LEE COUNTY SCHOOLS: Longtime principal resigns one week after receiving promotion

Jul. 19, 2013 @ 03:07 PM

Lee County Schools has lost a second administrator this year to Beaufort County, S.C.

Bonnie Almond, who was announced as Lee County's director of academic services about a week ago, was officially hired Tuesday night by Beaufort County Board of Education — exactly one week after the Lee County Board of Education approved her hiring locally.

Lee County Schools Superintendent Andy Bryan said Almond had not informed him she was a finalist for the other job when he offered her the position of academic services director, a promotion from her job as principal at Southern Lee High School, where she had served since 2009. However, Bryan said, he harbors no ill will toward her.

"I respect Bonnie and certainly appreciate everything she's done for the district," Bryan said Thursday.

Almond couldn't be reached for comment. When she her promotion was announced a week ago, she said in a prepared statement that she wanted "to serve in the district where I am most needed. At this time, I am privileged and honored to be given an opportunity to support Dr. Andy Bryan and the challenges the Lee County Schools leadership faces to continue providing a quality education for every child in the district."

A week later, in a another prepared statement from the school district, Almond said she hoped her future in South Carolina would be as rewarding as her 27-year career in Lee County was.

“I am deeply appreciative for the opportunities afforded to me in Lee County, including the ones that came recently under Dr. Bryan," she said. "I will miss working with the administration at Lee County Schools and my team at Southern Lee High School, Chris Dossenbach, Cletis Gore, Molly Poston, and Amy Salter."

In that same release, Bryan said Almond will be missed, adding: "She has stepped up to every challenge and opportunity given to her and provided competent, stable leadership as principal of J. Glenn Edwards Elementary and Southern Lee High schools."

Almond is receiving a raise of nearly $15,000 in her newest job, in which she will be tasked with improving middle and high school student achievement in Beaufort County, a district about twice the size of Lee County Schools. She'll be making $94,495 in South Carolina, district human resource officials said Thursday. Jeff Moss, who became superintendent of that district at the beginning of this month, after four years of leading Lee County Schools, didn't return a message.

In Lee County, according to Assistant Superintendent for Human Resources Glenda Jones, Almond did not receive a raise when she accepted her short-lived district job, retaining her principal's salary of $79,528. Her resignation is effective July 31.