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Dodge, NHHS character ed promoter, resigns

Had been with school since 2002

June 17, 2009 | 08:37 AM

North Harrison High School's assistant principal resigned unexpectedly last week after questions arose about the handling of the school's character education program.

The school board accepted Doug Dodge's resignation, 5-0, without comment during Thursday night's board meeting at Morgan Elementary School.

Dodge, who was hired at his alma mater in 2002, opted not to talk on the record about his resignation because he didn't want to breech any confidentiality.

Dodge, who started the character education program three years ago, modeled it from a similar program in another state.

North Harrison's students were introduced to the program on the first day of school during the 2006-07 school year. The program, which talks about choices, was designed to reduce school tardies, improve school attendance, reduce the number of failures, reduce the number of discipline referrals and increase the school's ISTEP passing percentage.

Throughout the school year, students earn tickets that go into a prize drawing, named Focus Friday, which includes a grand prize of a Ford Focus car donated by Heritage Ford in Corydon. Teachers also are eligible for prizes and receive reminders of the program during the school year, such as homemade cookies.

Dodge has said, following each of three Ford Focus events, that the program has been successful.

Randy Barrett, interim superintendent of the North Harrison Community School Corp., agreed yesterday afternoon that the character education program, as well as the Harrison County Alternative Education Center, of which Dodge is the board president, has been successful.

Dodge made some contributions to the school system and was "greatly involved" during his employment, Barrett said, declining to comment further.

Prior to being hired at NHHS, Dodge was employed as assistant principal at Mitchell High School for two years.

"I just got fought on every street corner I went down," Dodge said, adding that all he had been doing was promoting character education.

"I'm crushed," he said of what's happened. "I have put my heart and soul into the school."

  1. print email
    June 17, 2009 | 11:21 AM

    The way this news piece is written leaves too much to the imagination. Mr. Dodge is hailed as being successful in building this program and "greatly invoved". Later he speaks of being "crushed", somethings missing here? But then again when my child attended NHHS many things were "missing" from what should be a well rounded educational experience. Thankfully she completed her education at another high school where she flourished.

  2. print email
    June 17, 2009 | 12:22 PM

    Mr. Dodge did try to put his heart and soul in his job at North Harrison, but he had too many obstacles in the way ... North Harrison has BIG problems,we need to clean house and start all over!!!! Mr. Dodge used poor judgement, but we do not know the whole story. We as parents need to start standing up for our children and quit letting a few people destroy our school. Some of our athletic programs are slowly hitting rock bottom ... Please parents speak up for the good of your children and protect them for this kind of behavior. The Board members do want to hear from you!! Mr. Dodge I wish you all the best in the world! Thanks!!

  3. print email
    Where is the rest of the story?
    June 17, 2009 | 06:45 PM

    ... It seems some very significant facts have been left out of this article about the questionable actions of Doug Dodge ... I noticed too that Mr. Dodge did not want to speak about the truth of the matter, yet his reported comments seem to imply that he did nothing wrong. If this is the case, which it isn't, why did he chose to resign?

  4. print email
    you can't always get what you want
    June 18, 2009 | 12:21 AM

    ... shows you how bad things have gotten. wished NH was a school people wanted to send there kids to. not anymore ...

    NH Alumni
  5. print email
    Something missing there too
    June 18, 2009 | 06:18 AM

    So what was missing in her education? There was something missing in your statement. I have a child that will be going there and I would like some concrete answers and not inuendos ... Im defiately considering pulling out of NH until things change. Whats up at the HS level?

  6. print email
    Made a terrible decision bad for kids
    June 18, 2009 | 09:46 AM

    Clearly Mr. Dodge, by removing kids names from the drawings, made a terrible choice. This program was about what KIDS could earn. He decided that certain kids were not deserving of being in the drawings. What gives him the right? ... What lesson do kids learn about character from that? My kids won't be there but others will. They should get better from their principal ...

  7. print email
    June 18, 2009 | 09:50 AM

    ... I am so glad our child has graduated from that school. The article didn't tell you that Dodge pulled tickets out so certain kids wouldn't have a chance to win ... There is a lot that is not being told ...

    glad he is gone
  8. print email
    We know enough!
    June 18, 2009 | 10:22 AM

    We may not know the whole story, but we do know enough of the story! Mr. Dodge deliberately took tickets belonging to students out of the drawing ... there is no excuse whatsoever for his most recent actions! The only person to blame for his resignation is himself. He taught character education and one of the aspects is to accept responsibilities for your actions. Some of us parents are standing up for our children and other children ... Imagine how you would react to what happened, if one of those children were your own. While I wish no one ill will, I think this is a good change for North Harrison. I am very disappointed in his actions, but in all honesty, I am not surprised.

    North Harrison parent
  9. print email
    Please attend next month's school board meeting!
    June 18, 2009 | 11:09 AM

    This matter has been placed on the agenda for the July school board meeting. Please be there with your student so that we can get some answers regarding the future of the character education program. The next meeting will be Thursday, July 9th in the Middle School Library. Please check the school's website for the correct time as it has not yet been announced. It is usually held at 7:30 but that can and does change. It is important that everyone who is concerned about what is going on at NH should turn out and demand answers.

    A concerned mom
  10. print email
    June 18, 2009 | 11:52 AM

    ... Thank God all my kids have now graduated from NH and will not have to endure the mess that continues to grow at NH ...

    Former Teacher at NH
  11. print email
    Negative, Negative, Negative
    June 18, 2009 | 12:52 PM

    My daughter will be in 3rd grade at Morgan. We moved to Palmyra the summer before she started Kindergarden so she could go to this great school. I beleive I will start going to the school board meetings from now on to find out what is giong on at the schools. Hearing the things I have heard the past couple of years make me wonder if we need to move to get my daughter into a better school when she moves to higher grades. To the teachers and staff and Mr. Richards at Morgan. Great Job, Keep it up.

    concerned parent of a fastly growing 3rd grader
  12. print email
    Problem Solved.
    June 18, 2009 | 02:22 PM

    Why is everyone still angry, you cant fix the past. And now he's gone. Let it be.

