Cristy Graves, principal at North Laurel School has accepting a position with the Cape Henlopen School District.

Graves who was an outspoken advocate to keep Dr. John McCoy as superintendent will be missed by parents, students and her faculty. Her school was probably the best disciplined school in the district and students actually received a good education.

She was a go-getter, no-nonsense administrator. Her departure marks the second high-profile employee to leave the district. The other, football coach, and guidance counselor Clarence Giles left recently for an assistant principal position in Seaford.

With less than 6 weeks before school opens, no permanent superintendent to guide the ship the district is in a hell of a mess trying to fill positions. Who would want to come here that is a qualified teacher with all the turmoil we’ve been having?

Is the ship sinking, or has it sunk?



  1. Don’t really care what the board thinks, and she doesn’t either, but I understand she is doing a great job trying to put the peices together. She is a straight shooter, no gray areas, black or white, and she is doing what is right.
    I’ve been hearing reports the district is in very serious financial trouble, spending way over their budget to the extent the state is looking at taking over the schools. The teachers have no money for supplies nor does the nurses office. This means the teachers will have to take money out of their pocket, not right. I have heard the audit will be reported at Wednesday nights meeting and Dr. Nave is going to release it regardless of what the board wants. Good for her.

  2. I really don’t think Dr. Nave cares what the board thinks of her; she is a gutsy person and she is trying to put the peices together to hold the district together, no simple task. She is a straight shooter, like my bride, no gray areas, black or white. She is full steam ahead leaving no bush unturned.
    I have heard several reports the district is in severe financial distress; Dr. Nave I have heard will give a financial report at the board meeting this THURSDAY (MEETING DATE CHANGE TO ACCOMODATE CPA) regardless of what the board wants. I have heard the state is investigating and could take over running of the district. The teachers, school nurses have no money for supplies this year which means they have to take money out of their pockets. Not fair. We pay taxes to see our children and teachers are eqipped to do their job.
    I urge everyone to contact their teachers, school nurses and ask what supplies they can purchase. I don’t think they will accept money, but hopefully if the community reaches out to the teachers they will have the supplies they need until we can get this district back on track.

    • Board meeting will be on Thursday July 28th so the financial report can be given by Dr. Nave and CPA. The meeting was moved solely to enable the CPA to be there.

    • who is accountable for the fact that our district is in “severe financial distress”?

      Is this on the shoulders of our much-lauded previous superintendant?

      • since much of his authority was ‘taken away’ some time back, i doubt he is solely responsible. but you can count on teachers having to give up things they need to help pick up the slack. the direct place where the rubber meets the road, or where the purpose of having schools to start with, is where the sacrifice will be the most critical and do the most harm. the buck just gets passed down.

  3. I can’t say, a few district employees have mentioned some names but I have nothing to go on. A good audit will have recommendations of what should be done to fix the problem, from that you may gete an idea where to place the blame.

  4. I can’t say, a few district employees have mentioned some names but I have nothing to go on. A good audit will have recommendations of what should be done to fix the problem, from that you may get an idea where to place the blame.

    • frank, shouldn’t those legal fees show up on ? unless i breezed through the pages too fast, i didn’t see legal fees.

      • That’s a question for our friend Donna Reed who knows how to look up the budget; I don’t have time to do the research, maybe she will, she has in the past.

      • Carol- My understanding is that the funds for the attorney fees comes out of the General Fund, I ask that question last January and that was the answer given. Frank, Donna must be out of town. Here’s your answer for attorney fees for this year from the Delaware Checkbook.
        $2,769.00 posted 01/20/11
        $3,691.55 posted 02/14/11
        $3,584.65 posted 03/30/11
        Total $10,045.20
        Nothing for April, May, or June has been posted. I guess the State is a little behind, for we all know the attorney has been involved with school district issues in those months. I’ll keep you posted.
        On Christy, hate to see her go but understand. Wish her the best.

