McDuffie County Superintendent, Mychele Rhodes, Apparently Is Trying to Terminate The County’s STAR Teacher Over Rubrics And Other Such Silliness! I Never Cease To Be Amazed At Today’s Goofball Superintendents! LOL!

 By John R. Alston Trotter, EdD, JD

     I never cease to be amazed at today’s goofball superintendents and principals of schools.  I recently saw on Facebook that a senseless principal told a child with Downs Syndrome that he could not wear the letter jacket that his mother had made him for participating on one of the non-varsity teams at the school.  He was so proud of his homemade letter jacket, but this principal, who apparently doesn’t have enough sense to pour piss out of a boot, told him that he could not wear it because he was not a member of a varsity team at the school.  Should this principal be taken out and horse-whipped?  Would that do him any good?

     A few years back, we picketed a principal at A. Phillip Randolph Elementary School in Fulton County because he apparently recommended his Teacher of the Year for the non-renewal of his teaching contract.  People were very upset.  How can a principal be without principles so much that he or she would recommend the non-renewal of the Teacher of the Year?  Did this teacher make the principal nervous?  Was this teacher reluctant to kiss administrative ass?  How can this happen?

    Now the word is in that the Superintendent of Schools in McDuffie County, the home of perhaps Georgia’s most famed racist of the past, U. S. Senator Tom Watson, is in the throes of either recommending to the school board the termination or non-renewal of the contract of the popular STAR Teacher at Thomson High School.  We write about such silliness and pettiness and petulance in our book, The MACE Manifesto:  The Politically Incorrect, Irreverent, and Scatological Examination of What is Wrong with American Public Education (Big Daddy Publishers, LLC, 2014, 615 pages).  These kinds of actions take place all over the country these days mainly because non-leaders are put into positions of “leadership.”

Rhodes - Superintendent

Mychele Rhodes, Superintendent Clown of McDuffie County

     Today, the people who are often put into leadership roles are really tight-ass and controlling bureaucrats.  In the old days, many of the coaches were promoted up the leadership/administrative ladder.  And, quite frankly, it most of the times worked out well.  They were firm on student discipline, supported the teachers when it came to discipline, and they didn’t snoopervise the teachers, thinking that they had all of the answers.  They certainly didn’t worry about such non-sense as “teaching rubrics.”  These crazy “rubrics” are insulting.  To put creative teachers on a “rubrics” mandate is like putting them on training wheels.   These older principals certainly didn’t worry about such nonsense as forcing good teachers to act like robots, telling them how to teach and threatening their jobs for simply being creative in teaching their students. Professionals don’t need training wheels.

Teachers need to freed up to be creative.  Freed up to teach.  Stifling and suffocating them in straightjackets is ridiculous.  Making them use cookie-cutter methods is unconscionable.  It’s like a coach who has never played basketball telling a Michael Jordan or a Larry Bird or a Pete Maravich what to do with the round ball each time they get their hands on it.  Teachers are professionals who should be respected and allowed to use their professional knowledge, judgment, and wisdom with the students who are in their care.  They don’t briefcase-toting, tight-ass bureaucrats telling them each move to make.  They need these educrats and snoopervisors to get the heck out of their classrooms and let them teach.

     Now back to the STAR Teacher in McDuffie County:  We hear that he was verbally bullied and berated in a meeting today for about two hours.  Apparently, Superintendent Mychele Rhodes told him that she didn’t think that he should be allowed to teach in McDuffie County anymore.  I am thinking that the situation may go beyond just teaching the “rubrics” and other such silliness.  I think that the administration may be upset that the STAR Teacher is openly and vocally a Christian believer and that he has talked to the administration at Thomson High about the terrible disciplinary conditions which apparently exist at the school.  The administrators these days don’t want to hear about this.  They prefer to bury their heads in the sand when it comes to discipline. Also, it often appears to be “open season” on vocal Christians in public schools these days, both the students who want to bring their Bibles to schools or teachers who want to share their faith outside the classroom. If, however, this teacher were Muslim, perhaps the administration would handle him with kid gloves and make special arrangements for pork not to be served at all in the cafeteria.

     For several years, from what I hear, this school system has been hemorrhaging top teachers, including multiple Teachers of the Year and other STAR Teachers, some of whom are moving to safer or better schools and others of whom are leaving the profession entirely. What is going on in McDuffie County that is causing these successful and award-winning teachers to leave the system?

