Principals rally before embattled superintendent faces Palm Beach County school board vote

100 principals met to respond to the situation

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. - A group of about 100 principals met Monday night to respond to the apparent ouster of Palm Beach County Schools Superintendent Art Johnson.

Bob Hatcher, Principal at Western Pines Middle School, said the group voted on whether to support Johnson as he faces school board members Wednesday. He did not give information on the vote tally, as some principals had not had a chance to vote yet.

The board is scheduled to vote Wednesday on accepting a resignation settlement being negotiated by a representative or representatives for Johnson and school board Chairman Frank Barbieri.

After a decade of leading the school district, Johnson had a tough school year last year and fell out of favor with a new school board.

He hired controversial Chief Academic Officer Jeffrey Hernandez who angered parents and teachers with a test-heavy regime, and mostly recently came under scrutiny for all allegations he covered up Hernandez's moonlighting in Memphis while Hernandez collected his $180,000 salary from Palm Beach County.

Hatcher said he personally feels the school district would not be the top-ranked district it is today without Johnson.

"They want to roll him up and throw him away because of one year of turmoil," Hatcher said. "That is something that Palm Beach County is not used to."

Hatcher said many principals are concerned and he will be there supporting Johnson on Wednesday.

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