Texas high school principal resigns, admits to changing up to 100 grades

KXAN photo
KXAN photo

SAN MARCOS, TX (KXAN) — San Marcos High School Principal Kelli Lopez resigned Wednesday after admitting to changing up to 100 grades.

Superintendent Michael Cardona says the district started an investigation into Lopez on Monday after another staff member tipped them off to the principal’s actions.

“What it boils down to is that we had a situation where grades were changed and it wasn’t a teacher of record so we have to address that,” said Cardona.

KXAN photo
KXAN photo

Lopez became principal for the school in 2014. Superintendent Cardona says there’s evidence to prove she’s been changing grades since 2014.

Cardona says he’s not sure what the motive was for Principal Lopez, but says she admitted to the allegations when she was approached by administration.

“The mark of a leader is owning actions, and she owned her actions. I don’t think there was any maliciousness and she is a good lady, but there are certain things we can’t do as educators. We have to follow the law,” said Cardona.

Lopez has been reported to the Texas Education Agency and now faces losing all of her certifications.

“It’s not an easy thing to do, but the one thing I think I have done throughout my career is follow the law and hold people accountable when they need to be held accountable, that is part of the job,” said Cardona.

He adds that the students were not aware that their grades were changed, and they will not receive punishment.

“Children shouldn’t be punished because of the actions of the adults,” said Cardona.

District leaders will be discussing the development at a board meeting on Monday, Oct. 3.

“Rest assured, the district will work diligently to ensure a continuity of services for all students and staff,” said Cardona.

The school district says James Barton, the Executive Director for Secondary Education, will be on campus through the remainder of the week until an interim principal can begin work on Monday.

An interim principal has already been selected by the district. Dr. Bobbie Turnbo will serve at SMHS for the remainder of the 2016-2017 school year. Turnbo has been in education for 41 years serving in both the middle and high school level.

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