Beaufort County school board expected to hire new Bluffton principal

tbarton@beaufortgazette.comJune 7, 2013 

The Beaufort County Board of Education meets a 5 p.m. today at Whale Branch Early College High School to discuss an unspecified "employment matter" in closed session.

School board officials last week, though, indicated they expected soon to hire a new principal for H.E. McCracken Middle School in Bluffton.

Board members filled four of five vacant principal positions May 30 for next school year for Beaufort Elementary, Hilton Head Island Middle, St. Helena Elementary and Joseph S. Shanklin Elementary schools.

District officials were still searching for a new principal at McCracken. The district is looking for a replacement for former principal Phillip Shaw, who has been on paid leave since November.

He has not been on the job since Nov. 8, about the time district officials began a review of the school's policies and procedures. He was reassigned Jan. 2 to lead Right Choices, a program for students with serious disciplinary problems, but as of today, he had not reported for his new duties.

Shaw continues to be paid his $93,774 annual salary.

Citing Shaw's right to privacy, district officials have repeatedly refused to elaborate on the nature of Shaw's absence, for instance, refusing to say how much leave time he has accrued.

Student services officer Terry Dingle continues to oversee Right Choices -- the job Shaw was assigned to -- in addition to his other duties. About 25 high school students are in the program.

Assistant principal Joe Warfield has led McCracken Middle while the district looks for a full-time replacement. It was not clear today whether Warfield applied for the principal post.

Follow reporter Tom Barton at

Related content:

VIDEO: Beaufort County school board fills vacant school principal posts: May 30, 2013

Former principal's employment with Beaufort County School District still in limbo: April 4, 2013

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