The News Courier in Athens, Alabama

November 8, 2012

School board votes to terminate contract of Johnson Elementary principal

Kim West
kwest@athensnews-courier.com

— To the dismay of an audience overflowing with supporters for Dr. Casey Lewis, the Limestone County school board voted 6-1 to terminate the Johnson Elementary School principal’s contract at a contentious board meeting Thursday evening at the Clinton Street Annex.

After hearing from several audience members, including Lewis, his wife, his attorney and teachers from Johnson, board members discussed canceling the principal’s contract, which runs through July 2013.

Board members James Shannon, Earl Glaze, Anthony Hilliard, Marty Adams, Bret McGill and Darin Russell all voted yes, while Charles Shoulders, whose District 1 includes Johnson Elementary, dissented.

Lewis, who was placed on administrative leave Oct. 10 by Limestone County Schools Superintendent Dr. Thomas Sisk after allegations of fiscal wrongdoing surfaced, will be informed in writing of the board’s decision Thursday to cancel his contract, which runs through July 2013. Lewis will then be asked to inform Sisk whether he plans to accept the board’s decision or petition a circuit court judge to review the case.

The board made its decision based on the purchase and financing of an informational sign installed at the school in March. The sign was procured by Lewis, who said during the meeting that he did not realize he was required to accept written bids instead of verbal ones.

Lewis, who coined the phrase, “One voice, one sound” as Johnson Elementary’s motto for 2012-13, was a special education teacher for five years, an assistant principal at Tanner High School for two years and principal of Reid Elementary for two years. He became Johnson’s principal in July 1, 2009.

See Sunday's edition of The News Courier for more on this story.