The principal of Ashby Lee Elementary School and a former Shenandoah County Sheriff’s Office deputy have been charged within the last week with misdemeanors after separate incidents involving the same elementary school student.
Virginia State Police charged Principal Stephen Povlish III and former deputy Tabatha R. Baker-Whitacre, who was then a school resource officer, each with a misdemeanor charge of assault and battery stemming from incidents that transpired in August, according to a prepared statement from the Virginia State Police.
The summons filed in both cases in Shenandoah County Juvenile and Domestic Relations Court has a single line: “Assault and battery, a five-year-old juvenile.”
The date on the summons for Povlish indicates the incident occurred on Aug. 16. The date on the summons for Baker-Whitacre indicates the incident occurred on Aug. 17.
It does not contain any other basic information often found in a summons or criminal complaint.
The Northern Virginia Daily has made a public records request for the complaint from the Virginia State Police.
Baker-Whitacre, 41, turned herself into state police and was charged on Friday. Povlish, 43, turned himself into state police and was charged on Monday, according to a prepared statement from the Virginia State Police.
The Shenandoah County Sheriff’s office received a complaint from a school official about Baker-Whitacre on Aug. 17. Sheriff’s Office Major Scott Proctor said the agency received more information the next day.
Baker-Whitacre has been associated with the Shenandoah County Sheriff Office for two years, first as a volunteer and then as a member of the agency’s sworn personnel. She was terminated on Aug. 20, Proctor said.
Shenandoah County Sheriff Timothy Carter asked the state police to conduct an investigation. The investigation into both incidents continues.
Both defendants are scheduled to appear in court on Nov. 8.
The Shenandoah County Public Schools announced Friday that Tiffany Utz was filling in as principal at Ashby Lee for Povlish, who was placed on leave. It is unknown if Povlish remains employed with the division since he was charged.
“I can’t comment on personnel matters per state code,” said county school superintendent Mark Johnston.