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Associate Superintendent Resigns Before New School Year; New Supt. Offers No Details but Ominous Statement

By Greg Hince

Photo courtesy of Davis’ Twitter

Aug. 8, 2012.Watauga County Schools Associate Superintendent Scarlet Davis recently resigned from her position, effective Aug. 1, three years into a four-year contract and less than two weeks before the start of the new school year. Davis was hired by Watauga County Schools in July 2008, and resigned for undisclosed reasons. Her contract wasn’t set to expire until June 2013. She was paid a salary of $8,384.71 a month, and was offered two months of severance pay as part of her resignation.

“In line with board policy, we accepted her resignation at her request,” Deborah Miller, Board Chair said. “She didn’t give a specific reason for her decision.”

The Board of Education accepted the resignation during its work session July 30. The meeting included closed-session discussions on personnel and school records. The first day of school for students is today, Aug. 8.

David Kafitz, the new Superintendent for Watauga County Schools, was appointed in June. When asked for comment Kafitz reiterated that under North Carolina general statutes he did not have to release any information on the reasons behind Davis’ departure. However, he offered an ominous piece of information.

“I’ll just be honest with you, you guys are digging around in something that will hurt somebody for no reason,” Kafitz said.

He offered no other explanation for Davis’ abrupt resignation, but emphasized that the school system worked in accordance with state policy by offering Davis two months severance pay. Since Kafitz was hired there have been a number of changes at the board’s central office.

Appalachian State University graduates, and newcomers to Watauga County Schools, Stephen Martin and Michael Marcela were appointed as Human Resources Director and Exceptional Children’s Services Director, respectively, at an announcement July 10.

Martin is succeeding Stephanie Weeks, who returned to her position as Assistant Principal at Parkway School after less than a year working as Human Resources Director. Marcela fills the spot left by Amy Moore, who had been acting Director of Exceptional Children’s Programs since the previous director left.

Applications for a new Associate Superintendent, whose job details will include curriculum and instruction management, are being accepted through Aug. 24. The Board of Education is expected to be chose a new candidate at its monthly meeting Sept. 10.

On the Watauga County School District webpage, Davis is quoted as saying “What a privilege to work for one of the most distinguished school districts in North Carolina! Watauga has quite a well-known reputation for excellence in academics, the arts, career/technical education and athletics, and now I know it truly is so! I am so impressed every day with the passion for and commitment to learning I see from our students, teachers, administrators, board members, parents, and community. I began my position as Associate Superintendent on July 1, 2008. I provide leadership and support in the areas of testing, technology, child nutrition, transportation, and maintenance/facilities. I look forward to the exciting opportunities we have before us as we work together to prepare our students for their futures.”

Miller said that board members do not know Davis’ future employment plans. Davis has a Bachelor of Arts degree from Wake Forest University, as well as a Master of Arts Degree and Doctorate in education from Appalachian.

Prior to working for Watauga County Schools, Davis was a coach at Impact V, the NC DPI Division of Instructional Technology, which is supported by the State Board of Education. She was also an Adjunct Instructor of Educational Institution at Appalachian. Her Linkedin page does not list an updated occupation. 

The High Country Press attempted to contact Davis, but has yet to receive a reponse.