School hiring to replace suspended principal

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, August 31, 2011

By Sarah Campbell
SALISBURY — The Rowan-Salisbury School System is advertising for a new principal for Henderson Independent High School, even though a system spokeswoman says the principal who was suspended — creating the opening — is “in good standing.”
The district posted the vacancy on its employment website Tuesday, nearly two months after Trisha Baptist was suspended with pay from her job at Henderson.
System officials have never said why Baptist was put on leave. However, Rita Foil, the district’s spokeswoman, said Tuesday that Baptist is no longer suspended.
“She is in good standing,” she said. “We are waiting for her to clarify her employment status with the school district.”
When a Post reporter asked for clarification about Baptist’s status, Foil declined.
“Upon our attorney’s advisement, the statement stands as it is,” she wrote in an email.
It remains unclear why Baptist was suspended. The district has been mum about details.
Baptist did not return a phone call from a Post reporter Tuesday.
Earlier this month, Baptist referred comment about her suspension to her attorney, Julius Chambers of Charlotte.
At that time, no legal action had been taken.
Baptist took over the reins at Henderson last August, succeeding Ken Sherrill.
Replacing the principal was one of the stipulations of a nearly $2.2 million federal school improvement grant the system landed for Henderson last year.
Henderson received the grant to improve student achievement and increase the graduation rate after ranking in the bottom 5 percent of the state’s consistently lowest-achieving schools.
The grant is distributed over three years. The new Henderson principal will begin year two of grant implementation.
According to the vacancy information posted on the Rowan-Salisbury website, the person hired will receive a minimum $1,000 per month incentive pay.
The deadline for resumes is Sept. 30.
Kenny Isenhour, who retired as principal of Millbridge in 2007, is serving as the interim principal at the school until the position is filled.
The school system has also posted job openings for three teachers and a guidance counselor at Henderson. Those positions come with a minimum $5,000 bonus.
Contact reporter Sarah Campbell at 704-797-7683.