Two Months After Leaving Damascus High, Administrator Shifting Jobs Again

Two Months After Leaving Damascus High, Administrator Shifting Jobs Again

Former assistant principal convicted of DUI will work in MCPS central office

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Col. E. Brooke Lee Middle School in Silver Spring.

Photo via MCPS

An administrator who left Damascus High School after a driving while impaired conviction has left her latest position at Col. E. Brooke Lee Middle School for a job at the district’s central office.

Maniya Jules was at Lee Middle School in Silver Spring for one month. In a letter to families last week, Lee Principal Kim Hayden-Williams announced that Jules would move to Montgomery County Public Schools’ Equity Initiative Unit.

When Jules pleaded guilty in July to driving while ability impaired for a second time, parents criticized the school system for letting her stay in her job. Shortly after, she was reassigned to Lee, where she was an assistant principal from July 1 to Aug. 5.

In her letter to Lee families Friday, Hayden-Williams said Jules brought valuable energy, knowledge and skills to the Lee community.

“Mrs. Jules came to Col. E. Brooke Lee with a strong background and passion for equity work,” Hayden-Williams wrote. “An opportunity to join the MCPS Equity Initiatives Unit presented itself in August and Mrs. Jules will join their team effective August 5, 2019.”

Jules did not receive a warm welcome from Lee families who were concerned that she did not set a good example for students.

Jules, 51, of Potomac, pleaded guilty to driving under the influence of alcohol for the second time since 2017. She was sentenced to two days of jail, which she served over a weekend.

A county Circuit Court judge ordered that an interlock device measuring alcohol in a person’s system be installed on her car, requiring the driver to blow into a mouthpiece before starting the vehicle.

Jules, who was assistant principal at Damascus High School at the time of her arrest, was cited for driving under the influence of alcohol in 2017, according to court records.

When parents learned of Jules’ reassignment to Lee, they wrote letters to MCPS administration and school board members saying they felt it was “too soon in her recovery for her to take on a stressful position as an assistant principal at a high-needs school,” according to Michele Moller, Northwood High School cluster coordinator, a group of schools that includes Lee.

“In addition, parents believed that staff and students would have a hard time having respect for and taking direction from someone who had just recently been arrested and served a jail sentence for DUI,” Moller said this week.

More broadly, Moller said community members and parent-teacher associations felt MCPS was not transparent in its decision to reassign Jules to the middle school.

“PTA members at least are usually aware that the school is interviewing for administrators, and are often on the interview panel,” Moller said. “That did not happen this time, and Ms. Jules was placed with no prior notice to the community.”

When Jules’ new assignment to Lee was made public, a school system spokeswoman said the staff was aware of community concerns, but declined to comment on the reassignment decision, citing personnel matters.

Caitlynn Peetz can be reached at caitlynn.peetz@bethesdamagazine.com

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