NAACP says Grand Prairie superintendent not making the grade

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by BRETT SHIPP

WFAA

Posted on January 2, 2012 at 6:41 PM

GRAND PRAIRIE - Nepotism, insider dealings and teacher mistreatment - those are allegations being leveled against the superintendent of Grand Prairie I.S.D. by a teachers union.

Now, the Grand Prairie NAACP is adding one more allegation: racism.

Grand Prairie I.S.D. Superintendent Susan Simpson-Hull is one of the most respected education administrators in the state. She was named Superintendent of the Year in Texas in 2005. But she is under increasing attack.

First by 73 of her own teachers, who have filed a grievance against the district.

Kay Monfrini, recently retired after 31 years as an English teacher, says Superintendent Hull has made conditions intolerable. The formalized complaints range from being forced to work extra hours, to adopting a flawed curriculum that was purchased an organization run by her father.

"I do not understand why you would pay half-a-million dollars for a curriculum that then has to be re-written by the teachers of the District," Monfrini said.

Now joining the chorus of critics is the Grand Prairie NAACP, accusing Hull of replacing minority administrators with her Anglo friends.

"How is it they are allowing Dr. Susan Simpson-Hull to continue to conduct business here in GPISD in the manner she is conducting it?" asked Angela Luckey, President of the NAACP of Grand Prairie.

Luckey also noted that Hull's daughter teaches with the district, and her son was hired by a construction firm which now has a major contract with Grand Prairie I.S.D.

Sam Buchmeyer, G.P.I.S.D. spokesman says neither situation constitutes a conflict.

“It was a summer job, he was digging ditches. He's a college student," Buchmeyer said. “Her daughter was hired by the School Board, not the Superintendent."

Buchmeyer said most of the allegations are old and have been dismissed by the Board of Trustees. He said the racial make-up of administration staff is 42 percent minority.

But enough teachers and activists remain unconvinced, unhappy and undeterred in their quest to get the word out.
"Most of them are fearful to come forward to the media to let them know this exists in GPISD," Luckey said.

E-mail bshipp@wfaa.com

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