The following e-mail was sent to Harford County Public Schools administrators Tuesday by Bill Lawrence, associate superintedent of curriculum, instruction, and assessment, announcing his resignation from that position effective June 30.
Lawrence was hired in June 2010 from Baltimore County Public Schools by Harford Superintendent Robert Tomback; both had worked as area superintendents in the Baltimore County school system. Tomback announced Monday that he would leave his office at the end of the school year.
Subject: Announcement from Bill Lawrence
As HCPS enters a phase of transition I am taking this opportunity to move into another round of my golf career.
As of June 30, 2013, I am resigning my position as Associate Superintendent of Curriculum, Instruction and Assessment. I have enjoyed my work with the HCPS community tremendously and am most impressed that most of you either send, have sent or will send your children to our schools. There is no higher compliment to an organization. HCPS is a good school system striving to be great and to provide the BEST for ALL of its students. It has been an honor and a privilege to work with you.
“Finish each day and be done with it. You have done what you could. Some blunders and absurdities no doubt crept in; forget them as soon as you can. Tomorrow is a new day; begin it well and serenely and with too high a spirit to be encumbered with your old nonsense.” Emerson, Ralph Waldo
ENJOY IN PEACE
a teacher says
This is good news for HCPS. Tomback and now Lawrence. There probably will be others. Lets hope the broom sweeps clean.
Mary Pierzchalski says
WOOHOO!! Now we’re making progress! Well Cornell Brown, would you like to make it three in a row???
Let us review what the passage above from the great Ralph Waldo Emerson might have said if he knew Bill Lawrence and Bobby Tomback:
“You have finished your days at HCPS and we are done with you. You have done what you could to free-ride on and disgrace our fine county. When you actually DID lift a finger to attempt to do your job, it resulted in countless blunders and absurdities. We will forget them as soon as we can. Tomorrow is a new day; we will begin it well and serenely with too high a spirit to be encumbered with your old nonsense.”
Wolkow, Rich, Hess and Krchnavy: Thanks for nothing
Onward and upward HCPS !!
Brian KB says
Take some Principals with you too. Namely, the bully at Abingdon Elementary School!!
I think that she gets blamed for many things that are not her fault. She was a victim of a smear campaign by some parents from the moment she got there. It’s not her fault a lot county policies weren’t enforced before she got there. Having met her I can say is far removed from a bully.
School Custodian says
If anyone feels like their getting pushed around, just try to think of the man or women who has the mop in their hand, cleaning up vomit in the hallway, or removing graffitti from the building, or responding at 3 am to a fire alarm that went off in the building, not only to be ready to open the school at 6am and have half a mile of sidewalks to shovel, and then get nasty emails from teachers stating that oh there room was a little dusty could you do a better job next time, oh and when your trying to eat your lunch and you get interupted for about 15 minutes to take care of the puddle of blood in the locker room, that sorta makes you think about who is getting bullyed, however i dont think of it that way, I look at it as doing MY job what I was hired to do, to take care of the needs of the students first and foremost, oh and one thing forgot i never complained about not making enough money even when i didnt have enough money to feed my family.
And the one at Church Creek and Deerfield!
Pisst oft axpayer says
So let me get this straight… NOBODY knows what other opportunities Tomback is going to pursue, and this guy, Bill Lawrence is quitting work to play golf? Really? Within days of eachother? Really curious what’s going on here.
It’s INDEPENDENCE DAY. Free from tyrrany and oppression.
Happy, Happy, Happy!!! says
Not quite free, but certainly better off.
Get all bad Principal and Vice principal out of the school system and once are up at center office also.
I assume you will be the one to determine who are the “bad ones”?
Happy, Happy Happy!!! says
Can it get any better? Yes, it can. The blunders and absurdities that are called administrators in some of our schools can leave right with them!!!
Now it is time to get teachers off of assistance plans and actually assist them in their planning. Hopefully principals will no longer feel the pressure to show improvement gains by rating teachers poorly, doing little to inspire or motivate them and then relieving them of their duty, or, if deemed worthy, removing the assistance plan.
one more, if you please – harford tech. they desperately need new leadership. talk about bullies!!!
