Supporting Documents For The Powell-Henry Mess

You already know all about Michelle Goins-Henry and the portion(s) of the Joshua Powell-Montgomery County Schools scandal involving her:

  • Revelation Of More Powell Threats & Intimidation [July 9, 2014]
  • Explosive Secret Audio: Powell Admits Wife’s Hiring Is Conflict, Unprofessional, Attempts To Intimidate Employee Bringing Concerns To Him [July 10, 2014]
  • Powell Scandal: Henry Allegations Get Scarier [August 14, 2014]

It’s crazy all around. And it’s time to provide documents to back things up.

On April 18, 2012, Henry was fired:


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Really grasping at straws.

On April 23, 2012, her attorney fired back:


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And Henry issued a response:

Response to Termination Accusations
Michelle Goins-Henry

In December, 2011, the first data report was due to the Montgomery County Board of Education. Mr. Halsey had recently taken over as the Principal of McNabb Middle School at the end of November. Mr. Halsey began working with Christina Grace and I on the process of making sure the data was completed. Mr. Halsey was made aware of the situation by Mrs. Grace and me that teachers did not complete their portion of the data. Without teacher completion, it was not possible for Mrs. Grace and me to finish our portion of the Board report.

As teachers began to submit their data, Mrs. Grace and I worked on the Board report. On Friday, December 16, I worked to finalize the report. During that time, the Reading portion was finished and emailed to Sherrie Frerichs at central office. As I was working, I continued to have problems with my computer. I was working to complete the Math data, Mike, a technology technician, began working on my computer. The Math portioned was emailed to each of us with an additional backup on my computer. During the process, my computer crashed. Mike took my computer back to central office to work on the process of recovering and fixing my computer.

On Monday, December 19, we had a district curriculum meeting in the morning and a status update meeting with Carnegie Math consultants in the afternoon.

Towards the end of the meeting, Lisa Stone called to say the Math information did not come through email. I left the Carnegie Math meeting and went to a computer in the main office. I could not access the email nor was the information on my external hard drive. Debbie Goldy was in the Carnegie Math meeting. I asked her to assist me with recovering the math information from my hard drive. The math information could not be recovered because the computer crashed in the process of saving the information. I called Lisa Stone back and told her I would redo the information right then. She told me not to redo the information because she would not have time to review it before the board meeting. I immediately went into Mr. Halsey’s office and told him what had happened. Mr. Halsey told me to stop panicking and stressing. It was no big deal and not to worry. The next day, I again went to Mr. Halsey and apologized for him not having the data. He, again, told me not to stress. He said it was no big deal because there were other schools who did not have their data either. He just kept telling me it was okay.

It was not until a meeting with Mr. Powell, Lisa Stone, Mr. Halsey and Christina Grace that I was made aware that it there was an issue over the data. The meeting did not take place until the end of January, 2012, over a month later. The meeting was called by Mr. Powell and Lisa Stone. It was said that the meeting was called to discuss curriculum goals at McNabb with Mr. Halsey, Mrs. Grace and myself. At the time of the meeting, Mrs. Grace and I were under the impression that we were meeting to make plans and goals for the rest of the year at McNabb. When we entered the meeting, Mr. Powell began the meeting with issues he was having with Mrs. Grace and me. Mrs. Grace and I were completely caught off guard concerning the issues of the meeting. Mrs. Grace was asked to step outside while Mr. Powell, Mrs. Stone and Mr. Halsey spoke with me.

When Mrs. Grace left, Mr. Powell continued to state problems he was having with me. He said that I was a bully and mean to people. He said that people did not know where I was during the day. I said that I tried to let people know where I was when I was out of the building. But from October until the end of December, Mrs. Grace and I were pulled from working at McNabb to work with the other curriculum specialists throughout the district. Mrs. Grace and I had spent the last two and a half months working at the high school with other curriculum specialists.

Again, Mr. Powell went back to the point that I was a bully, I was mean, and that the teachers did not like me at McNabb. I was completely caught off guard. I had never been told this in five years that I had worked in the same position at McNabb. Mr. Halsey tried to speak and tell Mr. Powell that I had a lot of other strengths but Mr. Powell cut Mr. Halsey off and would not let him finish. Mrs. Stone began talking and told Mr. Powell that she had not seen the mean and bully side while working with me. She said that I actually tried to help too much with others and spread myself too thin. I told her that I understood and that I just wanted to be part of the team and help everyone. At that point, she made me aware of how upset she was over not having the data completed in December. That was the first time the problem had been discussed since December.