  5. DON’T forget there is a committee that was to have been formed last year to review the finances on a regular basis. this was suggested, i think, by the state. it has been mentioned several times at board meetings, but nothing has ever been done to establish this committee. i also ,again, wonder if there even is a budget constructed any more. in an effort to show some transparancy, maybe this has already been done and put in the local paper, and i just missed it.

    • Carol,
      The Citizens Budget Oversight Committee is being formed. I was contacted about being on it. I have hopes that the new board will be able to sort out a lot of the problems. It will see my support as long as I see progress.

  6. Well this allows the remaining members of the prior years board to make a scapegoat of Dr. McCoy. Just a shame! We must stay involved and be made aware of what is going on. This should not be a surprise but, the biggest complaint about the board has been their failure to share information with the people who elected them. It is a shame that we are losing Christy I wish her well.

    • Apparently shows the board didn’t know what was going on with the financials. School financials are difficult to read; I always had a problem reading them when I was on the board at Sussex Tech and I have overseen budgets for the state and county, but the schools have so much in federal and state funding, plus local funding, money can be moved from one account to another; it’s frustrating.

  7. It didn’t hit the public news as hard as McCoy and Giles, but our now former Curriculum Director left as well to take a position at Seaford’s new Tech Academy. In my opinion this may have been one of our biggest losses. I personally wish Christy, John, Sandy, and Clarence the best of luck, they all were a class act and it is hard to loose so many good administrators.

    I’m sure Pam may comment soon, and I hope she agrees with me – there still are a lot of caring teachers who like last year despite the conflict with the board will still continue to educate our kids to the best possible levels, and to the best of our abilities. It sure might be a bumpy ride but if we are all willing to work together and no one person thinks they are the only one who is right – we’ll get through this.

    • brian that’s how it’s always been. people on the bottom rung are steady doing their job because the kids are their responsibility and motivation. it seems recently the top rung people have been preoccupied in the muck and mire. i guess some of the good ones have had enough.

    • Right there with you, Brian and so well said. We have to keep trucking along because we love our kids and that is all we can do. We have good teachers in our district that really love our kids. What more can I say?

  8. At this time, we as a community need to gather our bootstraps and support our children and teachers in their education endeavors .. I hope that the two remaining board members now recognize what has happened to our district with the departure of Dr. McCoy. I respect Dr. Nave and her abilities and her determination to hold this district together. I hope Ms. Hartstein and Ms. Hickman have realize that the fallout of some many good administers is a direct result of their previous actions. I am praying that as a community we can steer this ship in the right direction once again

  9. Mccoy was the paid leader. If he couldn’t handle the board that finally held a super accountable unlike that bunch that let Duda coast,including musser who thankfully is out, than he needed to go. He can’t get all credit and no blame. He was a nice guy who fooled us all. I think Dr Nave realizes this and he was in over his head and if was such a find wouldve been scooped up by another DE school. Like all this is just my opinion as we never get access to facts. Hope Dr Nave changes this. Mccoy was great at pr and school spirit but I think the other stuff he was not so good. The super is the one in charge.

  10. too much time on computer in this heat; but FYI, just read Delaware Public School District Educational Spending for 2011, a report by Matthew Denn- Lieutenant Gov. some interesting results- 1) laurel school district is one of 3 in the state that spends the smallest % of funds on direct educational expenses. 2) laurel school district is one of 2 districts in the state that spends the highest % of funds on administrative costs. 3) if all 15 public school districts for which data was reported were to invest in direct educational expenses at the average rate of the 5 districts with the highest level of investment in this area, the state could move $26-$28 MILLION into direct educational expenses without raising revenues.

    • same in 2010. In 2010, we had an Asst. Superintendent whose salary factored into the equation.

      when did Lois Hartstein come onto the Board? How are we blaming the Board, but not our (then)Superintendent during these times of excessive administrative spending?

      • it may be a collective problem. maybe we will find out. it would be interesting to know just when the overspending began. i know there has been a concentrated effort for many years to improve cirriculum and evaluation and , yes, scores, at least at elementary level. i can’t really speak to higher grades. but much this was done with grant money, i thought. it would also be interesting to see a comparison with a similar population between administrative costs and a comparison between schools with similar population and fairly equal state funds on amount spent on each child.

