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What Happened to Lindley Middle School Principal Sandra Ervin?

Parents and community members want to know, but no one is supplying answers about the often lauded middle school principal, who retired suddenly two weeks before school began.

If Lindley Middle School was a ship, it would have been sinking fast three years ago.

The school was ranked one of the worst in the state, and had been in “Needs Improvement” status for the past six years.

Parents, teachers and community members say Sandra Ervin, the school’s new captain, took the wheel, turned the ship around and gave it wind for its sails. Since she came aboard, the school made Adequate Yearly Progress every year and was even recognized for its dramatic progress.

So, on the first day of school, many parents are left to wonder what happened to Ervin, whose retirement was announced publicly Wednesday.

“Parents are still in a fog about it. All of us were crushed,” said Terri Robinson, who has one son attending Lindley this year and another who attended under Ervin. “I was shocked…We all think the world of her and the results that she has gotten from our kids.”

Lindley faculty received letters notifying them of Ervin’s resignation during the first week of August, just two weeks before the new school year begins.

Concerned parents requested a meeting with Cobb County School District officials to get answers about the school’s leader. At the meeting held Monday at the school, parents were told that they CCSD officials cannot release information about Ervin’s resignation.

By Monday afternoon, South Cobb Patch Editor Kiri Walton had received several emails, text messages and calls wondering what happened to Ervin.

CCSD spokesman Doug Goodwin told South Cobb Patch that it’s district policy to not release personnel information.

At Wednesday’s Board of Education meeting, Ervin’s resignation was announced publicly. She is now retired effective two weeks before the first day of school. Dr. Mitchel Bivens, former Green Acres Elementary School principal, will replace Ervin as principal at Lindley. (Although Ervin has been removed from the school's website, the site lists the new principal as Mike Bivens, not Mitchel Bivens.)

As of Thursday, no letters had been sent to Lindley Middle parents notifying them of the administration change, according to Goodwin.

With Ervin at the helm, the school became a Distinguished Title I School.

Ervin began her educational career several years ago as a teacher in North Cobb. Except for a four-year stint as a principal in Fulton County, she has spent her entire career in Cobb schools.

When she returned to Cobb, she said she wanted to go to a school where she could make a difference.

“I didn’t want to go where I wasn’t needed,” she is quoted as saying in the Marietta Daily Journal in June 2011. “I wanted to go someplace where at the end of the day, I knew I had made a difference.”

The MDJ Associate Editor Bill Kinney called former CCSD Fred Sanderson “an old friend” of Ervin’s, and said it was he who assigned her to Lindley Middle School.

Ervin described Lindley’s atmosphere when she arrived as “chaos” and “really a nightmare.”

She came in and helped establish a new dress code to help cut down on the fighting at the school, which was ranked by NEA as one of the most violent in the state.

In Ervin’s third year at Lindley, in a study published in fall 2011, the Georgia Partnership for Excellence in Education identified Lindley Middle School as one of 12 middle schools in the state contributing to the success of the high school it feeds.

The GPEE credited new administration for the positive change of the school.

However, since the study has been published, Lindley has gotten a new principal and a new assistant principal. Lindley teacher Sabrina Richardson was assigned as assistant principal of the school in June.

Parents already miss Ervin.

Robinson gushed about Ervin and the results she received in just three years.

“Her passion for these kids cannot be denied. She made a difference in the lives of our three sons,” Robinson said. “I think she had a lot of heart and a lot of drive. She had a vision. She shared her vision and then she did it. She should start her own school.”

Parents are hopeful that the school’s success and progress will continue this school year and are open to new principal Bivens.

“At the start of the new year, parents are crushed and don’t have a lot of answers. We’re still hopeful that the culture and legacy will be enough…We’re going to give him (Bivens) all the support he needs, but we’re disappointed that Ervin will not be here,” Robinson said.

wigglewatch October 03, 2012 at 05:22 PM
I guess Ms. Ervin has a history of being "nasty, cruel & disrespectful to staff". Well, this goes to say that you as a leader need to be humble and respectful toward your staff if you want a positive, nurturing environment. Unfortunately, Ms. Ervin did not promote this. This is why the same fear and intimidation she brought upon the staff, has come upon her. Treat people the way you want to be treated.
A local parent October 15, 2012 at 06:37 PM
I am a former parent and PTA officer at a school where Mrs. Ervin was principal. Without question, I can say that I did not always agree with Mrs. Ervin but not one day did a question her devotion to students and families. She is a visionary, educator and servant leader. She was not perfect, but I would take Sandra Ervin any day over any of the other principals that my children have had. I wish her nothing but the best and perhaps she will use whatever mistakes she may have made as opportunities for learning. My children's lives are better for having known her.
DeeRamsey June 14, 2013 at 05:51 PM
According to teachers who were subjected to Ervin's abuse, there IS documentation to backup all the abuse and fraud! She was forced to resign/retire or be fired! So all you folks who want to scream in ALL CAPS, you need to shut the hell up! She's under investigation for fraud because the kids collected money for fundraisers and Ervin would tell parents and kids that the money was donated to the charity, but when the charity was asked the amount, it was FAR from the amount Ervin had stated. She's a bully and a manipulator.
DeeRamsey June 14, 2013 at 05:56 PM
The investigators interviewed former and current teachers while looking into Ervin's actions. The investigators concluded she had to GO!! She was told to resign/retire or be fired!! PERIOD!! She is now under CRIMINAL investigation for pocketing the money from charity fund raisers, selling products to children for self profit (selling a $.50 cent pencil for $1 and pocketing the difference) and for various other spending irregularities. Look for her in a MUG SHOT sometime soon!!
DeeRamsey June 14, 2013 at 05:58 PM
They DID tell...hullo! That's why they are investigating her!!

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