Winfree Academy


Irving, TX: Former employees have claimed that Winfree Academy, a network of six charter schools in North Texas, has violated Texas labor law by hiring friends and family members over more qualified candidates, the Dallas Morning News reports.

According to state records, complaints of nepotism at the academy date back to at least 2001, the news source said.

One employee, who filed an anonymous complaint with the Texas Education Agency in 2004, said that "a great majority of people that are hired seem to be friends or relatives of the owners and principals...qualified candidates were passed over so that a friend of the owner could be hired. Positions are filled, not based on qualifications, but by who is on the 'inside.'"

Melody Chalkley, a former public high school teacher who started the academy in 1997, told the news provider that such accusations are unfair and untrue. She explained that family members and friends were instrumental in the expansion of the academy…

21 comments:

Anonymous said...

Its true....I would NOT send my kids to Winfree Academy. I dont think Winfree is going to be in operation much longer

Anonymous said...

The administrators at Winfree have little or no formal education....Student population is reducing at a rapid pace at each winfree campus...Winfree currently has a 80% drop out rate among its students district wide. This is not good.

Anonymous said...

Several years ago, winfree closed its grapevine campus because of its low enrollment numbers, in 2014 winfree will be closing its denton campus also from low enrollment numbers. There's a pattern here.

Anonymous said...

15 teachers has recently resigned from Winfree because of low pay, and low employee morale. Denton/Lewisville campuses have graduated only 2 students combined for the 2013-2014 school year thus far.

Anonymous said...

Winfree Academy Charter School is currently being monitored by the TEA.

Anonymous said...

Teachers are leaving Winfree Academy at a rapid pace.....Winfree teachers are among the lowest paid teachers in the State of Texas.

Concerned Mom said...

I am very worried now because I took my son out of DHS due to bullying and depression. Tried the home school route but he needed to be around his peers. He started Winfree(Denton) this year and I have been very impressed. I do have a concern how some of the students are allowed to act out in class and play jokes on teachers. If anyone has more information regarding problems with Winfree Acadamy, please let me know. You can email me if you like at azmiller.miller1@gmail.com. Thank you, Concerned Mom

Anonymous said...

Enrollment is decreasing at all winfree campuses. Teachers are still quiting winfree. Bad morale among teachers, winfree's director of instruction is abusive to teachers and staff. Not a good place to work or send your students.

Anonymous said...

How is this place not shut down by the state yet?

Anonymous said...

Winfree is a scam school.I had heard at one time that scores were rigged for the students so they could graduate and she could get more money. Don't know how true that is, it wouldn't surprise me. Daughter was in charge of finance for years, not qualified to hold that position. She sure got plenty of money to hold that position. There is a lot of covering up going on in there. What's up with the TEA not shutting it down! There needs to be a federal investigation to find out just how much money changed hands in there and to who.

Anonymous said...

My son goes to Winfree. It has given him a terrific education. The teachers are so nice and giving. My son is happy there.

Anonymous said...

As a former employee of Winfree Academy I can tell you first hand that this school did in fact hire friends and family members at school I worked at the Principal had her mother working for her, but the mom did not really have a job just creating crafts. I was let go due to one of the friends of Melody not liking me. There was a lot of nepotism on all campuses.

Michelle Hauser said...

Any updates on Winfree. Im relocating from San Diego to Dallas area and was planning on enrolling my son at the near Duncanville. Any info on this location would be appreciated.

Anonymous said...

I was forced to quit by the principal at the lewisville campus in 02

Anonymous said...

I was thinking about enrolling at the richland campus but all these negative reviews have me second guessing are these still issues or have they been resolved?

Anonymous said...

Richardson has a new principal and more newer staff all the friend like positions got fired due to a new needed experience the corporate was asking . I went last year and it was more difficult but I'm back again and it's better then before . It's not bad as they say.

Anonymous said...

I seen that the nepotism was reigned in by the Texas Education Agency and that the founder Melody Chalkley was let go as well as her daughter. Looks like TEA cleaned up Winfree.

Anonymous said...

Anyone have any issues recently? I am not happy and curious if anyone else is as well?

Anonymous said...

I'm a current student of Winfree. From my experience so far, at least in North Richland Hills, there doesn't really seem to be anything to terribly bad happening. Maybe in the past there were some problems with nepotism. But now, that seems to be gone. The main problem i've seen is favoritism to the regular students in comparison to those in the Courage program. (Courage is a program where students who have problems with metal illnesses, abuse, and drug addictions can be put, if they so request.)

Unknown said...

I went to winfree in grapevine i learned more there and did so much better there than i did at any keller school I went to i went from d's and c's to all straight A's you had to do your work to earn your grade no teacher handed that out to you sad to see all the negative reviews when it did wonders for me and other students there too

Anonymous said...

I currently go to winfree and honestly it still sucks. Most of the teachers that actually cared about the education of the students ALL left around the same time in one year. The new principle doesn't care about anything but the money. Granted we do have some cool new teachers but I'm not happy there. I have been attending for a while this is my third year and I was originally in the courage program for the first two years and it didn't help me at all it actually made my problems worse. I already suffered from minor anxiety and depression problems, however being there my anxiety and depression has gotten considerably worse since attending. I used to be able to manage my problems, but now I cant even go to school without being in CONSTANT anxiety. It has even gotten in the way of me graduating. Most of the staff don't care at all about the students. Winfree I can honestly say has given me the worst anxiety I have ever had. Since attending the school I also developed severe social anxiety and I cant be anywhere near the school without uncontrollably shaking. Do your kids a favor and find any other place to send your child. The schools are filled with trouble making kids with severe alcohol and drig addictions.