      • I agree until Dr. McCoy came the ship sailed without a rudder; You’re probably correct in thinking the problems happened way back when, but the board took control and tried to steer the ship; I understand the former superintendent was glad to shed the responsibility. And the board ran amuck in trying to set policy and grounded the ship. Lois has about 3 years left on the board, so she has been on at least 2-3 years. Musser had 20, Ms. Hickman or Mr. Hyland are next up for election.

  11. Frank, I believe it is time as a community that we all face facts. We allowed this mess to happen because of our lack of involvement in watching what the school board was doing. We all wanted to complain but we didn’t want to be involved until the pot boiled over and now we are scrambling to clean up the mess and move forward. I am thankful that Dr. Nave is a straight shooter but we as the parents, grandparents and community must stand diligent to make sure that this does not happen again. This started before McCoy and will not end until the community says enough is enough. The children in the district must come first for they are the future of the community and the world.

    • It’s a sad day when the voters have to baby sit their elected officials. We shouldn’t have to do that. What if we went to every meeting of all governments; we wouldn’t have time to sleep. They are there to protect us and do what is right for all not just a few.

      • Good point Frank. A perfect example of our elected officials needing babysitting is that we now have a goverment controlled health plan that maybe 5% of the population wanted but, we got it anyway.

      • John why is the Republican party, aside from bitching about the health care plan, reluctant to push for cuts in the healthcare bill? I wold disagree with your 5% figure; the majority of Americans including myself are still learning about the health plan. Admittly there are good points, and some flawed. I keep repeating what Bill\ Clinton said, you know the liberal who brought this country the greatest prosperity known in spite of Nafta and some other sloppy side work, “Any bad legislation is better than no legislation.” He said once a bill is law it can be amended to weed out the bad. I think as you age and find the need for health care you’ll appreciate this controversal legislation.

      • Point was not really about the health care plan it was about the fact that things like it happen because we don’t have time to baby sit our elected officials. Out of about 100+ people that I have talked to exactly 6 approve of it and all are retired military or retired federal workers including some of my family. The majority got what they DID NOT want because we did not have time to baby sit our elected officials.

      • I guess it depends on how you start the conversation, some don’t want to be confronted and will agree to anything you say, most I talk to either don’t understand the plan, those who have kids in college like the up to 26 years coverage under their parents plan because many can’t find jobs after they graduate, and some who are young, in good health, are against it.

  12. at this point do we really blame anyone for leaving? if i was a teacher looking for a job Laurel would be the last school district i would apply to. The only reason us as a community cares now, is because ours taxes are going to increase, but now we are concerned members of the community worried about “our future leaders” and that they get a proper education. ask your self this if your taxes were going to stay the same would we be worried about what the teachers pay out of pocket, or what the board was doing?. . . . . probably not

  13. Frank this is from a fellow liberal and from a news program you agree with.

    Lawrence O’Donnell, MSNBC political analyst and Chief of Staff for the Chairman of the Senate Finance Committee during Clinton’s presidency, stated the following as quoted by Michael Takiff in the 2010 book A Complicated Man: The Life of Bill Clinton Told By Those Who Know Him:

    “I don’t think that his presidency amounted to very much. There was a two-year Clinton presidency, where if Clinton wanted to do something it would not necessarily get done but would get a fair hearing and a lot of legislative energy pushing it. And then there was a six-year Gingrich government, in which Clinton was allowed a small editing function on what the Gingrich government would do. In those six years not a single thing that the White House wanted to do got done…

    Throw in a grotesquely stupid scandal, involving his own personal behavior, that overtakes every day of his presidency for a year, and it becomes one of history’s least important presidencies, in terms of actually setting some kind of direction or establishing some kind of principle that goes forward beyond that presidency.

    What’s the legacy? I don’t get it. There’s no lesson on how to be president — at all.”

    • Sell that to all the little guys who became millionairres in the stock market, all the jobs that were created during his term; just the messenger. For the record I don’t like O’Donnell or his show. But thanks for throwing that little jab.

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