Anthony Tovar, Former Sunset High School Principal, Finally Says What Made Him Quit

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When a choked-up Anthony Tovar announced to a gathering of parents and supporters in April that he would resign as principal of Sunset High School -- for real this time -- he wouldn't delve too deeply into why.

He'd already done so in an earlier conversation with the Observer back before he rescinded, and then un-rescinded, his initial resignation. But back then, with things still in flux, he asked that his comments not go on the record.

Today, with his final school year well behind him, he's more comfortable sharing his views. He sent an e-mail to The Dallas Morning News in response to a post by editorial writer Rodger Jones on how three-fourths of Dallas ISD's "super principals" had been fired or drummed out.

See also
-Part Coach, Part Cheerleader, Sunset High Principal Anthony Tovar Aims to Prove That Inner-City Schools Can Be Winners
-Why is Sunset High School Principal Anthony Tovar Leaving?
-Beloved Sunset High Principal Anthony Tovar Says He Will Leave Dallas ISD After All

I never knew I was on some hit list until this year. I was never told I was going to be non-renewed. I am not stupid and realized that I had an Executive Director who had been a principal for four years at two middle schools and quit both of them, who was on my case letting me know how how unhappy she was.

When she first met all the Sunset Feeder Pattern Principals, she was so excited about getting this job because, as she said to all of us, "We were all in the green and there is no other feeder pattern in the whole district like ours."

I turned out to be her scapegoat. I was told by one of the Executive Directors who resigned early in the year that Miles put the pressure on all of them to get rid of at least one principal in the feeder pattern they were in charge of.

We could never do anything right in her eyes, but if you look at the scores for this year, we did good. My job became so miserable that when I went home for the spring break I decided enough was enough and turned in my S-54.

In the email, Tovar goes on to detail his frustration with Miles' inflexible management style and his indifference to the concerns of those beneath him.


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20 comments
gonzalez6
gonzalez6

It is sad. dr. smyrniou researched the practices of Dallas ISD as a participating anthropologist by becoming an alternative certification candidate with Dallas isd and also the victim of a principal ms Susan Walker in Stevens park elementary. Her research will be published snd presented in AERA. Nothing would satisfy Ms Walker either. She harassed her including in every letter "if you do not follow my directives you will be disciplined. She creates an atmosphere of fear and blandness which makes the employees fear for retaliations of their jobs and do not react. It is harassment according to the ISD policy to the maximum and people who create impossibilities to their employees so they can resign should pay in a court of law and the district that although knows does nothing. I am one of those who suffered and after 25 years I left ISD. This is not a district this is an organization without checks and balances of harassment. Shame on them.

joecook
joecook

From listening to students and the Sunset community in general; we knew this man was a great principal. There's just no argument.

RTGolden1
RTGolden1 topcommenter

I can't wait for Schutze's rebuttal to this.....

Cliffhanger
Cliffhanger

@joecook Yes. Just driving by or walking through the school you could see what a positive difference he made in the attitudes of the students and staff. He was an actual reformer, not someone playing politics.

animas
animas

Perhaps it is a bit finicky on my part but when a "Super Principal" educator of many years puts a  grammatically poorly constructed sentence together like "when you look at the scores for this year, we did good", instead of the grammatically correct "we did well", the remainder of the complaint seems less valid.

bmarvel
bmarvel topcommenter

@animas  if you can't deal with the substance, deal with the grammar.

dallas_dude
dallas_dude

@animasseriously man...it's 2013.  The whole grammar nazi bit is like 5 years old.  You pull this in any other setting other than the anonymity of the internet and your a$$ is going to be labeled a douche bag for life.  I'm sure all your friend all ready think of you as one anyway.

bbetzen
bbetzen

@animas When you ignore a principal who took a 33% graduation rate high school and moved it to a 70% graduation rate high school, like Tovar did, and pay more attention to grammar, that says much more about you than it says about Tovar.

mcdallas
mcdallas

@animas You need a new dictionary, dogg.  It's all good, i know you think the '95 is the bomb, but if you really want to kick it in the rad 2010s, you should get a wicked new dictionary and quit clownin' around.  Your dictionary is new, NOT!

animas
animas

Gentlemen!  Please refer to the Merriam Webster Dictionary- Home and Office Edition copyright 1995 which clearly separates each word.  Also acceptable is the hyphenated form "what-soever".  I thought that someone would notice that I started a sentence with a conjunction-"and"-(horrors) although that is also acceptable as an informal usage.

bmarvel
bmarvel topcommenter

@animas "Whatsoever" is one word, now that you mention it. Not that I object, but I would think a nitpicking grammarian would try to avoid such errors even if they are intentional.

mcdallas
mcdallas

@animas To be fair, you did have TWO spaces between the words "sense" and "what".  Also, it's "whatsoever", according to Merriam-Webster Dictionary.

Hey, if you can dish it you better be able to take it.

ScottsMerkin
ScottsMerkin topcommenter

@dallas_dude @animasI hate grammar nazis as much as the next guy, but when a top educator in school district has grammar problems, I believe that is the setting where you can bring it up.  Just my 2 cents

animas
animas

And you aren't anonymous and unreasonably angry about a simple opinion?   The rest of your post makes no sense  what so ever.

animas
animas

I can only derive conclusions from the limited source material provided here and DMN.  I am quite sure that you have much more first hand  information than I do, and you should educate us further.  Tell us how, for example Mr. Tovar "stood up" to his bosses.( If you feel comfortable doing so)  It sounds like he was simply made miserable and resigned.  That's OK, by the way, I am in no position to judge.

scottiebeezy
scottiebeezy

I have taught at Sunset for 5 years now, and what Mr. Tovar said in his letter is no conspiracy theory. He was one of the best principals in DISD, if not the best. He was pretty much forced out of here for absolutely no reason. Our graduation rate in 2013 was 86%, a far cry from the 35 or so percent the year before he arrived at Sunset. He was doing nothing but the right things, and was forced out because he actually had the balls to stand up to his bosses, Desiree Marks-Arias and Mike Miles. It's a travesty what's being done by those in charge in DISD. You should come work at our school or meet Mr. Tovar before you interject on an issue you know nothing about.

mcdallas
mcdallas

@animas Dont worry, animas.  bbetzen will soon move along to his next tirade.

animas
animas

I'm not "ignoring" him.  He QUIT and now he's publicly whining about some conspiracy theory.  Sorry, no sale.

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