WOODSTOCK – A Shenandoah County Public Schools employee who was involved in a court case last year will remain with the school division.
The School Board on Thursday approved several staffing moves for the next school year, including the transfer of Ashby Lee Principal Stephen Povlish to a classroom teacher position at Sandy Hook Elementary School, said Superintendent Mark Johnston after the meeting.
Johnston said he could not discuss the reasoning behind the decision, citing the matter being a personnel matter.
Povlish has been on leave as principal and will remain on leave until the end of the school year on June 30.
After that, Povlish will be paid on the teacher scale and will not retain his principal salary, Johnston said.
Povlish will then earn $54,062, which is based on the 2018-19 teacher salary scale, said Linda Hodges, director of human resources.
Presiding Judge Kevin Black in January found Povlish not guilty of a charge of assault and battery reported on Aug. 16. The incident involved a 5-year-old boy who at the time had been diagnosed with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder. The boy is alleged to have stepped on the hand of a girl who was sitting on a gym floor.
Testimony from an Ashby Lee Elementary School special education teacher was that she saw Povlish place both of his feet on the boy’s hands, rocking from his left foot to his right foot back to his left foot while asking the boy: “Is that what you do to little girls? How does that make you feel?”
Povlish’s testimony offered a different account. He said he did not touch the boy but if any contact was made, it was unintentional.
Also Thursday, the School Board approved the appointment of Annmarie Noonan as principal at North Fork Middle School, Johnston said.
Her new salary will be $87,371, based on the 2018-19 administrative scale, Hodges said.
Noonan has been acting principal at the school for the past year after Todd Lynn was given an administrative transfer to the central office as Supervisor of Career and Technical Education for Shenandoah County Public Schools.
Noonan has been with the division almost 11 years, Johnston said. She has been a middle school history teacher, a part-time instructional coach, an assistant principal and acting principal.
At the meeting, George Bowers, senior pastor at Antioch Church of the Brethren in Woodstock, presented members with a letter signed by 11 pastors of multiple denominations.
The letter requested the School Board to direct teachers, coaches and sponsors to avoid scheduling events and practices on Sundays. It also requests that Wednesday evenings be avoided as well.
“The school division has been very respectful in the past, and we appreciate it,” Bowers said after the meeting.
The group will also be sending out similar letters to other organizations, such as the county’s Parks and Recreation Department, Bowers said.