12 Investigates: History of Dr. Russo - NBC12.com - Richmond, VA News

12 Investigates: History of Dr. Russo

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HENRICO, VA (WWBT) -

After the recent shake up in the Henrico School Board, 12 Investigates looks into Superintendent Doctor Patrick Russo's background. He's been the boss at five other school districts before coming to Henrico, and has left many of those jobs in a shroud of controversy.

We found moments of high praise and harsh criticism in his background. Russo actually started out his superintendent career in Hopewell back in 1985. He briefly worked in Middle Country, New York before a fairly lengthy tenure in Savannah, Georgia.

There he was named superintendent of the year. That's also where the first questions arose.

According to the Savannah Morning News, his last two years were filled with controversy: first, he drew national attention when he fired a teacher for allegedly violating the system's drug policy. Then, it was discovered he had a daughter out of wedlock.

He eventually resigned and went into the private sector but came back a year later as superintendent in North Carolina.

According to the Daily Press, he was punished by the school board in North Carolina after it was discovered a high school paid students as a reward for improved SAT scores.

Next, Russo went to Hampton City Schools in Virginia, where several critical articles were written in the Daily Press, challenging the hire.

He's most known there for replacing 26 of the 36 principles. He told the Times-Dispatch, "We want the best leaders for our schools."

He left there after five years for Henrico County, but only this month settled a long-running compensation court case with Hampton Schools.

The Henrico School Board was in the process of negotiating a contract extension when the latest allegations surfaced.

Related story: Henrico School Board promises answers, just not right now

http://www.nbc12.com/story/23096492/henrico-school-board-promises-answers-just-not-right-now

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