LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- A retired Jefferson County Public Schools administrator has been named the acting principal of Norton Elementary School.

Tim Hagan, who retired from JCPS as principal of Hite Elementary in 2015, will assume the interim role at Norton on July 17.

“Tim is a longtime administrator with a history of increasing student achievement at high-performing schools,” said Marty Pollio, acting superintendent of JCPS.

“Recent events have created an emotional experience for the staff, students and families of Norton," Pollio said. "Tim’s experience and leadership provide an opportunity for the school community to heal and immediately begin preparing for the upcoming school year.”

Hagan, who spent 18 years as principal at Hite, told WDRB on Thursday that his role will be to "insure a successful opening for students, families and staff."

"I will make the kids my priority," he said.

A new principal at Norton was needed after former superintendent Donna Hargens fired the school's former principal, Ken Stites, for conduct unbecoming of a principal, inefficiency, insubordination and neglect of duty.

According to his termination letter, Stites was fired after the district questioned where Stites’ children were living because he owns a home in Indiana. In addition to the residency issue, the district also states in its termination letter that allegations were made that he had "improperly overstaffed a position at (the) school and had inappropriately influenced (the) SBDM council to defund and remove the position from (the) school completely."

Stites and his attorney, Will Walsh, have maintained that he is innocent of all charges. They have appealed the firing with the state and requested a public tribunal hearing, which is tentatively scheduled to begin Aug. 10.

As the district and Stites prepare to face off on his termination, many in the community have rallied for him, asking for the district to reinstate him.

A press release from JCPS says Norton’s School-Based Decision Making (SBDM) Council will name a permanent replacement for the school this fall.

Related stories:

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

Copyright 2017 WDRB News. All rights reserved.