Academy @ Shawnee principal Houston Barber resigns from JCPS - WDRB 41 Louisville News

Academy @ Shawnee principal Houston Barber resigns from JCPS

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Houston Barber had been the principal at Shawnee since January 2014. Houston Barber had been the principal at Shawnee since January 2014.
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) – Two weeks after he took a personal leave of absence, principal at the Academy @ Shawnee Houston Barber has resigned from Jefferson County Public Schools.

Barber had been the principal at Shawnee since January 2014, when Superintendent Donna Hargens named him the school's new principal.

When reached via text message Friday evening, Barber said his decision was personal. 

"Pursuing other educational opportunities and reflecting with my family about the best decision for us," Barber said in a text message. "Been going at a fast pace for 10 years. Had to take time to reflect."

JCPS immediately posted the Shawnee principal job, noting that the application period closes July 12.

"We wish him all the best in the future," said Stephanie Bateman, a JCPS spokeswoman, in a statement. "The search for a new principal begins immediately to ensure that the Academy @ Shawnee has a smooth transition and a successful 2015-16 school year.”

Just a few days after he started a personal leave on May 26, he told WDRB News he was not sure when he would return. He did not attend Shawnee's graduation ceremony on Tuesday.

"It's a private matter involving my family," he told WDRB education reporter Toni Konz. "I'm hoping to return as soon as possible."

Bateman has repeatedly told WDRB News that Barber was not the subject of any district investigation. However, sources tell WDRB News that Barber had a due process meeting with district officials on Wednesday. Bateman said she was unaware of such a meeting.

In JCPS, a due process meeting occurs between an employee and his/her supervisor and it gives the employee an opportunity to have his/her say before any action is taken, Bateman said.

Barber was previously the principal at Fern Creek High School from 2007 through 2013. JCPS Superintendent Donna Hargens selected Barber to lead Shawnee after the school's previous principal, Keith Look, resigned to take another job in July 2013.

Shawnee is one of Jefferson County's lowest achieving schools and has been in the midst of a turnaround effort.

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Reporter Antoinette Konz can be reached at 585-0838 or @tkonz on Twitter.

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