FCPS Building

The headquarters of Frederick County Public Schools.

Frederick County Public Schools has fired Katie Nash, an employee who stirred up attention for how she ran the district’s Twitter feed last week, she said.

Michael Doerrer, a district spokesman, said Nash was no longer employed with the school system, but he couldn’t comment on the circumstances.

Nash started working as the web experience coordinator in November. Among her responsibilities was to run the district’s social media accounts. Her salary was $44,066.

On Jan. 5, a student tweeted to the Twitter account, @FCPSMaryland, asking schools to close “tammarow.”

Nash wrote in response from the school Twitter feed: “But then how would you learn how to spell ‘tomorrow?’ :)”

The response from Nash’s FCPS tweet garnered more than 1,000 retweets and 1,000 likes and she became the subject of a hashtag, #KatiefromFCPS. And later #freekatie also appeared in students’ Twitter feeds after a report from local TV station WHAG-TV that Twitter access had been taken away from her.

While she was happy with the interaction she had with students on social media, Nash said she understands the school system’s decision.

“I don’t want to be a distraction to the school system and the goals they have for overarching achievement,” she said.

After the “tamarrow/tomorrow” thread, Nash and the student exchanged other tweets. The student later wrote that he didn’t mind Nash’s original reply and didn’t take it personally.

Nash had similar interactions with other students who tweeted their pleas for schools to close.

Nash said Friday she was told not to tweet anymore after the initial attention, but she still had access to the FCPS Twitter feed. She continued to tweet calendar updates and things that had already been posted through Find Out First, a county schools news alert system.

“Students have been tweeting at us, but I wasn’t really sure what I should be doing or not doing. I sort of assumed there would be a follow-up conversation” with district officials, she said.

She was asked at around 2:30 p.m. Friday if she had time for a meeting. She said she was given a letter that she had been terminated from her assignment.

“As a new employee, I think I sort of would have expected that there would have been some counseling or some suggestions on how to improve,” she said.

Nash said there was never a conversation about what the tone of the account was to be.

“Any social media manager is looking for increasing engagement, and that’s sort of the expected parameter,” she said. “I think a conversation about how we engage with students would have been completely appropriate and I would have welcomed that.”

She said, if anything, she hopes her termination causes more people to get involved and interact with the school system.

She gained many supporters in the process and she said she will continue to be involved and will tweet from her personal account, @KatieNash, as a parent to her two children, who are in first and second grade.

“It was really positive and great to see so many students engaged with their school system,” she said. “I wouldn’t change a thing.”

Follow Brandi Bottalico on Twitter: @brandibot.

(100) comments

pokemon1234

There are different options that are available in the market with various printers quoting different prices on the various types of flyers Cheap Printed Flyers

secpol1970

Sensitive much FCPS?

caspiansails

How far FCPS has fallen. It is hard to believe where this went. I am certainly glad I no longer have children who are of school age. Perhaps I should start saving to fund any future grandchildren potential access to private school education. With decisions like this, basically summary firings, we are lost. Almost like someone already did not like her. Just supposition.

schul266

I think they fired the wrong person. Michael Doerrer?? Do a quick search on that name and see some of the decisions he had made in his role over the last year or two. He makes six figures?!? OMG Maryland wake up and LIGHTEN UP!!

willem

Very sorry for this poor woman, and incredulous at the school district's actions. It's astounding what some teachers do that DOESN'T get them fired, and then you see this on the opposite end of the scale. This is one of those things that helps you understand why we have so much trouble hiring and retaining good teachers. Who wants to put up with this kind of treatment?

KellyAlzan

NBC 4 is about to report this on tonight's 11:00 news! Good job Kelly for contacting nbc4!

KellyAlzan

Saw this somewhere:
"uncoachable kids become unemployable adults. Let your kids get used to someone being tough on them. It's life, get over it"

dabittle

Superintendent Alban ought to be completely ashamed of herself! This woman, Nash, did exactly what she should have--playfully reminded this otherwise illiterate FCPS student that, perhaps, a day away from school was the last thing said student needed! I've got an idea, how about we bring back Nash and get rid of Alban? Our FCPS superintendent is, apparently, more concerned about political correctness than she is about making sure our children are properly educated! She should retire tam arrow...I mean tomorrow! This hideous leadership is what's wrong with our country!

Lighten up Francis!

elmweeks

[thumbup][thumbup]

marcabel

An employee in charge of Twitter for the school is fired for responding with a polite response who messaged her first. Do teachers get fired for correcting students too? It is no wonder that education in this country is a joke.

yogib

Yes, Ms Nash should have been released based on her lack of judgement along. Not to mention that she was hired in November in a job that was not even advertised.

