Charter school director’s future unclear
by Staff Writer
HUNTERSVILLE – Leaders of Lake Norman Charter School are refusing to say if Tim Reimer will remain managing director of the school at the beginning of the school year.
Though the school website still lists Reimer as chief administrator, multiple sources told the Herald Weekly in the past two weeks that Reimer is leaving the school by the beginning of the school year.
If Reimer remains at the school, he has refused to answer emails or phone calls from the Herald Weekly.
Shannon Stein, high school principal of the charter school, also refused to respond to a phone call or email from the Herald.
Despite repeated requests by a Herald reporter, Tricia Sisson, chairwoman of the Lake Norman Charter School Board of Directors, refused to discuss Reimer’s status by phone. And she answered only two emails.
In one, she wrote: “Mr. Reimer is currently employed with Lake Norman Charter School. There are no dismissal records to disclose to the public.”
When the Herald asked if Mr. Reimer had seen a change in employment status, which is a matter of public record under state law, Sisson responded: “There is no change in status. Thank you.”
Since then, however, she has refused to respond to Herald emails asking if Reimer will be the school’s managing director – or work in any capacity at the school – when classes resume this fall.
She also refused other questions:
• Is Mr. Reimer working any final notice as managing director or in any capacity?
• What is Mr. Reimer’s salary now? What was Mr. Reimer’s salary at the beginning of the 2010-11 school year? What are the provisions of any severance package he has received? As a public employee, his salary and benefits are public record.
Earlier this year, Reimer fired the school’s basketball coach after parents of a student complained that their son was bullied in the school gym. Police investigated the complaint and found no grounds for any criminal charge. Shortly afterward, Reimer sent an email to all parents saying the school would not tolerate bullying of students.
A Herald article about that email prompted a number of former teachers to write that Reimer was a bully himself and had shown callousness in firing a number of teachers. They also said Reimer had generally intimidated employees and parents alike and created an atmosphere of fear at the school.
Toward the end of the school year, parents of an eighth-grade student complained about the tactics school administrators used during an end-of-the-year field trip for eighth-grade students in Asheville. Administrators searched students rooms for a knife and drugs, and the parents complained that administrators held the couple’s son for hours and refused to let him contact his parents.
Though school administrators summoned a Buncombe County sheriff’s deputy to the place where students were staying, the deputy refused to file charges against any students and didn’t even file a report on the incident.
The school finally promoted the boy and dropped any expulsion proceeding in exchange for the parents agreeing to drop any legal action against the school.