Thursday, August 14, 2003

Principal won't get job back after demotion

By Karen Gutierrez
The Cincinnati Enquirer

An elementary-school principal who was demoted for alleged insubordination will not get her position back, the Campbell County School Board decided Wednesday.

The vote prompted angry sighs and one "boo" from supporters of Ann Painter, who was not present to hear the decision. Through her husband, Painter declined comment on whether she would take further legal action against the district.

School board member Mike Combs made the motion to sustain Painter's demotion, and board member Carol Dunn seconded it. The vote was unanimous.

Painter had been principal of tiny A.J. Jolly Elementary School which has some of the highest test scores in the Campbell County district - for 20 years before Superintendent Roger Brady demoted her to reading instructor at another elementary school this spring.

Painter claimed Brady was retaliating for her public opposition to his proposal to close Jolly.

During an unusual open hearing last week, Painter appealed her demotion to the board, and evidence regarding her performance was presented by both sides. Brady was present for the hearing, although he has been living in West Virginia this summer and using up accumulated compensation time until his retirement Sept. 1.

In written documents, Brady stated he demoted Painter because she:

• Missed a state deadline for turning in Jolly's Consolidated School Improvement Plan.

• Failed to hold necessary meetings with her staff and the public.

• Did not attend a meeting Brady had called to discuss the transition of Jolly and Alexandria students into a new school.


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