This superintendent-clown in McDuffie County seems to want to snoopervise the STAR Teacher for no substantive reason. Is this done in other school systems? She is apparently saying that she is concerned about this popular teacher’s “rubrics” and the number of his writing assignments. What?! She needs to worry about abiding by the Georgia Statute (O. C. G. A. 20-2-940[g]) that does not allow a Georgia superintendent to suspend a teacher from the classroom for more than ten days – and certainly not without the teacher being granted all of his substantive due process rights and having any “charge[s]” given to him by the seventh day. This superintendent, who is the Executive Secretary of the elected McDuffie County Board of Education, has left this school board in a breach of the law. This school board, via its appointed superintendent, has egregiously and flagrantly violated this Georgia Statute. No excuse whatsoever. Yes, she needs to worry about abiding by the law, not about pettiness. This STAR Teacher has been left dangling in the wind, with his reputation being besmirched because he first of all was apparently just sent home without any explanation of any “charge[s].” Not until after three weeks was he brought in and told about his “rubrics” and other such silliness. His reputation could not help but be ruined by such sloppy and sinister and nefarious actions of the Superintendent’s Office of McDuffie County. Rhodes Must Go! She either does not know the Georgia Law or does not give a rat’s behind about it. Mr. Norreese Haynes and I went to McDuffie County a couple of weeks ago and informed the administration there about the law. It apparently went over like water off a duck’s back. Next time, we will bring a crew and hit the sidewalks. I wonder if the good People of McDuffie County respect the Supreme Court’s holdings about Category One Free Speech fora? Parks and sidewalks. Ole Tom Watson might not have respected the humanity of all of God’s creation in older times, but I think that a new day has dawned in McDuffie County and the good People of McDuffie County will not put up with shabby treatment when they are informed about it. The way this STAR Teacher has been treated in McDuffie County could make some people draw the conclusion that he had robbed the McDuffie County Regions Bank. He has still to this day been kept in a “Teacher’s Gulag” or a metaphorical “penalty box.” What has been his “crime”? Caring for the kids and teaching creatively? Good grief. Rhodes Must Go!

This STAR Teacher is not a one-year wonder.  He is no fluke.  He was chosen by the students and parents of McDuffie County as the WalMart Teacher of the Year in both 2006 and 2009.  (This Teacher of the Year program has apparently been discontinued.  Otherwise, he may have won this award several more times.)  This is in a county of perhaps 250 t0 300 teachers.  He has also been named an “Honor Educator” twice in the last five years.  Only students who graduate with distinction are given the opportunity to choose one teacher who has most impacted them.  This year marks the second time this teacher has received this honor.  “STAR Teacher,” “Teacher of the Year,” and “Honor Educator” and yet Mychele Rhodes is apparently trying to can him.  So, does she not want superb teachers positively impacting on the children of McDuffie County?  Or, is this superintendent clown all about control?  What is it?

MACE has gotten in late on this case in McDuffie County but is monitoring it closely.  I think that I will recommend Mychele Rhodes to the august body of the Superintendent Clowns of America.  Yes, this I will do.  And I think that I have some pull with that group. This superintendent clown in McDuffie County appears to be out of control. © GTSO, 2015.

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21 Responses to McDuffie County Superintendent, Mychele Rhodes, Apparently Is Trying to Terminate The County’s STAR Teacher Over Rubrics And Other Such Silliness! I Never Cease To Be Amazed At Today’s Goofball Superintendents! LOL!

  1. I was a former student of Mr. Osbon and all I have to say it’s that he is the best teacher I have ever had. There’s not a man alive that it’s more dedicated to his job or students and what’s happening is an absolute outage. If there’s going to be a picket or demonstration, count me in!

    • Just me. says:

      All we hear constantly is how creative and effective he is as a teacher. There has been a groundswell of support for the gentleman. I find that he is very humble too. On a sister blog ( which reprinted the article found here, others have made comments in support of Mr. O. I will certainly try to remember to let you know when the MACE Picket Squad is about to descend on McDuffie County. I can hardly believe the sheer pride and arrogance of the administration in McDuffie County. Why on Earth would a superintendent want to get rid of a historically caring, creative, and effective teacher? It truly is mind-boggling. Call the elected school board members and express yourself forthrightly — and get your friends to do the same thing. Wouldn’t it be ironic if Mr. O moves to McDuffie County and runs for the school board? “Let’s Go With Big O…for the Children!” Then he would be Mychele Rhodes’s boss. LOL! By the way, both blogs on which this article appears has had its all-time viewers records smashed by this story! We ought to be giving you a follow-up story very soon! Stay strong and speak out! Thanks for your comments!

