Fired principal Ken Stites gets JCPS job back, agrees not to work at Norton Elementary
As part of the settlement agreement, Stites will accept a reassignment to an administrative position and receive a reduction in pay.
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- The Norton Elementary principal who was fired by Jefferson County Public Schools in May will be getting a job back with the district, but has agreed not to seek employment at the east end school.
According to the settlement agreement signed by both Ken Stites and JCPS Acting Superintendent Marty Pollio, the termination letter from then-superintendent Donna Hargens has been rescinded and all copies of it will be removed from Stites's personnel file.
"JCPS and Mr. Stites reached an agreement together that avoids a lengthy process that would not be in the best interest of Norton Elementary or our school district," Pollio said in a statement.
Attorneys for both Stites and the district confirmed with WDRB News on Wednesday that the two sides reached an agreement, and the details of the tribunal resolution were obtained through an open records request.
Under the agreement, Stites will voluntary accept reassignment to an administrative position with a salary no less than $115,000 per year.
Stites will be entitled to back pay for his principal position from his last date through the date when his new position begins. He'll also receive pension contributions, and reimbursement of $2,087 he paid for COBRA health coverage.
The agreement does not preclude Stites from seeking another principal position within JCPS, but he has agreed he will not seek employment at Norton Elementary.
Pollio says the district's focus is on "moving forward and finding a permanent principal for Norton who will continue building on the school's tradition of academic excellence and creating a welcoming climate and culture for all students, parents and staff."
Tim Hagan has been named the acting principal of Norton Elementary School. Hagan had retired from the district as principal of Hite Elementary in 2015.
"I also appreciate and thank Tim Hagan for helping bring stability to Norton Elementary through his experience, keen leadership and calming presence as the school's acting principal," Pollio said. "He has been and continues to be an encouraging leader and resource for the school's students and families."
An appeal hearing had been scheduled to be held Aug. 14 in Louisville, but since the two sides have reached an agreement, it has been canceled.
Stites was fired for conduct unbecoming of a principal, inefficiency, insubordination and neglect of duty. The letter states , 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."
A copy of the Tribunal Resolution appears below:
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