Carolina International School

A handful of parents have contacted the N.C. State Board of Education concerning the leadership of Carolina International School, which survived an embezzlement case in 2008 that nearly forced it to close.

About a dozen parents question how the current principal and assistant principal were hired for Cabarrus County's only charter school and how board of director meetings are run and documented under North Carolina's open records law. The group wants to start a dialogue with board members in hope to expand the school's board of directors and help prevent future problems…

At the Feb. 10 meeting, the board voted to increase payments to the N.C. Department of Revenue to pay off tax liabilities stemming from the embezzlement. The school will have federal and state debt paid off by June 30, he said, and the financial change could make it easier to attract board members, said Elliott.

The total debt from litigation fees, back taxes and interest from the 2008 embezzlement case reached upwards of $600,000, and the board of directors could legally have been bound to pay that debt had funds not been raised, said Elliott…

A group of about a dozen parents examined board minutes from the summer of 2010 that document the school's hiring of the principal and assistant principal. Elliott is documented as seconding his own vote to go into a closed session. Board member and science teacher Megan McNutt, who was marked absent for the July meeting, is documented as seconding Sam Leder's vote to go into a closed session. Neither of these items have been updated or amended on current meeting minutes found on the school website as of Feb. 18.

Concord attorney Sue Schneider's daughter is a sixth-grader at CIS. She wants the state to get involved to ensure the board and the principal are adhering to school bylaws, which include running meetings using "Robert's Rule of Order, Revised," an updated version of parliamentary procedure that dates back 200 years.

She about 10 other parents are asking the state to better police the charter school's meeting activity and help fully disclose the search process for finding potential principal and assistant principal candidates during the "relatively short" hiring process…

The school had faced struggles after Sandra Vielbaum, the school's former finance officer, in 2008 was charged and later convicted of embezzling $195,000, leaving the school in financial straits. The school was in danger of closing, as it faced a deficit of $400,000, but school leaders secured $380,000, with help from parents and loans, which allowed the school to remain open…

12 comments:

Anonymous said...

I do not know whom the principal or assistant principal was in 2011 but the current principal, assistant principal and office staff in general are not people friendly - unless they are already "friends" with them. The administration and staff are clicky and gossipy. I have witnessed this behavior on a couple of occassions and it makes me feel unwelcomed and uncomfortable. I think the office staff should refrain from that type of behavior and treat all those who enter the school with a smile and greeting instead of slinking behind doors and whispering. If this is how the principal,human resource person and other administration and office staff members treat people, they are in the wrong profession. I would feel more comfortable that the school has quality teaching staff and curriculum knowing that all support staff and higher administration showed the professionalism necessary to operate an educational entity.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous is right. I worked there BRIEFLY and it was the worst experience I have ever had. Not only are they not friendly but they allow children and adults to make unfounded claims. Teachers are devious and out for themselves. The class size is not 17 but more than 20. They do not abide by legal guidelines for
Special Education. You do not want to work there or send your child there.

Anonymous said...

You are exactly right. I worked there and still have nightmares about the deviousness at that place.

Anonymous said...

Humm I find it odd that two negative views from past teachers both were posted within 2 mins of each other. At after 3 am for that matter. Good job. Potato

Anonymous said...

My guess is "Anonymous" happens to be the particular teacher that was BRIEFLY there because they were fired and told to never come back onto the school's property ever again. The fact that "anonymous" mentions special education tells me exactly who it is. They were fired due to the fact that this teacher was absolutely evil to our children and probably should've never been a teacher to begin with! Our kids actually feared this person on a daily basis. A horrible human being if you ask me. "Anonymous" is bitter because they got called out and had to own up to their behavior.

Anonymous said...

I don't it was the same person.

Anonymous said...

Why is Nelmes gone?

Anonymous said...

I was just reading the comments and I will tell you honestly that I worked there and it was a very hostile working environment. The leadership and office staff did not get along and made the teachers (including me) very uncomfortable. Teachers would take sides and some would get parents involved in conflicts with other teachers and staff. Most of the parents were wonderful and tried to stay out of the drama but many withdrew their children within a year or two. The children were great- I loved working with them but their education did not come first and that was wrong. I took my children out of the school mid year because the educational standards were so low. I was there everyday and saw it first hand. For these reasons, CIS loses many good teachers- they quit- I have not heard of one being fired even though the terrible ones should be! We believe that they are reluctant to get rid of the ineffective/troublemaker teachers because of the high staff turnover. The standards were very lax at best. I honestly saw teachers behave in ways towards the students that made me feel uncomfortable and angry because like Anonymous said- they were very mean and talked down to the kids. When the admin was told of this behavior, they told me that two other teachers had already made them aware of the situation! Nothing was done to correct her behavior. I had a mother tell me that her son, who was in third grade at the time, cried and hated school because of the way his teacher treated and talked to him. She requested that her son be moved into the other 3rd grade class but the staff would not allow it! It was a very sad situation because I had the privilege of teaching him and he was a great kid! It makes me sad for the students because this school could be so much more than it is and the kids deserve a good education and teachers who actually care.

Anonymous said...

I too was wondering why was Mystica let go? Of course I was also wondering how she ever got hired in the first place?

Anonymous said...

I can tell you why Nelmes got canned: because karma can be delayed, but never denied. Out of all the bosses I have ever had, both in schools and in non teaching positions, she is the single worst boss I ever had. She was petty, vindictive and never took responsibility for any mistakes that SHE made, but would lash out at any convenient target. She got a bee in her bonnet that every student in the school should have a laptop, from grade 3 on up. It never occurred to her that many parents could not afford this, nor did she think to get insurance for these machines. After all, they would be in the hands of kids as young as 8... what could possibly go wrong? She also refused to re-schedule a parents night so that the faculty could attend the wake of a former colleague, and she threatened anyone who refused to comply with being fired.

I almost quit teaching because of my experience working for her; I gave it another go, and I'm glad I did

Anonymous said...

I had Mystica Nimes, then Mystica Bundy as my teacher a while back. She taught the material well, however, she wasn't the nicest teacher to the majority of the children. Only her "teacher pet" she was nice to. She was so horrible that even the "teachers pet" didn't like her.

Anonymous said...

Please do NOT send your children here. The lower school principal is a crude and belittling. She wants to make you believe that she is warm and friendly, but it is very clear. She is NOT. I was warned about this school and I did not want to believe what I was hearing. But it is ALL true. The fundraising is more important than the academics. One teacher scared my child and when I told the teacher about the incident, she did not once respond with any concern in regards to how my child felt and how we can smooth this over. NOTHING. I have to say I was warned, but it you are reading this, please don't go. This is not the nurturing and understanding environment to stimulate growth for children. Now I completely understand why the parent that warned me pulled her kids out of this school. There is a LOT to be desired for this school. Also, this charter school allows the parents more control than the administrators. Some of the things that these teachers are getting away with would NEVER happened in a regulated public school! Please do not start Kindergarten at CIS with ANY of the teachers!