Updated 6/27/15. We have been beset with rumors swirling around the Archer Community that Elizabeth English is to resign as head of Archer School sometime this summer. We have asked Archer’s attorneys to confirm, deny or otherwise comment on the growing speculation that Ms. English will announce her resignation soon and invited them to correct, amend or comment on the major personnel actions that precipitated speculation that she will be gone before the beginning of the next semester. Among the possible results of this action would be abandonment or indefinite delay of the troubled Archer Forward expansion project. Thus far Archer has not responded. We will immediately post, unedited, their response should they provide it.
We have credible evidence convincing us of the truth of the following facts: (if any of this is inaccurate we will correct immediately)
- Major personnel changes announced in the last few days including:
- Promotion of middle school and high school directors to new position of Assistant Head of School (a possible interim leadership solution when/if English goes)
- Ms. English’s long time secretary resigned.
- Departure of two key fund-raising personnel and the communications/public relations manager.
- Ms. English’s daughter graduated this summer, will attend college in Philadelphia; Ms. English has no family reason to stay.
- Problems: School is facing major fiscal challenges both with or without approval of expansion project and litigation problems persist.
Rumors (unsubstantiated but credible)
- Major morale problems throughout faculty and staff relating to Ms. English’s leadership style (including no consultation with key stakeholders on major changes listed above).
- Rising parent and student unrest about the lack of transparency re: negative impact of construction and lack of candor re: revisions.
- Ms. English has frequently confided to colleagues that she much prefers the east coast and would like to return there and is aware of the significant possibility (probability?) that her contract would not be renewed when it expires.
- Board recently informed that the school may be stuck with attorneys fees that could reach $400,000; may not have the money.
- Apparently the Archer Board was convinced by legal counsel that Josephsons would be forced to pay all fees incurred and that an insurance carrier would would pay whatever was not paid by Josephsons. The Arbitrator’s Final Award denying all Archers claims (including award of fees and costs) and criticizing Archer lawyer’s litigation strategy has made this scenario no longer possible.
- Rumor is that bulk of lawyers’ fees remain unpaid and Archer does not have the money especially in light of continuously escalating costs to get approval of expansion project.
- Board dissatisfaction with status of Archer Forward project including costs already spent or owed approaching $10 million before approval has been attained, continuing uncertainty of approval in light of most recent letter fro Councilman Bonin (that Ms. English did not reveal to parents), cumulative impact of concessions to gain approval which substantially dilute benefit of project, fund-raising shortfalls and poor prospects of raising funds needed to commence and complete construction, and possible parent rebellion as they realize the enormous inconvenience of the project to their kids (www.josephsonvsarcher.com/what-archer-is-not-telling-parents/ www.josephsonvsarcher.com/archers-ill-conceived-expansion/ Ms. English’s departure would give the Board a credible excuse to abandon the building project
- Rumor that several Board members are weary of the Josephson lawsuit and need to continually support Ms. English’s autocratic decisions that could subject the school (and them) to additional bad publicity and legal liability (including actions relating to continuing ban on entire Josephson Family and court ordered sanctions re: harassing litigation strategy). See for example, www.josephsonvsarcher.com/josephson-family-banned/