At the end of the meeting, I left and returned to McNabb to complete the Social Studies and Science data that was due the next morning. Christina Grace was to come back to McNabb, also, to finish, but she told me later that they had upset her so much in the meeting that she was sent home instead of coming back to McNabb. I finished the report by myself that evening.

The next week, Mr. Halsey and I were standing in the main hallway between stairwell #1 and the second restroom. He told me that everything was going to be okay. I told him that I had not had a good weekend thinking about the meeting with Mr. Powell the week before. Mr. Halsey said, “Mr. Powell does not like you…. He does not like you at all.” I told him that I already knew that Mr. Powell did not like me based on things he had done to me already. He then stated, “He doesn’t like Shannon (Gross) either.” Again, he told me and patted me on the shoulder, “It is all going to be okay. Just trust me.”

As for a scheduled meeting with Christina Grace…. There was not a particular meeting scheduled that I did not show up for. Mrs. Grace and I worked together in the same position every day. She and I both were teaching classes and had to work around each other’s schedules. We were scheduled to work together every day unless we were schedule in a classroom or had other meetings.

In regards to abandoning my position on April 11-16, 2012. I did not abandon my position. McNabb Middle School since October, staffed two curriculum specialists with the same responsibilities. Mrs. Grace and I both were said to be curriculum specialists for the building. We shared responsibility for the work and assessment reports. Twice before this report, I finished the reports. The first time, Mrs. Grace told me that Mr. Powell, Lisa Stone and Mr. Halsey sent her home after a meeting when Social Studies and Science data was due. I had returned to McNabb to finish the data. I stayed until almost 8:00 PM to ensure the data was due on time. The next time data reports were due was after the second interim tests were given. Four people worked on the interim data for two straight days. Again, we had 18 teachers who did not complete or turn in their information. The four people, which included me, worked to clean up and complete teacher data just to be able to build the data for our report. At the end of the second day, I went to Mr. Halsey and told him that I would stay back from or district “TEAM KIDS” meeting and finish the rest of the assessment data report. Mrs. Grace went on to attend the district meeting with our McNabb team.

On Wednesday, after the assessment data had been finished, I emailed the final report onto the district office. The next day, Mr. Halsey thanked me for finishing the report. He said that he had told Mr. Powell how hard I had been working. Mr. Halsey said that he just wanted me to know. (This statement came after the March 7, 2012 taped recording of the meeting with Mr. Powell at which time I had been forced to resign.)

As for the report due the week of April 11-16, 2012, I had compiled Goal Calculators from the teachers. Again, we had teachers who had still not completed their data. On Tuesday, April 11, 2012, I had been teaching in Christopher Cobb’s 6th Grade Language Arts classes. Mrs. Grace and I had been working back and forth trying to compile the data. On that day, Mrs. Grace had been teaching in Kathy Tharp’s 6th grade classrooms, too. At the end of the day, she and I checked in together. I was working on compiling the data, she said that she had to work at one of the elementary schools the next morning. I told her that I would be working in Christopher Cobb’s room in the morning and we could get together before I left for my daughter’s National Cheerleading Championship in Florida.

The next day, Wednesday, April 12, I came to school early to make sure I had time to complete the data and build the templates. I worked for an hour before going to teach in Mr. Cobb’s room first period. The sixth grade went to lunch at 10:36. I, again, worked on the templates and data during their lunch. When Mrs. Grace came back from the elementary, she came to Mr. Cobb’s room. She and I then went to my office to show her what was done for the report. In addition, we also made a list of teachers who had still not turned in data.

I showed Mrs. Grace that I had completely built all the templates for the reports. They were blank with the only thing left to do was to fill in the missing information. They had been titled and built. I had, also, finished inputting all the 8th grade Reading and Math final data. I had put them in and printed all copies for her. She and I reviewed all the information on my computer. I had left all current data and information on my desktop for easy access. I even left her my passwords and anything else she may need.

This was not actions from someone who was abandoning their assignments. Mrs. Grace shares the same job responsibilities as me and we were assigned to work together to see that assignments were completed. While continuing my 16 hour drive to my daughter’s cheerleading competition. I emailed back and forth with Mrs. Grace the next morning to see if there was anything she needed my help with. She said no that she was just waiting on teachers to send in their information to finish final calculations. Mr. Akers, Mrs. Kilbourn and Mrs. Thomas emailed their information while Mrs. Grace and I were emailing. Mrs. Grace emailed the final assessment reports in that afternoon.

