Speakers back Bidwell re-hiring

Published: Wednesday, May 14, 2014 at 09:07 AM.

Nikki Millender said she spoke as a concerned parent in support of rehiring Bidwell. “He’s dedicated his time to show support for his kids. He doesn’t let personal gossip get in the way,” she said. “His doors are always open to me and my child. He’s always there to listen.

“How much will it cost in new training of our principal if Mr. Bidwell is let go? Can we afford it?” Millender asked. “If it wasn’t for this man right here, my child wouldn’t be going into the 11th grade. He’s always been there for my child, he does nothing but encourage her. He’s constantly kept up with my child. He is always there and I thank God there’s someone like Mr. Bidwell and I wish there were more of them.

“I’m here speaking for myself and my child,” she said. “He’s a great asset.”

In referring to gossip, the adult speakers were indirectly addressing a relationship that Bidwell is in with former school psychologist Lisa Sweatt, according to both their Facebook postings. Both he and Sweatt, who worked up until last month as a contracted employee under Special Programs Director Dr. Sue Summers, are either in the midst of, or have completed, divorce proceedings from their respective spouses.

“I’m aware that there’s talk in our community,” said Howze-Jones. “Wouldn’t it be a shame to let non work-related issues that have certainly been embellished stand in the way? We don’t even know what progress” has been made.

Standardized test results from the 2013-14 school year, Bidwell’s first as principal, won’t be released until later this year.

Howze-Jones said Bidwell has completed several walk-throughs of her classroom, and that of other teachers, more than his predecessors.

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