School officials say that they are unlikely to replace Barbara Adams as acting principal of I. Ellis Johnson Elementary School before the end of the current school year.
Adams, who has served as assistant principal at I.E. Johnson since the beginning of the school year, was named acting administrator last week after the departure of Dr. Julia Brissett from the position.
According to board member B.J. Gibson, the board approved the change in leadership in closed session during its Monday evening meeting.
No reason was given for Brissett’s dismissal.
On Thursday, I.E. Johnson PTO President Jashanda Poe called an emergency meeting of the PTO to discuss the impact of the abrupt change on the school’s students and teachers, particularly with state end of grade testing in a few weeks.
Some 30 people attended the meeting, with questions raised regarding the experience of Adams and new assistant principal Kristen Broadbelt and whether the school had properly notified parents of the change.
Following the meeting, Poe said that the PTO would attempt a meeting with Superintendent Rick Stout and the school board to discuss hiring a retired principal to serve out the rest of the school year. On Monday, Poe said that no meeting had been arranged, as Stout and most members of the school board are currently in California for the National School Boards Association Annual Conference.
When reached by phone on Monday, Stout said that the school system finds Adams to be an adequate replacement for Brissett.
“Right now we’re happy with Barbara,” Stout said. “She is certified to be a principal. We have her continuing what we’ve been doing over at that school.”
Before being hired as I.E. Johnson’s assistant principal, Adams was a member of Sandhills Leadership Academy Cohort I during the 2011-2012 school year, during which time she interned under the principal at Pate Gardener Elementary School.
“She’s been a teacher with us and she was selected to go through Sandhills Leadership Academy, which is a special training process over and above being an assistant principal,” said Stout. “We placed her at IEJ specifically because of how good she is.”