Before I left the building on Wednesday, Mrs. Danielle Fryman (6th Grade Math), came to my office to check on calculators for testing. She said that Mr. Halsey wanted to know what calculators we needed for testing. I told her that she didn’t have to count all of the calculators. I said that I had sent Mr. Halsey an email back the first part of March with all the supply needs for testing. I printed Mrs. Fryman the email so that she could show Mr. Halsey the number of calculators we still needed so she did not have to count them. (The email I printed for Mrs. Fryman had been sent to Mr. Halsey in March for which he never responded that he had acknowledged the supplies needed for testing.)

Mrs. Fryman had taken the email to the front office to show Mr. Halsey. As I was leaving, I stopped in the front office to sign out. Mrs. Fryman and Mr. Halsey were discussing the number of calculators and she was showing him the copy of the email I had sent him. We, all three, discussed the number of calculators for testing.

At that point, I reached the book to sign out. Mr. Halsey said, “That’s right, you are leaving for cheerleading right?” I said yes my daughter has cheerleading nationals. He said, “Yes, I thought you said cheerleading.” At that point, I went over with him everything I had for Christina. He said he had talked to Christina. I, again, told him where I was in the process and what Christina still had left to do. He said to me, “You are good. You are good. Go on and get out of here.” I finished signing out and reminded Jenny Vinson and Dorinda Watkins where I would be and when I would be back. I also told them they could reach me on my cell if anyone needed anything. I left that afternoon and did not receive any phone calls, messages or emails from Mr. Halsey or anyone at central office.

On Thursday afternoon, April 13, 2012, I was still continuing my drive to Cheerleading Nationals with my 13 year old daughter, Addison. While on the interstate in Alabama, I was notified by Peace, the KEA representative, Mr. Powell had called her and told her that I had left the district without permission. My leave request had been submitted in February for my leave. Also, I had verbally told Mr. Halsey the Jenny Vinson had my leave request form in the office. I told him while we were standing outside at the back of McNabb. He said, “Oh okay, thanks.” From that point on, Mr. Halsey had the written leave request form. Mr. Halsey never notified me that there was a problem with the leave request. The day Mr. Powell called and told Peace, no one from McNabb or Central Office had contacted me by email, phone or text message. Peace told me to call back to McNabb to see if Jenny Vinson had the leave request form. When I contacted McNabb, the documentation was there and been there. She told me that she even remembered me turning it in a long time ago. I called Peace back to tell her it was there. She said I should have been more cautious in dealing with Mr. Powell and Mr. Halsey. She said, “I told you Powell told me he would do whatever it would take to make sure he got rid of you.”

After I was able to pull off the interstate, I called my doctor and told her of the continuing problems with Mr. Powell. (She was aware of the ongoing problems with him since July, 2011.) I was crying and told her that I was traveling alone with Addison on the interstate. I told her that I could not emotionally deal with the things he continued to do to me anymore. I told her that I could not handle the working environment that I had to go to everyday. She made me an appointment to come in as soon as I returned from Nationals. I returned home on April 17, 2012. I went to her office late that afternoon. She and I discussed that it was going to be in the best interest of my health and my life not to return to the working conditions at Montgomery County Schools. I was placed on medical leave and faxed in my medical leave request on the morning of April 18, 2012.

I did not return to work for the remaining school year. I remained on medical leave for the following school year until January 2, 2013. On January 2, 2013, I resigned my position from Montgomery County Schools based on the fact it was not in my best health interest to return to the working conditions at my employment.

But that wasn’t the end of it, as we’ve all learned.

A year ago September, Henry reached out to WKYT for help in Montgomery County. At that point, the Joshua Powell scandal(s) had begun to flare up and our investigation had begun. She begged for assistance, offered up evidence tried to put an end to everything.

Take a look at the letter she sent the station in a final plea:

September 9, 2013

Dear WKYT Investigates,

I would like to take this time to provide information for research into Superintendent Joshua Powell of Montgomery County Schools in Mount Sterling, Kentucky. Mr. Powell is currently under investigation by many state agencies including the Kentucky State Auditor and The Kentucky Education Professional Standards Board. There has been a long path of employee abuse by Mr. Powell. I, unfortunately, have been one of those employees. There are many other individuals, including myself, who have had extreme negative situations with Superintendent Joshua Powell.

