Strong Support or “Strong-Armed” Support?

Is Seneca’s Alumni Association the latest group to fall prey to unscrupulous practices by district leaders?

It’s been brought to my attention that Seneca’s alumni association Board of Directors recently elected new leaders. It was an “attempted coup,” according to one of the officers I spoke to.

Fortunately, it failed. For now.

The current Seneca Alumni Association President is the first African American to lead the Alumni Association. Unfortunately, the school’s principal has reportedly been trying to influence who serves on that board, attempting to push out the Black president. He even went so far to suggest that one of his loyal employees “would make a good president.”

Four years ago, I raised concerns with Dr. Pollio about a principal who had recruited a white teacher to replace a Black parent who was serving as PTA president at a West Louisville school. He told me he felt strongly that the only time a JCPS employee should serve in leadership roles with outside organizations is when an authentic leader was not available. Clearly that is not the case here. I wonder how he’d feel about this maneuver?

Could the reason Seneca’s principal is trying to put his thumb on the scale of the operation of the organization be to influence how they spend the approximately $100,000 they raise and donate every year with their Bingo license? Or could it simply be because they don’t support diversity?

I can’t say for sure, but these behaviors sure sound familiar. In fact, I’ve spoken at numerous board meetings and written several posts about undue influence that principals and other district leaders can have on PTAs, booster clubs, SBDMS and the teachers union. Over the years I’ve witnessed and reported several rigged elections by leaders abusing their power by trying to influence who serves on its outside organizations.

Alumni associations are not immune.

Here are some blog posts I wrote with links to a few more times I’ve documented similar examples over the years.

Make Parents a (Legislative) Priority

Administrators and principals have been allowed to hijack PTA for their own purposes. Rigging SBDM elections to put “yes people” in them.

Don’t Underestimate the Value Time, Talent, and Treasure Have on Student Outcomes

In closing, the best way to make sure an alumni association works for the members is to get involved! You can join the association by going to

Sandy Neat
Dr. Charles Turner
Bruce Racque
Grover Sales
Rob Holmes III

Please feel free to email if you would like to provide additional context to this developing story. Thank you.