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Heads need to roll: It’s time for a change in leadership at Waynesboro Public Schools

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The question that we’ve been asking for the past couple of weeks about the leadership at Waynesboro Public Schools bears repeating: what are those folks there in the central office thinking?

The latest head-scratching move from the school system is the announcement Tuesday night that it has hired as the new assistant principal at Waynesboro High School a man who resigned as the principal of an Ohio high school in 2022 in the midst of an investigation into sexual misconduct on school grounds.

We didn’t need to do more than a basic Google search to come up with that tidbit about Joshua Herndon, who stepped down from his job as the principal at Southeast High School in Ravenna, Ohio, on Dec. 12, 2022, after being informed by the superintendent there of an ongoing investigation “into your alleged misconduct involving another Board employee at the High School on November 30, 2022,” with a letter from the superintendent referring to the issue as “alleged sexual misconduct.”

Waynesboro Public Schools has declined to comment on the matter, which is par for the course for a school system that is still in the early stages of dealing with the fallout from another hire that it announced last month for the head football coach position at WHS.

Shonn Bell was hired for the football job and a second post in security at the high school despite having two criminal convictions, for resisting arrest and DUI, and a 1993 rape charge from his time as a student-athlete at Clinch Valley College, now UVA-Wise, where he was an NAIA All-American, that was quietly dismissed six months later.

The controversy over that hire has been competing with the news about a teacher at WHS, Joseph Emmanuel Trust, 38, of Stuarts Draft, who is facing an aggravated sexual battery charge involving a child under the age of 13 in Augusta County.

Setting the score, then, we have a WHS teacher in jail on a sexual battery charge involving a preteen, a new football coach with a troubling rap sheet, and a new assistant principal who left his last principal job because of an allegation that he engaged in sexual misconduct at the school.

And what are we getting from the folks in the administration at Waynesboro Public Schools?

Crickets.

Heads need to roll.

Chris Graham

Chris Graham

Chris Graham is the founder and editor of Augusta Free Press. A 1994 alum of the University of Virginia, Chris is the author and co-author of seven books, including Poverty of Imagination, a memoir published in 2019, and Team of Destiny: Inside Virginia Basketball’s Run to the 2019 National Championship, and The Worst Wrestling Pay-Per-View Ever, published in 2018. For his commentaries on news, sports and politics, go to his YouTube page, or subscribe to his Street Knowledge podcast. Email Chris at [email protected].