I have taken time to include information that I have turned over to the Montgomery County Board of Education. Each board member and the board attorney have received the information that follows this letter. The Montgomery County Board of Education and the Board Attorney have received the taped recording of the meeting that occurred on March 7, 2012.

I have, also, included a copy of the Office of Education Accountability SBDM Final Report dated May 5, 2010. Mr. Powell was investigated by OEA while he was Superintendent in Union County Schools. Mr. Powell has continued to abuse his power since he was hired by Montgomery County Schools in July, 2011.

Mrs. Amanda Reffitt is, also, willing to turn over a tape recording and evidence she has regarding Superintendent Joshua Powell. She has given me permission to include her contact information. Amanda Reffitt – REDACTED. She has a copy of all my information and is willing to discuss her information with you, too. She and I will be willing to meet with your investigation team and provide other documentation and names of other individuals who have had negative situations with Mr. Powell.

I would like to take time to thank you for your time and consideration regarding this matter. My contact information is listed above. Please feel free to contact me.

Note: Amanda Reffitt was later fired and she’s now suing Powell.

When you’re at the end of your ropes and struggling, you reach out to media for help. Because that’s what journalists are supposed to do — dig in and investigate. Television stations have access to the public airwaves and in turn serve the public (it’s not just about making a profit).

The station ignored her. Why ruffle feathers, right? Most media outlets in Kentucky are terrified to take on longterm investigations. So Henry had effectively hit a brick wall.

She’d even tried to get help from the board of education:

Dear Mr. Gulley,

I would like to take this opportunity to contact you regarding Superintendent Joshua Powell. I am a former Montgomery County Schools employee. During my last year at Montgomery County Schools, I experienced many negative situations with Mr. Powell. As a board member, it is quite possible that you were not notified of many situations that occurred between Mr. Powell and me.

I was hired by Rick Mattox as an Assistant Principal over Curriculum and Instruction in July, 2007. From July, 2007 until April, 2012, I remained at McNabb Middle School as the Assistant Principal. Unfortunately, in January, 2013, I felt that I had no other choice but to resign my position with Montgomery County Schools.

As of January 2, 2013, I felt that I could no longer stay employed with Montgomery County Schools due to the working environment with Superintendent Joshua Powell. When Mr. Powell was hired in July, 2011, my work environment in Montgomery County Schools was drastically changed. Prior to July, 2011, I had experienced very professional and cooperative conditions. Mr. Rick Mattox and Mrs. Dawn Cockrell were outstanding mentors. Mr. Mattox and Mrs. Cockrell spent a great deal of time training and shaping my professional growth. The respect that I hold for these two individuals cannot be expressed in words. In addition, the colleagues I worked with throughout McNabb Middle School and the district were absolutely outstanding individuals. Prior to July, 2011, Montgomery County Schools was one of the most influential experiences in my life.

My last physical day at Montgomery County Schools was April 11, 2012. As of April 17, 2012, I cut off contact with everyone from Montgomery County Schools due to the situation created by Mr. Powell. Mr. Powell was extremely unprofessional, intimidating and later events were interpreted by me to be a blatant form of harassment. In April, 2012, I took medical leave until January 2, 2013 and never returned to any position with Montgomery County Schools. I remained on medical leave due to anxiety, depression and severe sleep insomnia. I experienced panic attacks with any thoughts of having to drive past the Clark County line into Montgomery County. My experiences with Mr. Powell have caused extreme life changing events.

Gulley ignored her.

So she sent secret audio recordings to the board:


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She was ignored by Gulley again. He appears to have withheld information from his fellow board members.

Nothing ever happened. Henry was ignored and cast aside. And the board of education was complicit.

That’s where we are today.

You ready for the rest?

It’s coming.

Final notes…

When we started digging around and ran our first story related to her, the retaliation kicked up again.

Not long after the first story ran, a banker involved with Powell and Montgomery County started making telephone calls in an attempt to not only intimidate her family but to intimidate us — as if that’d stop the rest of the story from coming out. The pressure hasn’t let up. It’s only intensified our efforts to dig.

The whole mess is an absurd tale of unchecked corruption, psychological torture, retaliation and abuse of public tax dollars rivaled only by the bubbling iPad scandal.

Can’t wait to tell the rest of the story.