Yeah William. I’ve heard about the situation at Tech. Teachers there would love to see their principal go. The guy not only targets teachers, he makes it personal. Bush league!!!
Yea – get rid of IF’s and principals, we don’t need anybody holding teachers accountable. (sarc)
Concerned Teacher says
Not looking to get rid of principals in general, just replace the ones who have gone on (in some cases years long) power trips with ones committed to doing what’s best for the students while showing respect for their staff. I disagree with getting rid of the IF and mentor positions at all; teachers all need some support, even veteran teachers, and good IFs don’t try to make the teachers all teach like them.
The bully at North Harford HS can go with all of them as well. Just ask some of the female teachers what a male chauvinist pig he is, and how he uses strong arm tactics to bully and intimidate them. Seems to be an epidemic of workplace bullying in HCPS. Unbelievable.
School Custodian says
I think that there is many many good people in administration. During the day when teachers are in the classrooms i happen to see what goes on behind the scenes. The admin gets blamed for everything;however they are dealing with more issues then you can imagine from school safety, to academics. It is not an easy job by any stretch of the imagination. For the teachers, day in and day out you are the ones who teach are students to be productive citizens, and leaders of tommorow, I dont think that Anyone who is not involved in the process should be bashing anyone. If you think its so easy then come on step on up do there job
In the Know says
Unfortuantely many of the people doing the bashing have no idea what goes on in
a school from day to day, keep talking you just look more ignorant. Thank you Custodian for trying to be a voice of reason. Teachers complain about something they don’t understand, nearly all administrators were teachers, but most teachers have never been
an administrator, or sought the required education to manage a school. Throwing mud and unfounded accusations don’t do anything but make you look silly.
Ok…so let me get this straight. Custodians know what goes on in a school from day to day, but teachers don’t (“Teachers complain about something they don’t understand”)?
Those who can teach, teach. Those who can’t teach become administrators and tell teachers how to do what they never could do. Enough said!
not so fast says
@Dilligaf, While not true of most administrators there are many that fit your premise.
School Custodian says
Everyone has an opinion on how they would do things, well a fact of the matter you dont know what you will do intill your in their position. First of all demographics of any area and culture have alot to do with things. Needs of the students, Needs of the staff, needs of the building all come into play. WE all report to someone, and the admin has to report for EVERYTHING that happens in that building, Lets give them some credit, They were the Ones who stepped up and said I am willing to make a difference in your child’s life.
now time to get rid of the instructional facilitators before we lose the good teachers that are left. All the facilitators do is bully the teachers and put them on plans. The facilitators have been out of the classroom for so long they don’t have a clue. Honestly, our kids don’t care about the objective for the lesson. Our kids just would like the necessary books and resources to learn. So tired of seeing sections of books copied and sent home. School’s are not little companies and should not be run as a business.
Actually it is the principals and v.p’s who do the bullying. Don’ think for one moment that now that Tomback is leaving, teachers will forgive the gestapo tactics employed by certain principals to weed out teachers they DIDN’T LIKE. There is doing your job and then there is being a bully. You rock KT!!!
There’s another name for bullying: it’s called Thibeaulting
Concerned Teacher says
Not true, “mom”. At my previous school, my IF could not have cared less about objectives, but it was my principal’s personal crusade and he would mark a teacher down for not having objectives written his way even if every other aspect of the lesson was flawless. The IFs were working for the principals on power trips as well, so often they were forced to ‘enforce’ things that they didn’t necessarily agree with.
Now is the time to choose leaders with a vision–people who really care about academic success and are not just interested in appearances. Let’s take politics out of the equation and really focus on a commitment to education.
Yes. Absolutely. Lets put the children/students first. Michelle Rhee, or someone like her would be a wonderful start.
I love the down-checks on your post. Everyone agrees on needing success for our children, unless the changes necessary for success shake up the current institutional momentum of the teachers and administrators…
It is very telling, but not a surprise.
