McCracken principal reassigned to lead alternative Beaufort County school program

rheaton@beaufortgazette.comJanuary 14, 2013 

Phillip Shaw

A Bluffton middle school principal who has been on paid leave for more than two months has been reassigned, district officials said Monday.

Phillip Shaw, former principal at H.E. McCracken Middle, has been named head of the district's "Right Choices" program, an alternative-school program housed at the district office. It is for students who have been recommended for expulsion.

Shaw was reassigned Jan. 2, but interim superintendent Jackie Rosswurm said Monday he has not reported for work.

An attempt Monday to reach Shaw for comment was unsuccessful.

Since his leave began Nov. 8, Shaw continues to earn his $93,774 annual salary. District spokesman Jim Foster said Shaw is under contract at that salary.

Rosswurm said Monday the district has been "in communication" with Shaw about his failure to show up to work.

"We do expect him to come to work, and certainly there could be further action that would be taken if in fact he does not come to work," she said. She did not give a timeline for any such action.

Student services officer Terry Dingle has overseen Right Choices this school year, in addition to his other duties. However, Rosswurm said leaving the program without a full-time administrator was "not necessarily the best."

About 25 high school students are in the Right Choices program, Rosswurm said.

Assistant principal Joe Warfield will continue to lead McCracken Middle, Rosswurm said, but the district will advertise the position in search of a permanent replacement. It's possible Warfield could serve the remainder of the school year, if a replacement is not found sooner, Rosswurm said.

Denise Gibbo, the secretary who has been on paid leave from the school since Shaw's leave began, is still not back at the school, Rosswurm said.

Rosswurm, along with Alice Walton of the human resources department, met with McCracken staff Monday to tell them of Shaw's reassignment. Rosswurm said the staff "was fine with" the news.

Rosswurm said parents would be notified with a phone call through the district's School Messenger service.

Rosswurm declined to explain the initial reasons for Shaw's absence. The district could only release that information with Shaw's written consent, she said.

The district has reviewed policies and procedures at the school in conjunction with Shaw's leave. Rosswurm said that review was "pretty complete," but did not say whether the review found any policy or procedure violations.

Related content

  1. Shaw's absence could be discussed at Beaufort County School Board meeting, Jan. 3, 2013
  2. Beaufort County School Board discusses McCracken principal's leave, takes no action, Dec. 18, 2012
  3. McCracken principal says leave a cover-up for ongoing problems with school counselor, Dec. 5, 2012
  4. Police close investigation of 'unauthorized' McCracken Middle account, Dec. 4, 2012
  5. Beaufort County School District: McCracken Middle School principal to return soon, Nov. 15, 2012
  6. McCracken Middle School principal on leave, Nov. 13, 2012

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