FORT MYERS, Fla.- Lee County Superintendent Nancy Graham has been removed from her position effective immediately.
Lee County School Board members voted Tuesday night on Graham’s removal months before her proposed resignation date official.
Assistant Superintendent of Operations Dr. Greg Adkins was named as Graham’s temporary replacement and was sworn in after Tuesday nights meeting.
“I am absolutely humbled to be the person who was selected,” Said Adkins.
WINK News asked Adkins what he thinks the biggest problem in the district is right now.
“I think just bringing us together as a community and turning the dialogue back to students,” he said.
Graham put in her resignation last week, saying she wanted to stay on the board until December 21. At a school board meeting Tuesday afternoon, board members said Graham made it clear she wanted to leave the district soon.
“I received a message right before I came in here that Dr. Graham is ready to walk away,” said board member Jeanne Dozier.
“I believe he’s the one person in this district that has his pulse on every aspect of the district. He’s been around a long time, he’s our chief negotiator with the district. He understands the finances, he was an excellent principal,” said Mark Castellano with the Teachers Association of Lee County.
“Community members definitely need to have confidence in Dr. Adkins, he’s proven himself to be a man of integrity,” said board member Pam LaRiviere.
Graham issued a statement Tuesday afternoon saying:
“I can think of no one more suitable to lead the district through this transition than Dr. Adkins. His commitment to this district is longstanding and proven.”
While Graham’s sudden resignation was a shock to many, it comes amid criticism of how she handled situations involving bullying and cheating.
Some board members feel Graham didn’t properly keep them informed about an incident earlier this year where a teacher’s aide was in the classroom while a student was taking a GED test at Dunbar Community School.
The board approved spending $10,000 to hire an investigator to look into whether Graham was involved in misconduct.
While school district attorney Keith Martin did not say specifically whether the investigation revealed that Graham was involved, he did say the investigator says it could go deeper.
Graham will be paid until December despite no longer working as superintendent.