  2. Rebecca says:

    This is one of the reason, I am taking my kids out of McDuffie County schools. One of the worst schools.

    • Just me. says:

      Rebecca, before you do this, speak out and let the school board members know what you think! Good luck! Thanks for your comments!

  3. Jill Brooks says:

    Mr. Osbon is one of the most intelligent, articulate, and compassionate teachers we have in our high school. This would not be the first superior teacher to lose their job at the high school in recent years. I would love to be able to show my support for Mr. Osbon. Will be in touch with the BOE. McDuffie County schools are heading in the WRONG direction!

    • Just me. says:

      Jill, in my career of nearly 40 years in public education (and having been around it all of my 61 years), I have observed a pattern of a teacher getting too popular for the comfort zone of his administrators at school and of his superintendent. This is a pattern in public education. The politicians and educrats claim that they want good, creative, compassionate, and intelligent teachers. They don’t. They want teachers who will jump through every senseless, mindless, and silly circus hoops that they put in front of them. They tend to want the teachers to do this with their heads down. They don’t seem to want any teacher who has the integrity and temerity to look at them eyeball-to-eyeball, as fellow human beings. They seem to want only a vertical relationship with their teachers, with them looking down on the teachers. It was different in the older days. The relationship with the principals and superintendents with their teachers was pleasant and collegial. Those days were much better. Today, the school systems are much more “corporate,” for the worst, not the better. And, I have a saying about how teachers like this STAR Teacher is obviously being treated; it is called “corporate execution.” It is cold-blooded. But, here is the good news: The good People of McDuffie County have the real power, if they will use it. They need to call and contact the elected school board members and hold them accountable. They need to go by the Registrar’s Office and found out which board members are up for election next and what boundaries compost their districts. Even if you are only just 18 years old, I believe that you can run for a school board seat. Let McDuffie County become the shining example of Citizenry in Action! Thanks for commenting. Power to the People of McDuffie County! By the way, this story has gone viral on the internet. We have received thousands upon thousands of views in just two days on this site and its sister site, We have been contacted by the media and people living in other counties. I believe that this story has a great chance of “blowing up,” as the young people might say! It is even being viewed in other countries.

  4. ElvisinKalamazoo says:

    So, only posts that are in agreement are actually posted. Not surprising. What a fraud you are!

    • Just me. says:

      Hold your horses, Elvis! We are going to make a huge exception to the rule-of-thumb of NOT publishing gutless, anonymous comments. Yes, I am going to give your words FULL DISCLOSURE, and I will inserts my comments and offset them in italicized and/or bold print between brackets so that the reader can clearly know the words coming down from Kalamazoo by the hands of Elvis and those words in response which are composed by your humble scribe. This ought to be fun, Elvis! Send us more! If we were not dealing with such a serious situation, this would be a comedy. Instead, it is a tragedy. A sheer travesty of justice.

      • ElvisinKalamazoo says:

        so bluegrassandjazz is not anonymous??
        My comments were pretty straightforward, why is it taking so long for you to post it with your response? I would figure a self professed expert with numerous abbreviations behind his name would be able to come up with a response within minutes.

      • Just me. says:

        Trust me, Elvis, I can. But, aren’t you aware that this is Easter Weekend. You first submitted your comments around 7:30 to 8:OO o’clock last night. I was at a restaurant, and when I returned, I watched Killing Jesus on Fox News. Today was NCAA Basketball (Final Four). Didn’t you watch the thriller between Kentucky and Wisconsin. I look forward to going through each paragraph of your commentary. It ought to be loads of fun. But, tomorrow, I am off to Columbus for Easter. It’s lots of fun with my sons and their many cousins and my 90 year old mother. I hope that you understand that “Elvis of Kalamazoo” is simply not as important…at least in my mind.

  5. Raye says:

    You had me cheering until you got the “anti-Christian” angle. You don’t need to muddy the issue of great teachers being shackled by whatever current method is entrancing the bureaucrats with those kind of assertions. I have been teaching in Georgia for over thirty years and have never seen evidence of this “persecution”. Quite the contrary, every faculty meeting opens in prayer, every luncheon is blessed in Jesus’ name, and I know teachers who still lead their students in thanking God before going into the lunchroom. Never mind those in the room who may be Jewish, B’hai, or Muslim. You make some great points about the current climate of education and as for Mr. [Name Redacted], maybe he can come to my county…we need good math teachers.

