Dance: Phelps' 'People Skills' Qualify Her for New Post

The superintendent said the former principal of Windsor Mill Middle School did good work in her previous role, contrary to the opinion of some Patch readers.

Superintendent S. Dallas Dance is confident in his decision to recommend Deborah Phelps, mother of Olympian Michael Phelps, for a position with the Education Foundation.

Dance said it has always been part of his transition plan to hire a full-time director for the the foundation, which fundraises for the school system.

"There's a need to raise awareness with the business community," Dance said. "[Phelps] has good people skills."

In a announcing the recommendation, some Patch readers criticized Phelps' performance in her previous position as the principal of the academically struggling Windsor Mill Middle School, a role she has held since the school's opening in 2006.

"Unfortunately she was a horrible [principal]," wrote user JD1 in the comments section of the post. "The school has never performed. If it wasn't for her fame she would have been out of that school three years ago. This was an easy out for BCPS - there is no other [principal] standing in the system that has had a failing school for so long."

Dance refuted the argument that Phelps' was derelict in her duties.

"[Phelps] has done a good job," he said. "The school is at a good place. Hopefully the next principal will take it to the next level."

The Board of Education will have to approve Dance's recommendation before the appointment becomes official.

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moe green July 25, 2012 at 10:22 PM
Get rid of both dance and phelps.
Momofmany July 26, 2012 at 02:55 PM
Politics as usual! The good news is that a new principal will take academic achievement to the next level at the school. By the way since this is a new position what about the direction of the administration to "reduce" the superflous excess management positions? What will this pay or will the fundraising income fund this position?
JDStuts July 26, 2012 at 02:56 PM
There's bad and good in this. The bad is Dance obviously played politics on this one. Coming in and firing Phelps for her lousy record would have just riled the majority questioning his ability. Dismissing Phelps was correct but he ruined it with the transfer. Phelps should now be on the hook for a pace setter gift to the foundation. Something along the lines of $1 million dollars. Dance saved her reputation and a good deal of embarrassment.


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