When I read the story about the incident earlier, My first thought was Ms Nash's comments were way above her pay grade, and that she should be disciplined promptly.

FNPResaderMom

FCPS is STUPID to do this. They have opened themselves up to a potential lawsuit trying to protect their overprotected snowflakes who what should be applauded for not being able to spell???

niceund

Another lame brain move by FCPS.

Bailey2014

FCPS and BOS need to be looked at-too much negative in the FNP recently. Data breech, FCPD blames the State and the State passes the buck. Alban talks about her "legacy", didn't know super's were to leave a legacy. Now Nash tweets and the BOE in first article complained about her and nothing about a FCPS student who could not spell. BOE trashes member who investigates the data leak.....

KellyAlzan

this is all reminding me of the Mount Saint Mary's scandal

Bailey2014

Should have read FCPS.

TinaS

I bet the kid never misspells "Tomorrow" again. Maybe even some other kids who followed the tweets learned some spelling. Maybe some other students had an aha moment and will put more care into public postings.

NMresident

Ms. Nash's termination is another example of the PC environment that we live in. Don't hurt the child's feelings but let him or her remain ignorant. What a way to prepare someone for the real world. Ms. Nash should be reinstated and given an award for letting the student know he or she needed to pay attention to spelling. Apparently his or her teacher isn't.

mamlukman

Perhaps the board could actually discuss this at the next meeting--we didn't elect three rational people to preside over this type of nonsense.

KellyAlzan

37 years ago, Sam Yu, came to my school and took pictures of my class. That's at least how long he has been a FNP photographer. Incredible!

B2650

This PC nonsense ends on 1?20/17 at noon!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

armillary

RIGGED! SO UNFAIR! SAD!

B2650

How?????????????????

armillary

BECAUSE I SAY IT IS!

Signlady

Hallelujah!! Cannot get here fast enough!

DickD

Sounded like good advice to me, what was the real problem?

threecents

Great photo by Sam Yu. It looks just like the Taj Mahal.

walter3rd

Too bad she wasn't a member of the union. It takes a LOT more than this to fire a teacher.

dollasss

She shouldn't be fired over a little tweet , Kaitie Nash's tweet brought students together , i thought fcps was about community I guess not.

Nycflash

This doesn't surprise me it's the same board that are to lazy to cancel individual schools due to bad weather they just close the whole county lazy if you ask me

Fredmd21704

to be fair to the weather part, the weather didn't warrant the schools to be closed yet this year, If you feel it is unsafe, then keep your precious brats at home.

Dwasserba

Classy, sassy and personable. Yeah. Let her go.

hawknoah

This angers me to think that she was terminated for this "incident." She had every reason to point out a misspelling that this student needed to know about, and she did it in a humorous way. If this bothers FCPS, they should take a look in the classrooms and see the way plenty of teachers speak disrespectfully to our kids all the time- that's the real problem.

KellyAlzan

Hit the nail on the head. 2 weeks ago my sister was talking about how negatively and disrespectful teachers are to students.

hayduke2

Good thing all kids speak respectfully to teachers...

threecents

Just a guess, but I don't think we know the whole story. I was feeling very sorry for Ms. Nash until reading the last line of the article in which she said that she would not change a thing. Well, if she is happy, then I see no problem. Let's move on.

save1more4jesus

And what does this TEACH the student.

threecents

Listen to spellcheck?

threecents

Seriously though, I think they do not have as many spelling tests as they did in my day, and my guess is that spelling is a lower priority because word processing and spellcheck make editing out spelling errors so easy.

sevenstones1000

Why is the school system wasting money on Twitter? The kids know how to reach each other if they need to.

Absolutely nothing good comes from Twitter. Knock it off and go back to teaching children.

corgikid

A political hit job. She embarrassed the regime and the Dear Leader Alban.

KellyAlzan

Just forwarded this story to NBC news 4. They're already here in Frederick right now covering the rain storm .

Mrs Nash, be ready for a TV interview, get your make
Up on!

Fredmd21704

If i recall, they already touched on the story when it first happened.

marylandmirage

The county at large seems to have a more reserved attitude, rather than "fun" attitude, towards these things. There is actually a school district (I think in VA), where the students interact with the twitter feed to trade insults and "disses". They follow it for the amusing responses, and give them back, like interacting with a friend. Again in VA there is a facebook page for Spotsylvania County Sheriff's Office which is very amusing and informative. Wish Frederick County could adopt some of those attitudes.

