In this file photo, Albany High Principal Angela Shumate, right, sits with lawyers during her tribunal.
ALBANY, Ga. — Suspended Albany High School Principal Angela Shumate’s career is back on track after the Dougherty County School Board voted 5-2 at a special called meeting Monday to reinstate her to the position.
Shumate’s hiring met a Monday deadline set by the state Department of Education to name a permanent principal for the SIG (School Improvement Grant) school, unlocking nearly $2 million in frozen federal funding.
She had been reassigned by the Board in January after being linked by state CRCT investigators to alleged cheating while principal at Morningside Elementary. Scott Horton served as interim principal in her absence.
Because Albany High is a SIG school, the GaDOE insisted the district hire a permanent principal by Oct. 29. In addition, the state demanded to be involved in the hiring process of that principal.
Shumate, Horton and Kono Smith were the three finalists for the position. Superintendent Joshua Murfree recommended Shumate and all BOE members, except for Darrel Ealum and Carol Tharin, approved the hire.
“The state put in a detailed applicant interview process, “ Board member David Maschke, explaining his ‘yes’ vote, said. “The superintendent reported that along each step of the way, Shumate came out on top.”
In August, Shumate went before an outside administrative tribunal which recommended she be reissued a new contract.
“The state had a person (John Cable) and was on the committee that recommended her (Shumate) as a the top person for the job,” Board chair James Bush said. “And five board members agreed with that recommendation. The tribunal had early determined that she was not guilty, and she withstood all the tests.”
Shumate’s reinstatement leaves just one principal and one high school in limbo. Dougherty High still has and interim principal as the Board awaits a recommendation from Murfree as to the fate of suspended principal Jose Roquemore.
“We have gone through a period of great trial and tribulation.” Bush said. “We’ve gone through so much I hope some good can come out of all the bad.”
In other action the Board voted 4-2 to send International Studies Elementary Charter School’s charter renewal proposal to the state just days before Thursday’s deadline.
Maschke and Ealum were the ‘no’ votes.