Suspended Ooltewah principal to retire

Suspended Ooltewah principal to retire

September 19th, 2013 by Kevin Hardy in Local Regional News

Ooltewah High School Principal Mark Bean has submitted retirement papers in the midst of a central office investigation.

Superintendent Rick Smith suspended Bean and Ooltewah Assistant Principal Beverly Hollingsworth last week while officials investigated a claim of "unprofessional conduct" between the two. But Smith said Bean elected to retire while the inquiry wraps up.

Bean is a 31-year teaching and coaching veteran of the school system. He served as Ooltewah's principal since 2009. Before that, he was principal at East Ridge High.

"Mark added a lot and did a great job both at Ooltewah High School and East Ridge High School," the superintendent said. "This is an unfortunate situation, both for the people involved and the school."

Hollingsworth remains on an unpaid suspension, but will be reassigned as a classroom teacher at another school, Smith said.

"She would like to continue to work," the superintendent said.

Another assistant principal, Jim Jarvis, is serving as Ooltewah's interim principal. Smith said he wants to name a permanent principal and assistant principal next week.

A Times Free Press review this week of personnel files, publicly available under Tennessee law, showed positive evaluations for both Bean and Hollingsworth throughout their respective teaching careers.

Contact staff writer Kevin Hardy at khardy@timesfreepress.com or 423-757-6249.