A longtime area principal whose resignation from Beavercreek schools came after an internal investigation did not lead to discipline said he hopes he leaves with a legacy of being an honorable, student-focused educator.
“For all of those people, students, community and staff from my 34 years in education that have reached out in support of me, that has been incredible. If there’s a silver lining to all of this, that in and of itself is worth the price of admission,” George Caras said after the Beavercreek school board accepted his resignation Thursday night.
“It’s like being at your own funeral and getting a chance to hear positive comments about yourself that you may not have heard,” he said.
Caras and the district parted ways in a settlement agreement that bars him or district officials from talking publicly about the details of the investigation into a conversation he had with a student in which it was alleged he used an inappropriate word.
Caras will not return as the high school principal and his resignation is effective Dec. 31. The district agreed to pay Caras a lump sum equal to 80 working days, approximately $41,051, based on district records of his salary.
The school board released a statement thanking Caras “for his student-centered approach and commitment to improving educational opportunities.”
“The board has made no determination, and will not be making any determination, as to any discipline regarding George. The board recognizes recent publicity renders further service by George as principal untenable,” the board’s statement reads.
George Caras was in his third year as the high school principal when he was put on paid administrative leave Sept. 27. Caras self-reported to Superintendent Paul Otten that he said an inappropriate word during a conversation with a student.
According to a social media post his wife Jayne Sachs posted shortly after he was put on leave, Caras used the “N word” while trying to explain how the word has evolved to take on new connotations during a conversation about race and culture with the student.
Caras expressed frustration that he was unable to speak candidly about the district’s decision because of a confidentiality agreement. He said the past few weeks have been difficult on him and his family.
“I kind of understand the political nature of education. It’s the most politicized organization there is,” he said. “But to see when some of the comments or some of the stories come out, and my family … who have had to go through this and knowing me in a different way … was really damaging.”
Caras said he’s not sure what his next steps will be. He said media coverage regarding his leave from the Beavercreek district will make it difficult to stay in the educational field. He said he regrets leaving things undone and not having the chance to “go out the way I would want with the kids all smiling, hugging and high-fiving.”
“The ability to listen to (the students), to hear them and understand their honesty and maybe the chance to help them, that’s what I’ll miss,” he said. “Everything I’ve done has been honorable. My morals and ethics are more important to me than life. And what I’ve done is try to help the educational process for our kids.”
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