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Principal Resigns From City’s First Charter School

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The embattled principal at the Patrick Henry School of Science and Arts has resigned. Pamela Boyd's last day as head administrator at Richmond's first charter elementary school will be June 29, according to Sharon Burton, president of the school's board of directors. A spokeswoman for Richmond Public Schools also confirmed that Boyd has resigned.

Boyd was placed on administrative leave in June after an audit found "lack of administrative oversight" of a student activities and meals fund that Boyd controlled. She returned to work three months later after a second review by the Richmond Public Schools internal auditor turned up no evidence of fraud — only to leave the position again in October on personal leave. She hasn't been back. The reasons behind her second extended absence remain unclear.

Boyd, a former teacher at Fairfield Middle School in Henrico County, was announced as principal of Patrick Henry in March 2010. Since her departure in October, Cynthia Gentry, a former teacher, has served as interim principal.

After the school's internal audit report was released, the school became the target of an embezzlement investigation by the Virginia State Police last summer. Police spokeswoman Corinne Geller says the investigation is ongoing and declines to elaborate. School district officials for months have declined to comment, citing federal law that prevents employers from disclosing details on personnel issues. Efforts by Style Weekly to reach Boyd for comment were unsuccessful.

Sharon Burton says the board and administrators were informed April 6 of Boyd's resignation. In conjunction with Richmond Public Schools, the board has started looking for Boyd's replacement.

Burton says a search committee consisting of parents, city school officials and members of the Patrick Henry board will, after interviewing candidates, make recommendations to the board, and then the school system. The board hopes to have Boyd's replacement hired in time for the start of the 2012-'13 school year, Burton says.

As for Boyd's departure, Burton says that after the limbo of the last seven months those interested in Patrick Henry's success are ready for the next steps. "We want to move forward to find a person who can help us ensure a quality education for our students and fulfill the mission of our charter," Burton says. "We've put the incident behind us."

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