The new principal of Greenwood Middle School is the son of the president of the school board that hired him.
Although Greenwood Leflore Consolidated School Board President Deirdre Mayes recused herself from the discussion and vote on her son Kevin Mayes’ hiring, the personnel decision has raised questions of whether it borders on nepotism.
Kevin Mayes, currently an academic coach at East Elementary School, was hired recently by the board as principal of Greenwood Middle School for the 2019-2020 school year. The positions pays between $85,430 to $89,790 annually, depending on his academic degrees and years of experience.
When contacted Friday about the hiring, Deirdre Mayes at first offered “no comment.”
She did say, though, that she had been unaware that Kevin Mayes would be promoted to principal until it was recommended by Dr. Mary Brown, the superintendent.
Brown has been trying to fill numerous administrative positions as the July 1 consolidation between the Greenwood and Leflore County school districts approaches.
Deirdre Mayes objected to the suggestion that her son’s hiring as principal had anything to do with her position as school board president. She said children who return to Greenwood after college have the right to be hired for jobs in their field.
Kevin Mayes could not be reached for comment Friday.
He is not the only member of the consolidated district to have family ties.
Twin brothers Kelvin Pulley and Dr. Kenneth Pulley, the consolidated district’s board attorney and deputy superintendent, respectively, are sons of Dr. Margie Pulley, who served as superintendent of the Greenwood School District for four years until she retired in September 2012. During Margie Pulley’s tenure at the district, Deirdre Mayes worked as the district’s business manager.
The consolidated board hired Kelvin Pulley for attorney at the beginning of this year, and then later hired Kenneth Pulley, based on Brown’s recommendation, to be her top assistant. Kenneth Pulley has been the principal at Greenwood High since 2016.
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