Boys & Girls Club director fired
By Phyllis Moore
Published in News on June 9, 2013 1:50 AM
The Boys & Girls Club of Wayne County is now looking for a new teen director.
Former NBA player Anthony Teachey was fired on Friday after less than a year on the job.
"This caught me by surprise but at the same time I'm not surprised," Teachey said.
The 1980 Goldsboro High School graduate had been encouraged by friend and former coach Dave Odom to take the job in his hometown.
In September 2012, Teachey said he interviewed with the club's executive director, Mary Ann Dudley, and felt the timing was right to implement some of what he had learned while working as a crisis counselor in Charlotte, with autistic youths at a residential facility in Virginia and in an after-school program in Durham.
He still feels strongly about what he brought to the local program. He said he spent a lot of time developing relationships with students, building partnerships with businesses and schools and fundraising for the club.
But he said there were some concerns as well.
With the summer months approaching, Teachey presented some new ideas for the youth program, which included a dress code and more parental involvement.
In a story, published May 29, Teachey said past issues had resulted in parents withdrawing their children from the program and loss of some sponsors. He also announced plans to launch a "project tour," a series of family day events at area housing projects.
All that changed Friday, when Teachey was summoned into Mrs. Dudley's office.
He said she raised several questions that seemed to be connected to his comments.Teachey said he knew he could be "stepping on some toes" by his candor but felt that the feedback to his comments had been positive.
He said when he mentioned that reaction to Mrs. Dudley, her response was succinct -- "'I just think that as of today, this is your last day,'" is what he was told.
Teachey said he found the action unfair.
"My thing is, no written warning, no verbal warning, no suspension, nothing. No due process was done," he said. "I just feel bad because these kids were looking forward to this summer. Believe it or not, the parents were excited about participating."
Calls to Mrs. Dudley were not returned. On Friday evening, she replied by email.
"Thank you for giving me a chance to respond to your question but it is a private personnel issue and our summer programs will continue as they have in the past," she wrote.
Board member Rick Sumner said any questions about Teachey's dismissal would have to be handled by Mrs. Dudley, saying the board was not involved in personnel matters.
"He's an employee of the club," he said Saturday morning. "She had notified us that she had talked with him on Friday. He's really her employee."
Teachey said his greatest worry now is not finding another job. He doesn't want to let the kids at the Boys & Girls Club down.
"I just feel bad for the kids that I have grown to know these last 10 months, built a relationship with," he said. "I had a student a while back ask, 'Mr. Anthony, you just going to build this program up and leave?' I said, 'Why'd you ask me that?' and the youth replied, 'That's what others have done.'"
Although he may not be affiliated with the Boys & Girls Club any longer, Teachey said he will continue some of his efforts independently, starting with the June 28 event at Lincoln Homes.
"I've already taken donations to do this tour," he said. "I contacted the sponsors, since I'm no longer with Boys & Girls Club, I didn't want to misrepresent as they'd made donations, gift cards. Five Food Lions around here are sponsoring this tour. I wanted to make sure these five Food Lions know exactly where their money is going."
Other supporters continue to be on board, he added, among them Teen Court, Goldsboro Police, the Sheriff's Office and Enrich Your Joy.
"I'm not going to stop," Teachey said. "But we're definitely going to take a different approach. I'm still going to be very active in the community."