FORT VALLEY -- The Peach County Board of Education has been cleared of allegations of misconduct levied against it by a former district superintendent, said board chairman Jamie Johnson.
The announcement was made at the end of the board meeting Tuesday, in which Johnson read from two letters sent to current Superintendent Joe Ann Denning in July and September from AdvancED Georgia and the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Council on Accreditation and School Improvement. The discussion was prompted by board member Virginia Dixon, who asked for an update on the situation.
The complaints and allegations pertained to interference in the day-to-day operations of the district, employing personnel without the recommendation of the superintendent and conducting illegal executive sessions, the letter sent to Denning in July stated.
“Our office has received a complaint indicating that during March, April, May and June 2011, the school board conducted illegal executive sessions, and on June 29, 2011, terminated the employment of an employee without the recommendation of the superintendent,” the letter, dated July 20, states. “Further, the former superintendent alleged she was given a document that directed her to ‘allow the high school and its staff to develop the master and bell schedules for the upcoming year including weight training classes for all athletic programs’ and to stop ‘micromanaging the high school principal.’”
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Additional allegations claimed that a former school board member was allowed to question the superintendent’s budget proposal line items during a board meeting without the prior knowledge and consent of the superintendent, the letter stated.
The letter asked that the district respond to the allegations, which could have been in violation of governance and leadership indicators highlighted in the AdvancED Accreditation Standards. Johnson said Denning and board attorney Buddy Welch responded to the complaints. A second letter, dated Sept. 8, stated, “AdvancED has reviewed your response in accordance with our complaint policies and procedures. Given your review and statement, AdvancED/SACS CASI can find no cause to result in further action.”
According to its website, the organization is dedicated to advancing excellence in education through accreditation, research and professional services and serves more than 27,000 public and private schools and districts in 72 countries.