News and Tribune

October 26, 2012

Jeffersonville High School principal reassigned

Week after being put on leave, Sexton moved to alternative school


JEFFERSONVILLE — James Sexton, the now former principal at Jeffersonville High School, has been reassigned, according to a press release from Greater Clark County Schools late on Thursday.

Sexton, who was placed on paid administrative leave Oct. 18, is now the principal at Clark County Middle/High School, an alternative school that has a focus on behavior modification. The school has an enrollment of about 60 students, GCCS officials said.

According to the release, Sexton and GCCS Superintendent Andrew Melin recognized “management and instructional leadership philosophies that differ,” and agreed that a change was necessary.

In a phone interview Thursday evening, Sexton said he’s not happy about the move, but is proud of what he did for JHS.

“I’m very proud of the accomplishments that have occurred at Jeff High over the last two years and I think Jeff High will be the flagship for athletics and academics in Southern Indiana,” Sexton said. “But Dr. Melin has a different management style than I do, so we decided I should move.”

Melin didn’t return a reporter’s calls for an interview, but in the release he explained why Sexton was placed on administrative leave last week.

“Placing Mr. Sexton on paid administrative leave was done to avoid any allegation of undue influence while I investigated management issues at Jeffersonville High School,” Melin said. “There were no concerns related to illegal activities.”

David Milburn, an assistant principal at JHS, will serve as the interim principal starting Monday.

Sexton said he loved his work at the high school.

“I’m disappointed, but I’ll be at Clark County [Middle/High] starting Monday,” Sexton said. “I’ll miss Jeff High’s routine, the kids and the high school, but everyone works for someone.”

GCCS board member Jerry White said he didn’t want to comment on the reassignment. Other board members — Christina Gilkey, Mark Pavey, Kevin Satterly, Becka Christensen, Ernie Gilbert and Nancy Kraft — were also contacted, but did not return calls before press time.

Sexton deferred any further comment to his attorney, Clay Culotta, who also was unavailable for comment before press time Thursday.

Sexton is also running for the seventh district school board seat in Jefferson County Public Schools in Louisville.