Day of reckoning

Published 7:20 pm Friday, November 4, 2011

WINDSOR – Three leaders in Bertie County Schools have changed positions.

In the wake of last week’s suspension of Bertie High School Principal Carson Watford, he and two other members of the district’s leadership have been transferred.

Watford will leave his post as principal to become Transportation Supervisor, according to a joint press release issued Friday by Watford and Bertie County Schools Superintendent Dr. Debbie Harris-Rollins.

“In light of the amount of media and other attention that this matter has received, Dr. Harris-Rollins and Carson Watford have concluded that it is not in either party’s best interest for Mr. Watford to return as principal this year,” the statement read, which was released by Adam Mitchell of Tharrington Smith, the law firm representing the Bertie County Board of Education. “Dr. Harris-Rollins believes that Mr. Watford’s skills can be best utilized in the Central Office at this time.  The school system welcomes Mr. Watford to the role of Transportation Supervisor.   The parties do not have any further comments at this time.”

The release did not specify if Watford was still suspended. A release earlier in the day from Tharrington Smith indicated he was still suspended with pay.

Replacing Watford at Bertie High will be Colerain Elementary School Principal Rickey Eley. He has been at Bertie High School before, having served as a teacher and coach at the school for several years, including serving as an assistant football coach during the school’s first-ever state football championship in 1995.

Following his teaching career, he served as co-Principal of Bertie High along with Sharon Bond and Bill Hawkins. After completing his tenure there, he served in Central Services before being named Principal of Bertie Alternative School last year. He was chosen to lead Colerain following the closure of the alternative school.

A start date for Eley was not released by Bertie County Schools through Board Attorney Rod Malone, who announced the appointment.  Attempts to reach Bertie County Schools Superintendent Dr. Debbie Harris-Rollins and Eley were unsuccessful.

Wesley Dudley, who currently serves as the Director of Transportation for Bertie County Schools, will replace Eley as principal at Colerain Elementary for the remainder of the academic year.

Dudley is a graduate of Bertie High School and served as an Assistant Principal at West Bertie Elementary School until he was named Director of Transportation earlier this year. He is a certified administrator.

No start date was announced for Dudley.