Orange County Schools Board of Education Chair Donna Coffey released this statement today in response to the demotion of Orange High School Principal Armond Hankins:
On behalf of the Orange County Board of Education, I would like to respond to recent statements questioning the District’s commitment to African American leadership presence in our schools.
As we pursue hiring the best-qualified staff, both the Superintendent and Board are mindful of the importance of recruiting and maintaining a diverse staff of school system leaders. Our Superintendent makes personnel recommendations to the board at every meeting, and we know that he values diversity and makes recommendations based on good and honest reasons in the best interest of children.
The School Board knows that not every personnel decision will please everyone, but we are confident that the cumulative personnel decisions over time show our commitment to recruiting and maintaining a high quality, diverse staff of leaders and role models for all our students.
Recruiting and retaining educators of color has been a longstanding goal of our Raising Achievement and Closing the Gap Committee, and our board has strived for many years to ensure that our students of color have role models at all levels.
- African Americans comprise 16.2 percent of our student membership.
- 38.3 percent of our district’s administrators (principals, assistant principals and central office staff) are African American.
- 20.8 percent of our district’s teachers, teacher assistants and other instructional/classified staff are African American.
Our Superintendent and Board highly value our students and their families and encourage open communication. We are firmly committed to promoting outstanding student achievement and individual success for all students. The 1:1 laptop initiative recently approved by the Board reflects our commitment to ensuring that all students have access to the best educational tools possible for their success.
Donna Coffey, Chair
Orange County Board of Education