CHARLESTON, SC (WCSC) - Dr. Nancy McGinley said, in a statement provided by the Charleston County School District Thursday night, she was at peace with her decision to resign as the superintendent.
Earlier on Thursday, the CCSD Board of Trustees voted 8-1 to accept McGinley's resignation. That word came from the school board after they emerged from executive session at an emergency meeting. School board member Michael Miller voted against her resignation.
"I believe that her heart has always been in the right place. I haven't always agreed with her, but for her to leave under these conditions, I just was not, I didn't think that was the right way to go. I think she deserved more than that," Miller said.
CCSD officials provided a 14-page document by McGinley which she presented to principals and senior leadership Thursday afternoon announcing her resignation.
"That leads me to my final point, it is time for a new admiral," read McGinley's statement from the presentation."The school board has the right to pick the Superintendent and make a leadership change. Therefore, I have determined that the best thing I can do for my beloved fleet is to step down effective today. We desperately need new schools and continuous classroom improvements."
In the presentation document, McGinley said the past two weeks had been "very stressful" for her at CCSD, and addressed the controversy regarding Academic Magnet High School and Head Football Coach Bud Walpole.
"You may have handled it differently," McGinley said."At this point, I cannot erase the impact that this incident has had on our district and community, and for that I am truly sorry."
McGinley said it was time to "take the focus" off herself and put it back on the children.
"We desperately need new schools and continuous classroom improvements," McGinley said.
McGinley ended the statement saying she was at peace with her decision and said she was "humbled by the support" of staff and parents.
"There are many types of leaders - I was called to change," McGinley said. "The next leader may play a different role. So, help make me proud - don't let CCSD get off track and lose focus. I am stepping away confident that you will continue to make excellence our standard."
A statement from Board Chair Cindy Bohn Coats indicates the board authorized her to accept McGinley's resignation, which the board says it believes will be forthcoming.
"We are reliably informed that Dr. McGinley has concluded, in consultation with supporters and close friends, that this is the time for her to pursue new opportunities," the statement reads.
The board also voted to appoint Michael Bobby as acting superintendent. Dr. Lisa Herring will consult him on academic matters. Bobby said the district is still working on his transition into the superintendent role and that the board is waiting for McGinley's official resignation.
McGinley will stay on as a district employee in a consultant role through June 30, 2015, board members say.
The news was met by outbursts from parents and community leaders who had gathered to hear the results of the meeting, including Charleston NAACP President Dot Scott. A growing crowd had arrived to hear the results of the executive session. Some parents of students at Academic Magnet High School are also present, but said they were not interested in McGinley's status; instead they want to address the district's student interrogation policy.
CCSD officials said McGinley spoke to principals and senior leadership Thursday afternoon announcing her resignation. School officials released McGinley's presentation Thursday night.
On Thursday morning, representatives with the National Action Network, the Charleston Chapter of the NAACP, the Interdenominational Ministerial Alliance, and others announced a federal complaint with the U.S. Justice Department, and are asking the Office of Civil Rights to investigate the lack of diversity at Academic Magnet High School, as well as the handling of Head Football Coach Bud Walpole's firing, and subsequent rehiring following complaints of inappropriate post-game celebrations by members of the football team.
A meeting originally scheduled for Monday was canceled because board members were worried about community backlash and because board members felt they need more time to review McGinley's annual performance evaluation, board member Elizabeth Moffley said earlier this week.
As part of the investigation into complaints about that celebration, which involved the smashing of a watermelon by football players who stood in a circle and made what was described as "animalistic sounds," all 29 players of the football team were pulled out of class to be interrogated about the ritual.
Some parents who were upset about how the district handled the controversy planned to attend Monday's meeting to demand an apology from McGinley, according to Larry Kobrovsky, the attorney for Academic Magnet's Student Improvement Council.
McGinley's tenure as CCSD superintendent has seen bright moments as Charleston County schools celebrated growth. In May, Buist Academy was named one of the 50 best middle schools in the country, ranking 44th in TheBestSchools.org survey.
In 2013, McGinley was honored as Arts Administrator of the Year by the South Carolina Alliance for Arts Education for her continued commitment to arts education in South Carolina.
In the 2012-2013 school year, CCSD's graduation rate improved three points to 75.5 percent.
In 2012, the Charleston County School Board, encouraged by a new state report card that showed positive gains at schools in the district, extended McGinley's contract for another four years, to Dec. 30, 2016.
McGinley was appointed superintendent in April, 2007, succeeding Dr. Maria Goodloe-Johnson, the first African-American to serve in the role, who had served for nearly four years.
According to the CCSD website, McGinley's reform efforts centered on four strategic priorities: literacy-based learning, educator effectiveness, innovative schools and systems; and partnerships, the site states. In 2012, McGinley helped create a new strategic plan for the district, called "Charleston Achieving Excellence: Vision 2016."
McGinley has been the longest-serving superintendent in the district's history and previously served as chief academic officer, according to her bio. She also worked as chief executive officer of the Philadelphia Education Fund.