturbance K-12. He’s been in the supervisory position for five years and its unknown when he was last in a classroom teaching students.

BUECHE & LATNEY
Though it is generally appropriate to provide a supplement to individuals when they are elevated to greater duties, even temporarily, this week’s action did not include higher pay for Bueche or Latney.

Bueche is currently paid $75,000. She holds a master’s degree and postgraduate professional license with endorsements in administration & supervision preK-12, specific learning disabilities, emotional disturbance and mental retardation.

According to Latney’s teacher website linked to the middle school, and to facts gleaned from VDOE online, she has a bachelor’s from Virginia Union University in journalism and a master’s degree in administration & supervision from Virginia Commonwealth University with other endorsements for specific learning disabilities K-12.

Her website notes she is currently teaching 8th grade English and says she has been teaching middle school students for 15 years. She is KGMS’s department chair for special education.

Latney was hired by the division in August 2006. Her salary is $46,570 and she receives a $2,520 supplement for her master’s degree and an additional stipend of $700 provided to department chairmen, bringing her existing salary to $49,090.
The holiday break begins next Wednesday, Dec. 21, following close of business, when the division will be shut down until Tuesday, Jan. 3.

The next day, Jan. 4, is the first first School Board meeting with three new members, John Davis, Ken Novell and Kristin Tolliver, joining Randall and Rose with a new interim superintendent, Stanley Jones, for whom no contract has yet been authorized. Jones was approved as interim superintendent on Oct. 19, with no rate of pay or any other details noted in the vote on the action.

Phyllis Cook

 

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