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UPDATED: Franklin High School Principal Suddenly Resigns; No Reason Given

No reason for action given in Bevere’s letter to staff

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Franklin High School principal James Bevere has told school staff that he submitted his resignation on May 2.

Here’s what’s happened since the FR&A broke this story:

  • An online petition has been created, urging the Board of Education to not accept Bevere’s resignation at its May 8 meeting.
  • The board will consider the resignation as part of the interim Superintendent’s personnel report. The reason given for Bevere’s resignation in that report is “personal.”

Orignal story:

Franklin High School principal James Bevere has resigned his position and will leave the office at the end of the school year.

In a May 4 email to high school staff, Bevere said he made the decision on May 2 “with an incredibly heavy heart, for I recognize that my job is not yet done and because there is still so much for us to do for the students of Franklin High School.”

Bevere did not give a reason for his decision in his email, and he did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

“Please know that I have truly enjoyed serving as your building leader and I look forward to fulfilling the responsibilities of this position for the remainder of the 2013-2014 school year,” Bevere said in the email.

Bevere became principal in July 2012, coming from the Wall Township school district.

In his email, Bevere outlined what he felt were some of his accomplishments:

  • Raising our graduation rate
  • Achieving all of our state prescribed targets and goals  in the areas of Language Arts/Literacy and Math
  • Adjusting our teaching schedules so that our students may earn more credits, and for the first time, compete on a level playing field with peers in other districts
  • Raising student exposure to AP courses while increasing AP scores
  • Affording exposure for students to more elective classes without compromising core subject areas
  • Reducing student discipline by over 50% by enforcing the Code of Conduct and holding students accountable
  • Creating a student recognition program
  • Redesigning the administrative structure of the high school to allow for more visibility and greater support of the students and staff at the high school
  • Fostering a sense of school spirit within the student body  through invitations and admission to various school events, including our spring musical and girls basketball run to the state championship
  • Continuously advocating for increased staffing at the high school in response to budgetary cuts.

Serving as Principal of Franklin High School has been an honor and a privilege,” he said in the email. “It has given me the opportunity to work in collaboration with all of you to affect positive change that I believe both students and staff needed and have benefited from.”

Bevere said the final to months of the school year would be “business as usual,” and that he would “look forward to seeing you each morning and saying farewell to our 2014 graduating class.”

Bevere came under fire from some members of the Board of Education and the public in September 2013 for a program called “Freshman Focus” which is designed to ease freshmen into the high school life.

Board members complained that they had not been informed of the program and should have voted on whether to approve it, and some parents said it was a waste of students’ time and could cost them credits.

The board in October approved a modified version of the program, which runs for one marking period but gives students the option of taking it for a second marking period and earning up to 2.5 credits after completing a service learning project.

Board of Education president Julia Presley declined to comment on Bevere’s resignation, saying the board is “not at liberty to speak on personnel matters.”

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