On July 22, the Indian River School District School Board voted to appoint David Doherty as the new principal of Sussex Central High School, effective immediately. Doherty brings 25 years of experience as an educator in Delaware to his new position in Sussex Central High School, where he will oversee a student body close to 1,300 and a staff of approximately 120.
Doherty succeeds former principal Dana Goodman, following Goodman’s dismissal in May 2008 after allegations of sexual misconduct with a student.
The district had originally hired Doherty for a different position.
“He was hired for Georgetown Middle about six months ago, but we were not getting a lot of applicants that we were real thrilled with (for the high school principal position), so we decided to go with an internal candidate,” said Charles Bireley, president of the school board. According to Bireley, Doherty was the only internal candidate considered for the position.
In the wake of Goodman’s dismissal, Bireley stated, “[Mr. Doherty] has his work cut out for him, from what happened. The Indian River School District is determined to make sure that Doherty will have the support of the district behind him. I know that he has been talked to by our administrators and they’re going to give him all the help that he possibly needs to get that school started off on the right foot, and hopefully, we’re going to go sailing on through this year,” said Bireley.
Before joining the Indian River School District, Doherty spent three years as a principal in the Red Clay School District in New Castle County.
The search for Doherty’s replacement at Georgetown Middle School is still an ongoing process. According to Bireley, on July 28, the board voted to repost the position. Bireley said the district certainly hopes that the position will be filled in time for the new academic year.
As for Sussex Central High School, Bireley believes it is clear that a strong leader is needed at this time.
“There are a lot things that have to be worked out, there has to be some confidence placed back into the school and it’s up to the leader to do that,” explained Bireley. “They have some great people that work up at that school, some great teachers and all they need is somebody to come in there and say, you know, Sussex Central is as good as any other school and we want to move on. And that’s what we’ve got to do.”