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Let’s talk about the Albert Randolph situation…

So that happened. Halifax County High School Principal Albert Randolph has been reinstated to his position.

“Let’s talk” about what happened and let’s tell it like it is…

We’ll start it off with the Gazette Virginian article on how this situation was resolved…

Randolph back in as high school principal

If we’re going to talk about it, let’s bring on a Big Board…

  • This entire incident spiraled way out of control from the beginning and it seems to be all due to a bunch of over-inflated egos and the desire to get the “Take that!” last words.
  • Everybody ended up looking less than good after this “solution”. Albert Randolph has to publicly “apologize” for his actions. Superintendent Merle Herndon looks like a vengeful cold-hearted dictator. The school board looks clueless and ineffective (and they’re not).
  • Albert Randolph is back as principal, but for only 4 months of the new school year. After that, he cashes in his vacation and retires at the end of the school year.
  • That means the high school gets a change of administration in the middle of the school year and there’s little chance in hell that will be a good thing. The only way this can work is if the new incoming principal is named by the start of the school year and that person “shadows” Randolph until the end of the year.
  • If that happens, great! Taxpayers are paying for two principals, Lovely.
  • As for the school board’s role in this, they didn’t have much to begin with because the superintendent has the authority to reassign people at her discretion without board approval. If Merle Herndon had decided that she wanted Randolph fired, the school board would have had to vote for that. Herndon’s smart and she knew that would lose that vote. Now when it comes to firing teachers and staff, the school board usually goes along with whatever Herndon recommends.
  • That being said, I am 100% sure that the closed meeting after the public session was the school board bluntly telling Herndon that she had really caused a crapstorm and that she had better find a way out of that situation quickly.
  • As for Albert Randolph, he’s not entirely innocent here either. He let those vacation days build up and he should have known the policy. In my school days, I never had a principal take vacation during the school year, so I assume that administration is expected to use their vacation during the summer downtime.
  • The 60-day maximum vacation accrual policy needs to be changed to avoid situations like this. I’m predicting that the policy will be amended so that any vacation time banked over 60 days will be forfeited immediately. Most of the business world uses the “Use it or Lose it” policy.
  • As for Merle Herndon, she’s rightfully drawing lots of heat for running the school system like a business. It’s an abrupt change from the Paul Stapleton era where he used the “Good Ol’ Boy” management style. Herndon doesn’t play the “favorites” game. If you cross the boss, you could get tossed. If something isn’t working in an efficient manner, the boss is going to make sure changes happen.
  • Herndon comes out of this situation looking quite bad because she reverses her decision quickly and Randolph’s apology shows that this was a conflict between the two of them that was based on “disrespect”. Herndon’s relatively quick decision to make Randolph pay for his disrespect paints her as a hothead. She’ll have to either lay low for a while or change that perception quickly.
  • The community and teacher support was the catalyst in getting this solution done. Albert Randolph became the innocent victim by means of all of the support and Herndon became the evil hospital administrator who refused to treat a sick child because his parents were broke.
  • Not all of the community support was good though. Joe Bailey seemed to appoint himself as one of the lead speakers for the movement. Joe Bailey is an embarrassment in any form with regards to the school system. He was a school board member for one term and proved himself to be highly unqualified for the elected office. He was defeated in his bid for reelection.
  • I’m glad that this didn’t become a racial issue although we were getting damned close to that happening.
  • Finally, people (and teachers) can call for Merle Herndon’s resignation all that they want but it’s not going to happen. Yes, she blew it in this situation but America’s short attention span will make this incident disappear quickly. She’s running the school system like a business and she’s doing it quite efficiently. She doesn’t mind stepping on toes to get her objectives done. She appears to still have the support and confidence of the school board and that will keep her job secure. She’ll keep that support as long as she doesn’t make another mistake like the Randolph incident. People don’t want to hear this, but Merle Herndon’s job is safe.

Wow, that was a lot of talking. The comments section is open for you to agree with me or call me an idiot. I like both of those.


11 comments to Let’s talk about the Albert Randolph situation…

  • Emma

    WOW…good stuff..I totally agree with you on this!! Also, to say that Joe Bailey is an embarrassment is an UNDERSTATEMENT!! He is not qualified nor worthy to even voice his opinion on ANY subject regarding the school system…what a joke!!!!!

  • June

    I like people who tell it like it is, we need more of this in this county and this country. Thank you.

  • Aylor Talbott

    Running the school system like a business may be efficient in the short term, but ultimately, districts who treat their employees poorly have a hard time recruiting and keeping those employees. I worked for Mr. Randolph for 9 years. I didn’t find him particularly competent, but Herndon didn’t just discover that. This was a petty personal squabble and an insult to the faculty, staff and students of HCHS. Your own ego and feelings should take a back seat to professionalism.

  • Megan

    Sounds like to me that the community needs to rethink who they vote for as far as our school board memebers.. Remember all that they allowed to let happen. Verses standing up for those who needed it, they cowardly let Herndon control all the moves! I say it’s time for a CLEAN SWEEP and we elect school board memebers who have the good of our children at heart!

    • This was Herndon’s to make with no school board oversight required. The current school board is relatively functional now. As for voting them out, you’re 17 months away from the next election and only half the seats are available. This will have blown away by then, given the short attention spans of most people.

  • Megan

    SouthsideCentral, my frustration isn’t about Randolph, it’s about the teachers jobs that the school board members had to vote on… Randolph luckily still has a job, even if he was getting demoted, but Mr. Wilborn and Mrs. Reeves have lost their jobs, retirement, and insurance.
    Sadly you are right, when election time does roll around all of this will have be forgotten by some, but not by me. I plan to do what it takes to remind people how this school board really operates and hopefully my awareness will help to rekindle the memories of this moment and how the people felt. In the end it my not help, but at least I know I would have made a stand to help make this school system better for the staff and children….

  • Larry B. Anderson

    I am not in a position to know much about this situation. What I do know is the politics of the school system could not matter less to me. The object is to educate the children. Administrator or teacher if you do a good job you should be rewarded. If you do a lousy job you should be disciplined or fired. That goes for Mrs. Herndon, Mr. Randolph and all the rest. The children deserve no less. That’s what the taxpayer is paying for. That’s the way the real world works.

    • Megan

      That’s the thing… They are letting the good teachers go… They want the gone because they feel they make to much money.. The way I see it is teachers are underpaid as it is and if they are “good” teachers they deserve every penny they make plus some…

  • “….who refused to treat a sick child because his parents were broke.” What exactly happened in regards to treating a child?

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