Pasco principal cleared of charges, reinstated to district job

John Abernathy was named an assistant principal at Pasco eSchool.
GAIL DIEDERICH | Special to the Times Joanne Glenn, Pasco eSchool Principal, addresses the eSchool faculty on the opening day of teacher preplanning week in 2018. Pasco eSchool was named Florida Virtual School Franchise of the Year among large districts. The school is in its 10th year.
GAIL DIEDERICH | Special to the Times Joanne Glenn, Pasco eSchool Principal, addresses the eSchool faculty on the opening day of teacher preplanning week in 2018. Pasco eSchool was named Florida Virtual School Franchise of the Year among large districts. The school is in its 10th year.
Published February 11
Updated February 11

John Abernathy, principal of Connerton Elementary School since 2016, will face no charges after being accused in November of stealing $900 from a student at his Pasco County school.

The State Attorney’s Office concluded after an investigation that there was not sufficient evidence to prosecute Abernathy, 50, on the allegations.

With the case dropped, the Pasco School Board approved a recommendation to temporarily assign Abernathy, who has worked for Pasco schools since 1992, to an assistant principal post at Pasco eSchool, based at Crews Lake Middle in Shady Hills. He is not taking the spot of Lori Wiggins, who was recently named principal at Double Branch Elementary, but instead is in an “overfill” position until the administration can find a new permanent post for him.

Abernathy could not be placed back at Connerton, as the board assigned Kelly Edwards, formerly an assistant principal at Sanders Elementary, to that job.

eSchool is not expected to be Abernathy’s final destination.

Abernathy’s supporters have defended him since the accusations, to which he professed innocence. They had called for his return, a decision the district did not reach until receiving official word from law enforcement he was cleared.

Abernathy was at eSchool Monday morning in a staff meeting. He could not be reached for immediate comment.

Note: This post has been updated to reflect more accurately Abernathy’s temporary position.

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