Free Lance-Star reporter Robyn Sidersky covers Caroline County government and schools. You can reach her at 540/374-5413 or firstname.lastname@example.org. You can follow coverage on Facebook or Twitter as well.
Caroline High principal resigns
In a cell phone interview with fredericksburg.com this morning, Caroline High School Principal B. Harper Donahoe said he is resigning for family reasons.
“My wife has been very ill and I am going to take care of her,” he said.
He didn’t comment on the resignation of his co-worker, Assistant Principal Robert Baldwin, but did say, “I’m responsible for whatever I did.”
He was not happy to hear about a student-planned protest, where students that are in support of him would not go to their fourth period classes.
“I don’t want any disruption of instruction time,” Donahoe said.
When word of a lockdown was mentioned, school officials said “there is not an emergency. We are just trying to keep students in their classrooms and out of the hallway.”
More information will be released as it becomes available.
Earlier blog post:
Staff and students at Caroline High School rallied in support of their principal Monday night.
But it is unclear exactly why B. Harper Donahoe is under fire.
The School Board voted 4-2 Monday to approve Superintendent Greg Killough’s personnel agenda, which included the resignation of Donahoe and Caroline High Assistant Principal Robert Baldwin.
Donahoe’s resignation is effective June 30, while Baldwin’s was effective Jan. 27.
Killough declined to comment on the resignations.
School Board members Nancy Carson and George Spaulding were not in favor of approving the agenda. Carson, who serves as chairperson, said she could not comment on a personnel issue.
That vote came just hours after a crowd of Donahoe supporters spoke in his favor.
“He has brought order and discipline where there had been none. In short, Dr. Harper Donahoe may have been the best thing that has happened to our school in years,” said John Boquist, a Ruther Glen pastor who volunteers in the school’s choral department. “It is our hope that Dr. Donahoe will be with us for many more years.”
Becky Elam, another assistant principal at Caroline High, said the school is under fire right now and needs Donahoe’s leadership.
“We don’t work for our principal, we work with him,” she said representing a group of teachers that were in the middle school auditorium. “We’ve all made mistakes and with God’s grace we are all forgiven.”
Senior Class President Samuel Perkins said Donahoe has done a lot to strengthen student pride at the school by being there for students. He said the school board should listen to what students want and they want Donahoe.
“How long will we as students at Caroline High School have to wait for our voices to be heard?,” he asked. “Our opinions do matter.”
Major Scott Moser of the Caroline County Sheriff’s Office also spoke in favor of Donahoe remaining as principal and presented other letters of support from Sheriff Tony Lippa and two school resource officers.
“As the sheriff of Caroline County, I know there are some things going on at the high school and can only feel Dr. Donahoe is taking the fall,” Lippa wrote. “My letter is asking you and the other members in keeping Dr. Donahoe at Caroline High.”
Donahoe, who usually attends all board meetings, was not present at the meeting.
Donahoe was hired in July 2009 after then-principal Jeff Wick resigned after three years in that position. Wick was later re-hired as principal at Bowling Green Elementary School.
Before coming to Caroline, Donahoe had been principal at Currituck County High School in North Carolina since 2005, and previously worked as a principal at public schools in Virginia Beach, Gloucester County and the city of Franklin.
He was also an adjunct professor at George Washington University, where he taught courses in human relations and school-community relations.
He moved to Fredericksburg in 2009 after marrying his wife, Kathy.