Polk school board accepts LeRoy's resignation

- The Polk County School Board approved Kathryn LeRoy's resignation and severance at a special meeting Friday evening. 

Jacqueline Byrd was named interim superintendent.

The now-former superintendent submitted her resignation Friday afternoon, ahead of the school board meeting to decide her fate. 

Board members received LeRoy's resignation along with a tentative settlement agreement.  Documents released Friday showed the resignation agreement would pay LeRoy $119,000 in severance and $113,517.19 in annuity payments. 

Some of LeRoy's former employees, as well as members of the community, came to the meeting in her defense. 

"I watched as she tirelessly built teams and integrated programs to promote not only the academic success for students in Polk County, but to enhance quality of life and create prosperous adults," LeRoy's former executive assistant, Edwina Hall said.

Polk County resident Oscar Muhammad said he did not agree with the way LeRoy was treated during the process. 

"Basically, that's what I saw, was a lynch mob," Muhammad said.

Meanwhile, some came to express their continued concern for LeRoy's conduct. 

Southwest Middle School eighth grade teacher Jay Gallman said, "absolutely the right move. We need to move forward as a district. We need to move forward as teachers. We need to change where we've been."

LeRoy was cleared of misconduct allegations involving a senior employee after he accused her of sexual harassment, making inappropriate comments, pursuing a relationship beyond professional boundaries and creating a hostile work environment when he declined her alleged advances. 

After being cleared, LeRoy released a videotaped apology, saying she took responsibility for her actions and learned from the situation. 

Earlier in February, three of six board members at a work session said they had concerns about her future with the school and scheduled a vote for Friday, February 12 on whether she would stay or go. Her resignation came before they had a chance to vote. 

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