  13. print email
    Same Old Story at NH !!!
    June 18, 2009 | 02:57 PM

    No teacher contract, No superintendant, No Athletic Director, No Varsity Basketball Coach, now this mess with Dodge, just another day at North Harrison. It is truly hard to believe that NH would be in this kind of shape, I feel sorry for the children, they are the ones that suffer.

    NH parent and tax payer
  14. print email
    Not Surprised
    June 18, 2009 | 03:32 PM

    My son went to North Harrison all the way through ... I am so happy my child is out of school as the things I am hearing about NH only get worse. Good luck to all who still have children in the school system

    former NH parent
  15. print email
    NH Parent
    June 19, 2009 | 09:46 AM

    Things are bad at NH ... There has to be some drastic changes ... I suggest getting a arbitrator in to hear both sides of the contract issue--teachers and school board-- and both sides have to agree to what they recommed. Get this contract business out of the way. They MAYBE someone would be interested in applying for the superintendent's, basketball coach, athletic director or vice principal job. I really disappointed in what Mr. Dodge did and believe he did the right thing in handing in his resignation but there are several others who could hand in their resignations and the school would be better off.

    Concerned NH Parent
  16. print email
    Reality TV
    June 19, 2009 | 11:15 AM

    I tell you what, this stuff is better then the reality TV. Every week there is a new twist, resignation, controversy, firings (forced retirements) etc. Only until the teachers contract is settled and quality/educated individuals elected, can a school system, with remarkable elementary school education, return to a place that the community and surrounding communities aren't tuned in until next week to see what happens. LETS GET TO A NEW SEASON OF THIS REALITY SHOW

    NH Alumni
  17. print email
    June 19, 2009 | 06:18 PM

    As a NH Alumi and a member of a school board in another state, I challenge parents to become involved in functions such as PTO, site councils, school functions and attending school board meetings. That is where true change begins. Clearly North Harrison has some problems that both sides (board and teachers) need to work through quickly, before further problems manifest. This is where cool heads need to prevail. I agree that at this point an outside party (arbitrator) probably needs to be brought in, both sides to talk to get other, and a binding decison made. Now to the issue of Mr. Dodge, sometimes when your pointing fingers, three are pointing back, be careful. If the accusations are true and he did pull students names, he is receiving what he sowed and will have to live as a marked person in a small community that Ramsey, New Salisbury and Palmyra is. This will be tough for a NH alumi/former NH basketball standout. We all have made bad decisions with negative consequences (God knows that I have), but as a Christian community that is evident there, please pray for Mr. Dodge and forgive as we have been forgiven by God. North Harrison may be down, but never out. Change begins within, so begin with postive encouragement for the school board, teachers and the students! We all can agree to disagree, but we can be nice in doing it! God Bless North Harrison/Morgan schools!

    Proud Cougar
  18. print email
    Do the teachers really want to settle the contract?
    June 19, 2009 | 09:17 PM

    I have to wonder that since we did elect 2 new board members to the school board last year if the contract issues isn't all the board. Everyone continues to blame the board, but there are 2 new members that are sitting on the board & the contract isn't settled. The teachers went door to door to campaign for these board members so they could get their contract settled.
    There will always be a complaint & it is very difficult if not impossible to make everyone happy, but there is a middle ground & everyone has to give & take. It just doesn't look like the teachers are really trying to get the contract settled.

  19. print email
    nhs has hit bottom
    June 20, 2009 | 06:38 AM

    I hope and pray some one listens to this and does something ... Me and my husband use to be proud graduates of nhs, no so much anymore. What are our kids being taught in that school???? I say it again the fish rots from the head down some one needs to demand they clean house!!!!!Fyi check out new law past jan 09 you can move your child out of nhs if people did that maybe they would listen..

    sick of what nhs has became
  20. print email
    NH will never change
    June 20, 2009 | 06:15 PM

    I am glad that I graduated when I did ... I will definitely NOT be sending my daughter to the North Harrison School Corp. That school is too much of "you gotta know the right people and have the right name" kind of school.

    NH Alumni
  21. print email
    Teachers DO want to settle
    June 22, 2009 | 11:18 AM

    Why would NH teachers not want to settle? Do you think that we do not want a raise? We simply feel like erasing 4 years and not receiving any raise at all for those years is unreasonable. We have asked for ONE PERCENT for each of those years. That is not asking too much. It is the belief of many that the board (or at least some members) do not want to settle. The longer this drags on without end, the easier it will be for the board to say they can't afford to give us back pay. The middle ground, as the above reader says, does not mean taking absolutely nothing. That is not a compromise. I think the bargaining team may accept one or two years without pay as a compromise, but four years is not feasible. That is not good faith bargaining, especially when a look at the accounts shows that the money is there.

    As for Mr. Dodge, I hardly believe he would resign if he legitimately did nothing wrong.

  22. print email
    Response to Proud Cougar
    June 22, 2009 | 02:01 PM

    God is not the answer to everything. The school board has refused to go along with three mediators who have said their is money to pay the teachers. The school board will not accept binding arbitration ... As for Mr. Dodge, don't ask us to forgive someone who does not deserved to be forgiven. I believe in the saying "an eye for an eye!" Wonder who said that!

    Former teacher at NH
  23. print email
    June 30, 2009 | 07:10 PM

    ... God needs to be put back in school because its not only the children that need character.
    that school will not see my grandkids at it thats for sure

    N H Al
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