KellyAlzan

Sounds like the FNP comments. Btw - notice how well beehaved Kirbie has been lately?

MrHitshed

I am not a Nash fan. She is aloof, arrogant and disorganized. Mainly interested in advancing her own political career. But I have to admit that termination is not proportional to her offense. She is a victim of the mechanism of political correctness that she has helped create. Seems like she deserves another chance.

MMFNP

I agree with all comments in support of Nash getting unfair treatment. No wonder "THE BOARD" can't anticipate which schools will be over crowded BEFORE they actually count them, they have no common sense to deal with people OR the Taxes that fund their misdeeds. The point of education if you're going to use social media, is fist do no harm. Use civility in discourse, when a "teaching moment" presents itself, TEACH!
Instead, the board acted just like a former Student Mary's college CEO wannabe which got HIM FIRED! Perhaps the board needs to go back to school or resign? Though an apology for rash judgement might suffice?

Kculb

FCPS needs to concentrate on more serious issues at hand. Maybe they should figure out why so many children graduate not knowing how to spell.

save1more4jesus

Exactly!

KellyAlzan

Has anyone forwarded this story to the television media? Or to the late night talk shows?

KellyAlzan

Just got word that the FCPs students are staging a 3 day walk out next week in protest of this

teapartier

It said,
Thwee day walkout next weak.

KellyAlzan

I saw that too! Them kids are smarter than the school administration!

Thewheelone

good one, Tea! [beam]

cbarj1969

Political correctness run amok. This is the downfall of our society.

Rockfish

[thumbup][thumbup][thumbup]

Thewheelone

My guess is that it was really something else that got her fired and this was just the cover.

Fredmd21704

nope, they have a "policy" in place, and she "broke" the rules

FrederickFan

There has to be more to this story. This specific tweet is too innocent. Who hired her? What is her relationship to individual Board members? Who actually fired her? Were there other circumstances? Why was there a "free Katie" hashtag so early in the process?

jamescapp

and who lost their job after the security breach?

Fawned

Great question

Rockfish

[thumbup][thumbup][thumbup]

corgikid

Wouldn't you think there would be some counseling first?

BstD59

When I was a student [back in the days when we walked 10 miles to school in 5 feet of snow...well, ok, maybe only 1 mile and the sun was shining] spelling counted in every class, not just in English. If I wrote a science paper and misspelled a word it counted against my overall grade of that paper. Same with history and geography. Even in art class if a word was misspelled we were called on it. It's no wonder kids today can't spell. They tweet, instant message, and text all in shorthand.

Correcting the spelling of the student was, in my not so humble opinion, a positive step and she should have been encouraged to continue to do so rather than summarily dismissed. The vast majority of children are not academically fragile, they need to be taught and they need reinforcement wherever they can get it.

This is truly a tempest in a teapot.

armillary


Decorum took a back seat
to an imp with a lighthearted tweet
though her banter was sage
not the place to upstage
she should work with the team, not compete.

corgikid

When students can’t read
And students can’t write
Liberals give them all a medal
And tell them they’re alright.

BstD59

E for effort Corgikid but you have a long way to go to compete with armillary. [wink]

DickD

Yes, Bst, and Corgikid is a right winger too, which might explain lack of ability.

armillary

corgikid, I've worked in the commercial workplace for over 35 years. Above all, organizations want their employees to reflect positively on the organization. If you were an employer, wouldn't you? That means maintaining a professional demeanor when dealing with the public. It simply wasn't Katie Nash's place to get snarky/cute with a student on behalf of FCPS. Saying she wouldn't change a thing shows she doesn't get it. I get it. This is not about the student's spelling, it's about how the employee represented her employer in public.

hayduke2

[thumbup][thumbup][thumbup]

cyntiast

Then mentor her. If it happens again after that, different story.

armillary

cyntiast, if she told the FNP she wouldn't have done anything differently, what do you suppose she told her employer?

caspiansails

Perhaps she meant that without proper guidance and rules she would have done the same thing. It does not mean that if the administration had set clear guidelines and parameters that she would not have acted differently. What likely occurred is that the administration, with no clue as to what a social media job entailed hired her, had no policy ready and in place with no parameters or restrictions then when she did something politically incorrect, by the way it is not embarrassing to help a child learn to spell, they had a fit. Instead of sitting down and saying, lets set some parameters here they fired her. She did not need to apologize to the child as they left the conversation on good terms. If the employer, FCPS, wanted to represented in a certain manner it should be clearly defined to the employee.

corgikid

When students can’t read
And students can’t write
Liberals give them all a medal
And tell them they’re alright.

