Pritchardville Elementary principal resigns after nine days of administrative leave

sbowman@beaufortgazette.comSeptember 19, 2013 

Former Pritchardville Elementary principal Charles Johnson

SARAH WELLIVER, STAFF PHOTO

The principal of Pritchardville Elementary School resigned Thursday morning, nine days after he was placed on paid administrative leave, according to the Beaufort County School District.

Charles Johnson was put on leave Sept. 10, district spokesman Jim Foster said. Foster declined to give further details on the reason behind Johnson's leave and resignation, saying it was a personnel matter. The district typically does not explain publicly its reasons for action taken against employees -- including senior administrators such as Johnson.

Johnson continued to earn his $88,568 salary for the eight days he was on leave, Foster said.

Foster declined to say whether there was or is any investigation taking place regarding the reason Johnson was placed on leave. Nor would Foster say if any complaints have been filed against Johnson.

Tracy Grubbs, who has been an assistant principal at Michael C. Riley Elementary in Bluffton for seven years, was appointed interim principal at Pritchardville Elementary when Johnson was placed on leave. She will remain the interim principal until the position is filled, Foster said.

An advertisement for the principal position at Pritchardville will be posted today, Foster said.

Attempts Thursday to reach Johnson were unsuccessful.

Johnson had been principal at the school since it opened in 2010.

Before he came to Pritchardville, Johnson taught first grade at Edisto Primary School for a year and second and fifth grades at Joseph S. Shanklin Elementary School in Beaufort for seven years. He was the assistant principal at Robert Smalls Middle School in Beaufort from 2006 to 2009.

Johnson also served in the Army for four years.

The last principal who was sidelined by the school district was former McCracken Middle School principal Phillip Shaw. He remained on paid leave for nine months at an annual salary of $93,477, but was ultimately terminated.

As in Johnson's case, school district officials did not provide reasons for disciplining Shaw. Shaw asked the school board for a hearing to challenge his termination. School district officials initially said they hoped to hold the hearing in September, but have since said that the process of questioning witnesses has taken longer than expected, and no specific date has been set for Shaw's hearing.

Follow reporter Sarah Bowman on Twitter at twitter.com/IPBG_Sarah.

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