Leader of controversy-plagued TNT Academy is back at work

The leader of TNT Academy, the school that made national headlines when its founder and then-principal made a racially inflammatory statement at its graduation ceremony, is back at work, according to a Georgia Accrediting Commission official.

TNT’s board chairwoman said in a May letter to the NAACP that TNT leader Nancy Gordeuk had been dismissed. But Gordeuk told Georgia Accrediting Commission executive director Phil Murphy last month that she is still the school’s director, Murphy told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

Gordeuk told him she had been relieved of her duties for two months but has seen no decline in enrollment, Murphy said.

Gordeuk and a TNT spokesman did not respond to telephone and email messages from The Atlanta Journal-Constitution Friday.

TNT Academy, in Gwinnett County near Stone Mountain, is one of about 140 non-traditional educational centers in the state. The schools are private entities intended to offer tutoring, social activities and select courses to children being schooled at home. It is not part of the Gwinnett County public school system.

Videos of the the school’s graduation ceremony earlier this year show Gordeuk apparently becoming frustrated when some attendees left the ceremony before it ended and saying, “Look who’s leaving, all the black people.”

Gordeuk later apologized for the remarks.

The NAACP has repeatedly pressed for her to leave the school she founded.

“Beyond the inappropriate remarks, TNT Academy has perpetrated a fraud on the public by releasing a statement claiming to do one thing while actually doing another,” Georgia NAACP President Francys Johnson said in a written statement.

The standards for educational centers in Georgia are mostly set by accrediting agencies. The Georgia Accrediting Commission is one of the largest overseers. The agency doesn’t police schools and reviews accreditation only after complaints or for renewals.

Murphy said the accrediting agency doesn’t get involved with the day-to-day business of the school and would only review the accreditation if a student, parent or staff member filed a complaint. None have, he said. However, he said he has received letters of support for the school from students and parents.

The school is up for accreditation renewal next year and will be reviewed as part of that process, he said.

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