    • Just me. says:

      Raye, I think that you may have misunderstood what I was saying about the “‘anti-Christian’ angle,” as you call it. It appears that the only people left to open discriminate against (without shame) is the Christian. In society in general, It is as if it is OK to rant and rave against the openly Christian politician, the openly Christian athlete (ever hear of a Tim Tebow?), the openly Christian professor, the openly Christian fire chief (see Atlanta, Georgia), or the openly Christian school teacher. I have represented a Jewish teacher or two who felt uncomfortable being at a luncheon on a teacher work day when the principal leads or asks a teacher to lead the faculty in a Christian prayer or invocation of grace. Most of these situations occur in rural settings, in my opinion. But, is it not OK to be a teacher and also to be a Christian at the same time? Do you have to “trim your sails,” so to speak, if you teach and you are also a Christian. I was only speculating that this may be one of the issues that the Mychele Rhodes Administration has with this STAR Teacher. But, I guess that we will be forced to speculate because the Mychele Rhodes Administration will not abide by the Georgia Law. This administration apparently does not respect the Georgia Statutory Code. This administration apparently thinks that it is OK to have this STAR Teacher in a “Teachers Gulag.”

  6. DR says:

    Thomson High School is run by a clueless principal and an even more inept administration. That high school is dangerous mainly because those like Osbon, and many others, that attempt to do the right thing get railroaded.

    I taught there and was forced to resign after a student not only assaulted me but then threatened to kill me. The Principal sheltered the criminal by not reporting the crime properly (17 year old adult) and very soon after non-renewed me after I went over his head to report the crime properly. I had perfect evaluations. Discipline is a non-existent joke and teachers are usually the punchline and lose their jobs as a result. I was a colleague of Osbon; you do not discard effective/respected teachers. McDuffie County needs to wake up and step up for their teachers. It is my understanding it took a petition to get the Principal his current job…what a fitting way to send out ineffective leaders. I will sign the petition.

    • Just me. says:

      DR, we hear that the discipline is atrocious at Thomson High School. I know that it was not atrocious when Mr. Bob Smith and Mr. Falana were the principals there. But, these new breed of “curriculum” superintendents do not have a clue how to run a high school. I think that Ms. Rhodes had been an elementary school principal. It does not matter what the “curriculum” is if the school is out of order and the students are bouncing off the walls. It is easier to just to blame the teacher than to fix the disciplinary problems. “Kill the messenger!” Yes, I think that this STAR Teacher addressed the school’s disciplinary problems with the school’s administration, and I think that this is the major reason that the Mychele Rhodes Administration is trying to get rid of him. Thanks for your insightful comments.

      • DR says:

        Cecil Strong is out as principal. Rumor is he will be the nutritionist for the county. After his questionable decisions as principal should he even still be involved or allowed in the field of education?

        The attorney that I consulted wanted me to report his lack of mandated reporting to PSC. They are aware. I have considered it plenty formally. It seems he has a less-than-favorable record of reporting incidences at school properly which he is (by law) required to do. As nutritionist I wish he could be forced to consume nothing but PBJ sandwiches like I had to do after being forced to resign. That might be a good/valuable lesson for him along with a heavy spoonful of humility. Good riddance.

        He was a park ranger prior to landing a job as a principal…the world possibly needs more park rangers not weak/incapable school administrators. I hope karma does him a solid and allows him to return to being a park ranger.

      • Just me. says:

        DR, I don’t know anything about the rumors of Mr. Strong’s coming or going concerning his job as principal of Thomson High School, but from what all I have heard about how he handles discipline at that school, Cecil “Weak” might be a more appropriate name.

  7. Carla says:

    Well, I had Osbon and he was a great teacher! However, I do also know Dr. Rhodes and I know that she is a caring and hard working women. I have seen her go out of her way to secure the safety and success of the children in this county. Now, with that being said we as spectators do not know everything that is going on so I do not agree with name calling. I am not saying this action was just, I am just saying that until we know all aspects of the story we should not make comments that degrade the character of anyone.

