Cardinal Valley Elementary principal, dean resign after investigation

jwarren@herald-leader.comOctober 1, 2012 

Test Scores

Principal Ivonne Beegle, left, and Administrative Dean Suzanne Ray, right, greeted arriving students at Cardinal Valley Elementary School, 218 Mandalay Rd. in Lexington, Ky., Wednesday, September, 22, 2010. Cardinal Valley is one of the few schools in Fayette County that saw its scores go up dramatically this year in statewide student testing. They up 15 percentage points in reading and 20 points in math.


The principal and the academic dean at Cardinal Valley Elementary School in Lexington have resigned after a Fayette County Public Schools investigation into allegations of misconduct.

Fayette Schools Spokeswoman Lisa Deffendall confirmed Monday afternoon that Cardinal Valley principal Ivonne Beegle and academic dean Suzanne Ray resigned Friday.

The school district had placed Ray and Beegle on paid administrative leave Sept. 4 as a result of the misconduct allegations.

Responding to questions Monday, Deffendall said the school district could not provide details of the investigation or the nature of the allegations involved. She said the allegations did not concern school finances, students or testing.

Fayette Public Schools will send a letter home to Cardinal Valley parents on Tuesday explaining the change in administration at the school, Deffendall said.

In answer to a question, the school system confirmed Monday that it will submit a report on the case to the Kentucky Education Professional Standards Board, the agency responsible for issuing and reviewing the certifications of all teachers and school administrators in the state. The report is required by law.

District officials are working on the report now and will file it as soon as it is completed, Deffendall said.

Both Beegle and Ray are veteran educators. Beegle had been principal at Cardinal Valley since 2007, and she had worked for the Fayette Schools since 2000, Deffendall said.

Cardinal Valley has been an impressive performer on statewide student tests for the past few years, despite having large percentages of low-income students. On the 2010 state test, for example, Cardinal Valley recorded the district's biggest gains in percentages of students scoring at proficient or distinguished levels. Its reading scores jumped 15.54 percentage points, while math scores increased by 20.09 percentage points.

With the resignations of Beegle and Ray, it is unclear who will lead Cardinal Valley through the rest of the school year. Barbara Albaugh, a retired former principal, has been acting principal at Cardinal Valley since Beegle and Ray went on leave.

The Cardinal Valley site-based council has the authority to name a new principal.

Deffendall said Superintendent Tom Shelton plans to meet with the site-based council members soon, and he will recommend that they appoint an interim principal to fill out the rest of the 2012-2013 school year. A search for new permanent principal would begin in the spring, she said.

Jim Warren: (859) 231-3255.

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