In the wake of the 2015 rape of an Ooltewah High School freshman, allegedly by three of his basketball teammates, two of the school's former top administrators will not return to Hamilton County schools this fall.
Former Ooltewah Principal Jim Jarvis was approved this week by the Hamilton County Department of Education for a leave of absence, after being assigned in May to an assistant principal position at East Hamilton Middle/High School.
Allard "Jesse" Nayadley also notified school officials this week of his intention to resign from the district.
Stacy Stewart, Hamilton County Schools' assistant superintendent of human resources, said replacements for both Jarvis and Nayadley will be named by the school system's department of operations.
Stewart said "a leave of absence is always employee requested," and in most cases employees on leave cash in on their accrued sick leave, vacation time and personal days available. She said if an employee on leave is being paid by the district they continue to receive benefits.
Jarvis declined to answer questions about his decision to take a leave of absence, and Nayadley did not return a request for comment.
In January, Hamilton County District Attorney Neal Pinkston charged Nayadley, along with Ooltewah High School's head basketball coach Andre "Tank" Montgomery and volunteer assistant coach Karl Williams, with failing to report child sexual abuse or suspected child sexual abuse.
Nayadley was in Gatlinburg, Tenn., just days before Christmas with Ooltewah's basketball team when the rape took place, and according to Pinkston, he and the other two men never contacted the proper authorities to report the incident.
The charges against Nayadley likely will be dropped in the coming months, as he accepted a pretrial diversion in May. That means if he completes 10 hours of community service, attends a course on reporting abuse and is well behaved, the charge will be erased from his record.
Hamilton County school board member Steve Highlander, who represents Ooltewah, said in light of this year's events he is not surprised either man made the decision not to return to school this fall.
"I feel like they wanted to do what was best for themselves and their families," Highlander said. "And I wish them both the best."
He added that both are great men and have the best interests of the school system in mind.
Contact staff writer Kendi A. Rainwater at 423-757-6592 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow on Twitter @kendi_and.