From the Neighborhood Newspapers
Riverwood HS principal resigns; interim in place
By Noreen Lewis Cochran
After eight years as assistant principal and 10 years as principal, Eddie Echols resigned from Riverwood International Charter School in Sandy Springs on Sept. 16 during a meeting with Fulton County School System Chief Human Resources Officer Ronnie Wade.
“They talked about the findings in the audit,” system spokeswoman Samantha Evans said about an in-house procedure routinely conducted by the human resources department. “He resigned during the session.”
The 41-page audit report for the 2008-09 school year, randomly chosen by the audit department headed up by James M. Yerich, uncovered a pattern of irregularities, Evans said, related to protocol.
“Findings in the audit revealed there was a misuse of school funds,” she said. “We’re talking about the way you request funds. There’s a compilation of things. These were measured in the audit.”
Iris Moran, instructional area superintendent for the Riverwood cluster of schools, addressed parents and guardians with a Sept. 20 letter which was posted on the school website.
“I am sure this announcement comes rather suddenly, but let me assure you that it is not due to anything involving the well-being of students or staff nor the school’s performance under [Echols’] leadership,” she wrote. “I can tell you that a routine audit has revealed an inappropriate use of financial resources contrary to Fulton County policy. However, there is no evidence that there has been any loss of funds to the school.”
The interim principal is experienced pinch-hitter Dennis Kostulakos, most recently the head of alternative school for disruptive students Crossroads Second Chance North in Roswell .
“Kostulakos will work with the Riverwood community to ensure the students remain the primary focus,” Moran wrote. “Kostulakos will use his leadership skills to guide the direction of the school. [He] will continue to work with the strong leadership team.”
With a position available, Moran said normal selection procedures apply.
“The process will include opportunities for stakeholder involvement and input, including surveys and participation of parents, staff and community members on the screening committee,” she said.
Superintendent Robert Avossa, Ed.D., will review the finalists.
“The final recommendation will be made to the [school] board based upon the expertise and judgment of the superintendent,” Moran said.