Two weeks after allegedly striking a student to break up a fight, Maplewood High School Principal Erika Williams was notified this week her contract won’t be renewed with the school district.
Williams, who arrived at Maplewood this past school year, was among hundreds of Metro employees who had their jobs terminated this week for either performance or state-licensure reasons, marking the annual period of school turnover.
Williams could not be reached for comment.
Metro schools spokeswoman Olivia Brown said the district earlier this month placed Williams on administrative leave after someone alleged the principal struck a student while breaking up a fight between classmates.
Brown said the district has been unable to confirm or deny the allegations. She was unable to say whether the allegations came from students, staff or another party.
Brown said “many factors” went into the decision to not retain Williams, and that it is not solely related to the allegations.
“That investigation has not been concluded,” Brown said. “We don’t discuss those personnel matters. But for a variety of reasons –– this is her first year in the district and at Maplewood –– the district has notified her that her contract will not be renewed this year.
“We will be looking for a replacement for Maplewood,” she added.
With Williams’ exit, Maplewood will have its third principal in three years, creating unstable leadership for a school that has historically struggled to meet federal No Child Left Behind benchmarks.
Prior to Williams’ arrival, Maplewood’s principal was Julie Williams –– no relationship to Erika. The Tennessee Department of Education had hand-selected Julie Williams and installed her at the school as a result of Maplewood’s failing NCLB status.
Julie Williams is widely credited with helping turn Maplewood’s status to “good standing,” but she left last year to take a job at Belmont University, opening the door for Erika Williams.