MrHitshed

So lame.

hayduke2

Sad....

JeanieLagrave

[thumbdown] What is school board thinking? Since when is it a crime to correct a student by an educator or anyone else for that matter? Isn't that what the students are in the school system for? It would seem to me the educational system would be more interested in WHY this student didn't know how to spell the word tomorrow than to fire the person who corrected that student in a public forum. Our educational system as a whole has gone to the dogs. Just recently I saw on TV a reporter at a couple of Ivy League colleges showing a picture of the Vice President and not one of the students asked, knew who he was. They were also shown pictures of past Presidents, like Gerald Ford, Ronald Reagan, Richard Nixon, etc. and they didn't know who they were either. Oh they also didn't know who won the American Civil War either or who was even involved in that war. Sad commentary on our educational system, period.

bosco

We are raising a whole generation of ignorant kids - which is why it's so easy to get ahead today. It doesn't take much to outshine one of these know-nothings if you can read and write, and can put some pep in your step.

threecents

Bosco, We are honored to have commentary from a leader of the generation that helped elect Trump. Do you even see the irony?

bosco

Nope. But thanks for sharing your comments.

threecents

Bless your little heart.

hayduke2

I take offense bosco... My children and their friends all maintain high GPS's, are accepted to numerous colleges and one is maintaining a 3.9 gpa in a major university's competitive nursing program. This generation is no more ignorant than the one before it. Instead of pep in the step put some thought in your response.

bosco

So glad your kids and my kids are exceptions to the dumbing down of America, but what I have experienced by volunteering in elementary-level schools and what I have observed in the workplace, in general kids are entering school less prepared than we were, and if they graduate, are less prepared for their future than we were. That's why I encourage them to get an education and put some pep in their step. Sorry that you disagree, but I am trying to make a difference where I can.

hayduke2

Could it be that you, as a volunteer, are given the children to work with who need more help?

Signlady

But they all likely knew and recognized all of the Kardashians and other reality TV stars and other celebrities. Really sad. Most know little about our history.

Fredmd21704

Where is the petition to sign to get her job back. Sometimes these kids on social media need to be shamed!

LeonardKeepers

this is a total over reaction by the FCPS the lady shold not have been fired.how else was she supposed to answer the tweet. as far as i am concerned she did nothing wrong.the situation was totally mishandled by the FCPS.

marcmcneal

FCPS is educating the county's youth to be weak and unable to function in a socially diverse society. All in the name of political correctness and fear of legal action.

cyntiast

Concur that this incident should not have resulted in losing her job. What has happened to mentoring or working with employee instead? This issue sounds like poor communication and training. The managers should take responsibility but instead they throw employee under the bus. Good luck to Ms. Nash.

fjulia

Hamfisted response to an amusing situation. FCPS higher-ups are embarrased because they are not comfortable with the perceived lack of status in the twitter interactions. Bah!, it is possible to keep respect and also relate more deeply. Twitter can certainly be abused (see any tweets from the Buffoon-elect) but it is also a way to simply interact like people have always done in communities. Big mistake FCPS.

lifeisuseless

I was sincerely hoping this would not happen. Nash made a point in her tweet, and solely that.

NCammack

There was no reason for her to lose her job over this. As an FCPS parent I have had discussions with my sons teachers about why they aren't correcting spelling. It basically comes down to their electronics will do it these days. Her comment was not rude or wrong. Come on FCPS. This is foolish. Good thing she has a good head on her shoulders.

sue1955

I agree, Kelly. The FCPS really made a mountain out of a molehill. It appears to me that it some version of "politically correct" issues whereas the county is afraid of any possible adverse action from students. So, an adult in the school system cannot correct a student? Whoa.

franklin3

Someone wrote that there is more to this than we know. And, how can I get a $40,000 job to tweet? What a waste of taxpayers' money.

KellyAlzan

I see so many kids that post of facebook that do not know how to spell tomorrow. I think the FCPS over-reacteded.

Fredmd21704

for once, i agree with you.

KellyAlzan

Had a great time with you on our date last night. Haven't laughed like that since 1965 [love]

Fredmd21704

it was 1947! [love][love][love]

hayduke2

Do they know how to spell overreacted?

elmweeks

[thumbup][thumbup]

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