    • Just me. says:

      Carla, we appreciate your comments. Because the Mychele Rhodes Administration refused to adhere to the Georgia Statute governing matters such as this (O.C.G.A. 20-2-940[g]), this case was left dangling in the wind and in speculation. I suspect that a major thing that this administration did not like about this STAR Teacher was his willingness to speak out about the pitiful conditions of student discipline at Thomson High School. Our mantra at MACE is this: You cannot have good learning conditions until you first have good teaching conditions.

      Carla, thanks for your thoughts.

  8. DR says:

    McDuffie County teachers are leaving the school system en masse. The number leaving/exiting could be unprecedented. Knowing what I know based on first-hand experience McDuffie County and its school system has a lot to learn about how you should treat people, namely veterans in my case. This school system has “burned” many many teachers over the years.

    I chose to return to my hometown to teach in an attempt to “give” something back. I hope others that read this will steer clear of McDuffie County. Save yourself the extreme headache.

    No PTO/PTA exists, only Booster Clubs. No support for teachers exists either. I feel overwhelmingly positive the presence of these type clubs are part of the bigger problem. Unseen and unheard “members” in this town call shots on everything from hiring/firing to wanton use of taxpayer funds for unnecessary multi-million dollar projects…no-bid projects. The former superintendent conveniently had/has a construction company follow him from town to town. Is this not corruption at its most base form? People here care about football. Period.

    I was working in a neighboring county when their school system drew heavy fire, mostly dealing with their ineffective school board. SACS became involved shorty thereafter when it was revealed they (board) were hiring/firing at will…with or without cause…with or without regard to any Due Process afforded to teachers. McDuffie County is no different in their careless and reckless day-to-day business involving education. The retaliation I have experienced from McDuffie County and their lone HR person (again an issue part of a bigger problem) has kept me from teaching elsewhere. I believe the multitude involved in the exodus to greener environs may have issues with this same person in their forseeable futures. McDuffie County is just really good it seems at circumventing federal law against discrimination-retaliation. I hope the teachers leaving don’t have to deal with any of that. I am betting I will be wrong. The lack of accountability in McDuffie County is staggering.

    • Just me. says:

      DR, we agree with you that the problems of McDuffie County appear to be out of hand. Personally, I think that it starts with the superintendent, Mychele Rhodes. She needs to go…and quickly before any turn-around will take place. I don’t know where you place her. The school system really doesn’t have to place her anywhere. She is an at-will employee. You were probably alluding to Warren County which is nearby. About the former superintendent, I cannot address of any of his alleged doings one way or the other. It is not so uncommon to develop a good working relationship with certain companies. There is nothing wrong with this as long as things are above board. Usually, there are mandates in place for competitive bidding. But, all I know is that the situation with the beleaguered and disemboweled teachers in McDuffie County is a crying shame. The county ran off the STAR Teacher from Thomson High. He taught in the English Department. I hear that a majority of teachers who taught in that department are not returning. Thanks for your comments.

      • DR says:

        I look forward to your “Teaching in Hell” segment on McDuffie County. I taught at Thomson High Hell so in retrospect I feel I have been to and through the hell you speak of and would be glad to share my experiences for your piece including but far from limited to: Saving students’ lives, having my shoulder separated trying to break-up a fight and the school denying me medical treatment despite incident reports, being put next to an industrial-sized A/C unit and generator for “duty” after disclosing my hearing issues, mandate reporting being assaulted and threatened to be shot by the same student with a hapless administration doing nothing, etc. Just a days work at my alma mater…and as you have stated in other articles “teachers are expected to shut their mouths and take it.” That culture has to change. I will never teach again where I feel it is appropriate to be a prison guard while trying to teach or at least have that mentality. Again, the culture of teaching has to change in places like McDuffie County. There has to be accountability.

        I have been told by countless people, including attorneys, that my story is near “unbelievable.” The truly unbelievable part is that my story is fully documented yet I was still forced to resign. The sad part is that occurrences like mine are happening daily there but who is going to speak up? The unbelievable part still is that McDuffie County is allowed to continue to treat people, veteran or otherwise, the way they have and will continue to without repercussion. I survived military service in the Marine Corps to come home to teach at Thomson High Hell…the old acronym FUBAR describes teaching at Thomson High and in McDuffie County Schools best. I escaped from the hellhole…I hope others will do the same. I truly feel it is my duty to inform others. Thank you for your blog and the platform to speak.

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