Also get rid of Tebow at Pattesnn MIll!
Bel Air Fed says
David Craig for Super. He’s native, he knows the sytem, he cares about HCPS. Realistically, Maryland will go for Gansler or Brown at the governor level. Mr. Craig could do a lot of good with HCPS. I hope the DOE doesn’t make the same mistake, my opinion, as with the Tomback hire – just hiring a name with some letters behind it – looks good on paper maybe – but doesn’t translate to caring or effective.
I almost died laughing when you said Craig cares about HCPS. Good joke!
He is not qualified……He does not have and is not eligible for the appropriate liscencing from the state.
Bel Air Fed says
wasnt’ a joke when he was teaching in the system. Look at AA Roberty and Jackie Haas – two supers that were “homegrown” and did effective jobs. Craig may not be the sweetheart to the unions and may have let his bias for HdeG show at times but he’s navigated the county through some tough spots. From all indications – HCPS will be facing some tough choices, mostly financially soon. Some big time outsider, like the outgoing suit, would be lost. Craig won’t be the choice anyway – he has his sights on other things probably as probably does the BOE.
Well, well, well anther one bites the dust. Oh happy day!!!! Mr. Brown are you next?? One can only hope…
Objectives aren’t important? Do you mean that students don’t need to know what the lesson is about, what they should learn from it, and what level of proficiency is expected? Well, no wonder I am hearing about so many teachers on assistance plans.
Reader L says
Citizen – it isn’t that objectives aren’t important or provide focus for lessons; it’s in the form and format in which they must be written. Teachers spend an inordinate amount of time fashioning the wording of the objective to meet the “standards” of the administration’s demands… and guess what, they change from year to year as well as from school to school as to the expectations and demands. Sometimes administrators get so hung up on the wording, that they miss the lesson components, engagement of the students, and the overall success of the lesson. I have known teachers who were slammed because of the wording of the objective only, and that is ridiculous!
Jaguar Judy says
BOE, just another job that isn’t needed. Or maybe his job is needed but he surely doesn’t need a staff. Cut the positions and fund some raises for teachers who deserve raises. And that isn’t every one of them.
Let’s be realistic and look at this calmly. After the sudden passing of Dr. Haas, the Board went into action to hire a new Superintendent. There were many qualified applicants, yet they hired Tomback. At first he seems to genuinely want to get to know the school system and the HCPS employees. After a few months, he began moving, demoting, and letting go of personnel to accommodate people that he wanted to bring on board. He let the old Assistant Superintendent go by taking him to lunch one day and out of the blue telling him that he no longer had a job with HCPS. That is when he bought in Bill Lawrence. If you think he really cares about HCPS or has anything invested in this county you may want to go back and look at news articles, interviews, or Board of Education archives. Tomback lost most of the old senior staff after they could no longer deal with his tyranny. Tomback demoted principals and again brought in his friends to run certain schools. He brought on Johnathan Brown, who, as far as anyone can tell does nothing and collects a hefty paycheck. Also does not live in this county or has anything invested in the success of this school system. Let up not forget that a month after Brown was hired he was out for a few months on leave. WOW I sure am glad my tax dollars were just waiting for him in that regard, we were all very generous to him! Then we have Cornell Brown who is so concerned with his “status” that his arrogance is blinding. Also, he never ceases to let us forget that he is “untouchable.” So now Tomback is leaving and so too is Lawrence. We have two more that need to go, yet they remain “untouchable.” I am sure you savvy readers can figure out why they both think they are untouchable. I find it offensive personally. If you are to be judged but he content of your character….they have all failed miserably. You see, to us in Harford County we take pride in our educators, and have faith that the school system will ultimately make the right decisions for our children. We have all lost so much faith and Tomback, Lawrence, Brown, and Brown NONE of whom live in this county or have children who go to school here, have taken these jobs with no regard for who they had to walk on to get them. They scoffed when others left HCPS, or were let go or demoted. Shame on them. Let us not turn on each other in this county but band together and really get leadership that we deserve and want for our children. 2 down 2 to go!!!!