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DCHS principal resigns
Officials last day is June 30
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Dawson County High School’s principal has resigned.


The school board voted Monday night to accept Wayne Chelf’s resignation.


The unanimous decision came nearly a month after Chelf was investigated by a state government agency that certifies educational personnel.


The Ethics Division of the Georgia Professional Standards Commission in Atlanta reviewed the case Jan.13.


Director Gary Walker has said it involved three standards in particular: conduct with students, honesty and professional conduct.


Chelf could not be reached for comment on his resignation.


According to his resignation letter, dated Feb. 5, Chelf cited “emerging health issues and personal considerations” for his decision.


The letter stated he “[does] not wish to be considered for, nor will I accept if offered, a contract for employment for the 2010-2011 school year.”


The resignation is effective June 30, which is when his current contract expires.


The school board accepted the resignation after it spent more than an hour in executive, or closed, session.


Executive session may be used to discuss personnel matters, but all votes must be made public in open session.


Dawson County School Superintendent Keith Porter said in a statement that the system has begun its search for a new high school principal.


“I respect Mr. Chelf’s decision to resign, and we will immediately turn our attention to finding the best educator possible to lead our high school,” Porter said.


According to the statement: “We will be actively seeking exceptional candidates through our state professional organizations and personal networking. Our students deserve the best possible leadership, and we will seek diligently to find the best person to lead us into the future.”


Porter did not address Chelf’s reasons for resigning.


The standards commission’s recommendation regarding Chelf’s investigation has not been made public, though details could soon emerge.


According to Walker, the recommendation would become a final action, and public record, if Chelf accepts the decision of the commission.


He has until Feb. 19 to decide.


If Chelf were to file an appeal, however, Walker has said the matter would go to the attorney general’s office for review and possible action.


It was not clear whether Chelf’s resignation would affect the recommendation passed down by the standards commission.


Walker could not say who brought the matter before the commission.


The ethics rules are part of the Georgia Professional Standards Commission’s governing code, which serves to “define the professional behavior of educators in Georgia and serve as a guide to ethical conduct.”


The ethics commission gets about 80 complaints per month statewide, some of which are dismissed at the probable cause level. The panel chose to investigate the complaint against Chelf.


Following investigation, the ethics board can dismiss the case or take one of several disciplinary actions: a warning, reprimand, suspension or revocation of certification.


Chelf joined the local school district in 2007. He previously served for five years as a principal and assistant principal at Lakeside High School in DeKalb County.


He was removed as Lakeside’s principal in March 2006 for what DeKalb Superintendent Crawford Lewis called “leadership issues.”


Parents and students protested the removal, and Chelf was reinstated within two weeks.


During contract negotiations in 2007, Chelf learned he and several other principals would be reassigned to different schools within the system.


His contract with DeKalb County schools ended June 29, 2007, at which time he relocated to Dawson County.