Interview with Reverend John Powis
QUESTION 10
INTERVIEWER:

Ah, how was McCoy treated by the other officials in community schools, meaning the principals. The Jack Bloomfield story about him not digging McCoy at all, could you talk a little bit about that?

JOHN POWIS:

McCoy was elected as the, uh, unit supervisor, or the superintendent, and, uh, right away I could see that we were in trouble. I mean, I think that was the crucial decision that was made in this whole demonstration district. I think you had the, the idea that the Board of Education had, the idea that the union had, that the supervisors' union, which was a very powerful thing at that time, what they had in mind was a person who was going to come from their ranks. And the person that they had in mind was Jack Bloomfield, who, by the way, was a very decent and good principal. Once McCoy was selected, uh, forget it! At that point, the teachers' union began getting very, uh, fidgety about this, that, and the other thing, McCoy started looking immediately for an office, he was told by Donovan, Bernard Donovan, who was the superintendent of schools at that time, to get an office. He went to 271 to try to get an office, and of course he was told he couldn't have an office, which is unheard of, because the superintendent is usually the person who makes all the decisions.

INTERVIEWER:

Could you just say that story one again and just begin with, "McCoy was looking for an office," and then going to the principal of IS 271 and being confused. So, tell me the story about McCoy looking for an office.

JOHN POWIS:

McCoy, school began and McCoy didn't have an office. So, he went to 271 and he wanted some, some room space in 271. And the principal, who was his subordinate, simply told him he wouldn't give him any office space. Ah, he then tried some of the other schools and he got th--the same, the same reception. He finally had to operate, for more than seven or eight months, in a storefront on Fulton Street. I mean a storefront that had no heat, a store front that had no decent facilities. It was really, it was really a disgrace because any superintendent that was part of the system, who had been named a superintendent, would just walk into a school and immediately they would give him an office.