Members of the Bryan County Board of Education have voted to accept the resignation of Richmond Hill High School band director Charles Westman.
Westman said he was holding out in hopes that RHHS administration and school officials would reconsider the impending non-renewal of his contract, but no strides were made. Bryan County Schools Superintendent Dr. Sallie Brewer declined to comment, saying it is a personnel issue.
The school board accepted Westman’s resignation at a called executive session late Saturday afternoon.
According to school system guidelines, if the BoE did not receive and accept Westman’s resignation by April 15, they would have to officially issue his non-renewal which could potentially tarnish his employment record.
Westman said he was faced with the choice of resigning or taking the non-renewal and appealing it in an effort to retain his position at RHHS. If he had decided to fight it, via an appeal, school officials would not have been able to advertise for his replacement during this process. Westman said that was a big factor for him as he realized it may take time to find a replacement.
"My initial thoughts on this is concern for Charles – hoping that he can land on his feet and find a place where he can be happy," said RHHS band booster president Craig Klebe. "Someone’s going to pick up a really good band director out of this.
"My second thought, now that this chapter is behind us, is to look forward," Klebe continued. "We need to make sure that we end up with a director that is of the same caliber of Mr. Westman so these kids can continue to grow and so the program can continue to be successful."
Klebe said not knowing what’s ahead is the hard part "so we’re going to have to trust that the principal and the administration are going to do a diligent search and makes sure that the program continues in the right direction. My thought was we were going in the right direction, but hopefully nothing will happen to change that."
Westman said he will miss his students. He will finish out the current school year and said he is exploring other job options for next year, including a possible position as band director for Burke County High School.