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Rocky road for superintendent Katie McGee


The Brunswick County School Board officially swore Katie McGee in as superintendent on January 4, 2005. Just a few months into the job, she had to deal with an elementary school teacher’s assistant arrested, along with the woman’s husband, on child porn charges.

A judged dismissed the charges against the woman two years later, but personnel matters plagued McGee’s tenure.

In 2006 deputies arrested West Brunswick High teacher and coach, David Arrowood, for having sex with a student at school. That winter, around the same time the board renewed McGee’s contract through this school year, Arrowood admitted to the crime.

Three months later, on May 10, 2007, board member Ray Gilbert, claiming Brunswick County Schools were failing, suggested a change in leadership. “Maybe it’s time for us to get a new superintendent. You’re changing principals, maybe it’s time to look at the overall CEO,” he said. “In the business sector, if the business is going bad we don’t look at the custodian, we look at the CEO and say look it’s time for you to change.”

Other board members supported McGee, who brushed away Gilbert’s criticism. But a month later, the school district made national headlines when South Brunswick High teacher and coach, Brent Wuchae, quit his job to marry student Windy Hager.

By September, Hager’s parents, along with the parents of Arrowood’s victim and the parents of a special needs student molested by South Brunswick High janitor Collis Hewett sued the district for not protecting their children.

Only the Hewitt case has not been dismissed and continues in court.

McGee has led the district through a lot of change. In June 2007 a new policy required all school employees take drug tests. And this year a new elementary and middle school opened to help deal with the county’s rapid growth.

The state school board association named McGee regional superintendent of the year. But her own school board gave her a negative review in August. And Tuesday night it decided the relationship must come to an end.

McGee was also the target of a grievance by her former assistant Sherry Dove. The board cleared McGee earlier this year, but Dove is suing the district for allegedly violated the violating the Whistleblower Act.

Dove claims she was constantly undermined and treated unfairly since she filed the grievance.

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videoAfter six years as an associate superintendent and a stretch as interim superintendent, Katie McGee has had the top job in Brunswick County Schools for nearly five years. But as WWAY’s Kevin Wuzzardo reports, it’s been a rocky road.

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