King & Queen Central High art teacher named acting principal

Robert Brauchle
Contact Reporterrbrauchle@tidewaterreview.com

An art teacher at King & Queen Central High School has stepped in as acting principal for the remainder of the school year.

Julie Carter will fulfill the duties once performed by former principal Antione Monroe, who resigned from the position May 6, a week after being placed on paid administrative leave.

Julie Carter will serve in the role until the school board selects sometime for the position, Superintendent Carol Carter said.

Monroe resigned the same day the superintendent announced three former students' diplomas were being revoked.

During an over-the-phone interview, Carol Carter said the principal's position will be posted on job sites, and it will remain there for a minimum of two weeks.

"We hope to start that process soon," she said.

Julie Carter — who has previously filled in as principal for Monroe — will fill in as acting principal until a full-time replacement is hired.

Julie Carter also has a master's in art education from VCU and has more than 25 years of experience teaching in grade school, according to an advertisement posted online about a summer art camp class she has taught. She also serves as president of the King & Queen chapter of the Virginia Education Association and has a administrative master's degree through the University of Phoenix.

Central High School is scheduled to hold graduation on Friday, June 17 at the school.

"There's lots of work to do this summer," the superintendent said. "Being a principal is a 12-month job."

Carol Carter announced May 6 that Monroe had resigned as Central High School's principal to "pursue other professional opportunities."

Later that day, she also emailed a prepared statement to the media that an internal investigation found three former students "were awarded diplomas at the end of the 2014-15 school year without having met the graduation requirements for those diplomas."

The diplomas will be reinstated only after the students show proof they completed the coursework, Carol Carter wrote.

The superintendent has said she can't comment on Monroe's resignation or whether it was a result of the investigation's findings.

Understanding what happened prior to Monroe's resignation will likely remain among board members and the school's top administrator.

The school's attorney denied the Review's Freedom of Information request for emails among the school's superintendent, attorney and school board members concerning Monroe. The Review's request for a copy of Monroe's letter of resignation was also denied.

Megan Rhyne, executive director for the Virginia Coalition for Open Government, said the schools can legally withhold such information.

"Is it always in the best interest to keep those, I can't really say, but there is some legal ground" for withholding those documents, Rhyne said.

The school's attorney, Richmond-based McGuire Woods, did provide the Review a copy of Monroe's employment contract. The year-long agreement paid Monroe $86,317 (installments of about $7,200 paid on the 12th day of each month ) from July 1, 2015 to June 30, 2016.

Attempts to reach Monroe for comment have been unsuccessful.

Monroe was hired as Central High School's principal in July 2013. He had served as assistant principal at Sussex County Public Schools from July 2012 to June 2013.

Monroe received a bachelor's degree from Virginia Union University in 2003 and a master's of arts from Central Michigan University in 2012.

A Twitter account created in January identifying Monroe by name and labeling him as Central High School's principal has been active in the past two weeks.

"Joy comes in the morning time. Allow joy to stay in your life and don't allow the negative forces in your life to control your life," Monroe tweeted May 12.

Brauchle can be reached by phone at 757-846-4361.

Seeking school board member

The King & Queen County School Board has reorganized after board chairwoman Stephanie Sears (Shanghai District) resigned from the position May 12.

The board is seeking candidate applications to fill the vacant board seat in an interim period. A special election will be held to fill the seat on a permanent basis. The date for that special election has not yet been set.

On May 12, Vice chairwoman Brenda Lee (Stevensville District) was voted as the new chairwoman and Celestine Gaines (Newtown District) was moved into the vice chair role.

Community members who are interested in being considered for the interim appointment must be qualified voters and residents of the Shanghai District.

Letters of intent and resumes should include the candidate's mailing address, phone number and email address (if available). The information will be accepted through 4 p.m. on May 30 and may be submitted by fax (804-785-5686), email (akennedy@kqps.net), by mail, or in person to School Board Clerk Anne Kennedy, 242 Allen's circle, Suite M, King and Queen Courthouse, VA 23085.

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