Henrico principal's sudden departure

By Yvette Yeon - bio | email

HENRICO, VA (WWBT) - Students were sent home with a note Friday informing parents the principal of Twin Hickory Elementary -- Dr. Yvonnie Perrello is leaving, to quote -- "focus on her health."

The principal's attorney said that's not the whole truth. And we tried to dig deeper into what exactly happened. The superintendent's office simply said "she has not been fired...and she's leaving because of health issues."

A Henrico County principal is suddenly out of a job and parents are asking questions. Henrico County Schools offered no interview but did send a letter to parents saying in regards to Dr. Perrello's health, 'it is important for her to concentrate on her well being at this time'. The letter was sent out by the Director of Elementary Education, Cheryl Thomas.

"The letter that Ms. Thomas has put out is not the entire story, there's more to it than that," said Dr. Perrello's attorney, Bill Shields.

Perrello's departure was a sudden move according to Shields. He said, Perrello learned of her departure this week.

"She does have some health issues but I don't think it's been taken a toll on her job except that she can't always get around as well as she would like, I think her job has been good," said Shields.

Some parents we talked to couldn't believe it.

"I was surprised it came today in the mail and I was discussing it with the other moms that got the same letter and we didn't know, we don't know what kind of health issues she has," said parent, Alejandra Gradson.

"I thought she was doing very well, since she moved to Twin Hickory so I'm surprised and shocked she's leaving," said parent, Venkatesh Bachhu.

We didn't get answers from Henrico Schools today. School officials said, it was a personnel matter. So why did Perrello's departure happen so late in the school year? Shields offered this:

"As of today [Friday], she would no longer been a probationary employee…it would have been much more difficult after that to let her go," said Shields.

Shields said they are negotiating a settlement with the attorneys for Henrico County. He said, should this matter be settled, it will by Monday.  If not, Dr. Perrello will be exploring her legal options.

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