ANC6A Weighs In To Support Miner Principal Fired Last Month
by Larry Janezich
ANC6A has joined the more than 325 people who signed a petition calling for the reinstatement of former Miner Principal Taliaferro–Bunch who was let go on June 28, 2013. More than 500 have written letters in support of the principal which have been submitted to the city government.
School officials do not comment on personnel matters, but some residents suspect the firing came about after Taliaferro-Bunch strongly resisted the entry of school officials who were attempting to remove the school “zoo” – a collection of small animals kept at the school.
School officials were reported to have said at the time that the zoo was against school policy.
Miner Elementary is at 601 15th Street, NE. The school and the former principal both have wide support in the community and among the parents of students. Taliaferro-Bunch has been praised for her ability to include the community in the education efforts at the school and for emphasizing the arts in the education program.
ANC6A sent DC Schools Chancellor Henderson a letter requesting reinstatement of Taliaferro-Bunch as Principal of Miner Elementary School. In an accompanying note which stated the commission’s vigorous support of the principal, ANC6A Chair Holmes added a personal note. “I have observed her since 2007, as Vice Chair, Commissioner, and Chair of ANC 6A. I’ve watched her interact with her students, staff, and teachers. She is very effective, a strong leader. She originated the Men of Miner to bring strong male role models to her students. Though it’s been a matter of contention with DCPS, I can only praise her attempt to provide learning about, and familiarity with, her small ‘zoo’. The kids love it.”
The text of the letter from the commission follows:
Dear Chancellor Henderson,
Advisory Neighborhood Commission 6A has found Principal Lavonne Taliaferro-Bunch to be extremely competent, a source of strength for our community, able to bring about increasing neighborhood involvement, a woman who adds depth to her students’ educational experience, a supporter of the ANC, a firm disciplinarian of her students, and in command of her staff. She has encouraged the growth of the PTO, helped create positive experiences for her students with the police, and has been fiercely protective of the children in her charge as they go to and from the school.
The School has been improving with better PTO participation and better test numbers despite the problem/opportunity of so many school lunch children and so many challenged and homeless students because of the proximity of the homeless shelter.
Her departure will be a major loss to the community and to this ANC. You should not let her go.
The letter was authorized to be sent to you by a vote of the Commission taken last night at its regular publicly announced monthly meeting. The vote was 7-0, Commissioner Mahmud neither present for this matter nor voting.
For the Commission,