Johnston County superintendent announces retirement amid controversies

Johnston County News

SMITHFIELD, N.C. (WNCN) — Amid controversy, Johnston County Public Schools Superintendent Dr. David Ross Renfrow has announced his retirement, effective Wednesday.

Renfrow’s retirement comes as the principal of Clayton High School Dr. Bennett Jones was reassigned, along with the sudden resignation of the school’s head football coach, Hunter Jenks. Jones told CBS 17 he couldn’t comment on the situation.

There is no official word on what led to Renfrow’s announcement that came at a closed meeting in Smithfield on Tuesday.

Renfrow has served Johnston County Public Schools for over 25 years and is a life-long native of Johnston County. He served as a teacher, coach, principal, Deputy Superintendent, and Superintendent.

“It has been my honor and privilege to serve the students of Johnston County Public Schools, and I look forward to other work-related opportunities, but most importantly, spending much needed family time,” Renfrow said.

Effective Sept. 3, Dr. James Causby will serve as the interim superintendent. Causby was hired back in 1994 to be Johnston County’s superintendent and he served in that position for 10 years.

Jones’ Aug. 12 reassignment has been a source of tension in the community. Rallies and protests have been held in support of returning Jones to his position at Clayton High.

“We want Dr. Jones to be heard so that he can answer to any allegations,” Kim Winslow, a parent said. 

Jones then filed a formal complaint with the Johnston County school board on Aug. 21. Jenks then resigned on Aug. 20, just days before the school’s season was set to begin. The program was recently under investigation for grade-fixing.

“The Board’s move shows that we the people are the ones that have the voice,” Stephen Lines, a Clayton High Junior said.

According to a parent present at Tuesday’s meeting, Dr. Jones was not present.

“Would have liked to see him show up today. Show up and stand for what caused all this,” John Kilduff, a parent said.

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