The founder and director of Midland Valley Prep has won a lawsuit against the Aiken County School Board.
The Aiken County School District will pay a portion of a $25,000 settlement to end a lawsuit filed by school director Lilian Thomas-Wilson.
Jennifer Ryberg has taught at Midland Valley Prep since it opened four years ago.
She's been there through the good and bad.
"I believed in her and I wanted to be there beside her and help her through this," Ryberg says.
In August of 2004 at a school board meeting, Lilian Thomas-Wilson was accused by six of her teachers of misusing school funds to pay for cosmetics.
"Sitting at the board meeting that night I was shocked and surprised," Ryberg says.
And so was Lilian Thomas-Wilson.
Four months later an investigation cleared her.
In January of 2005, she filed a lawsuit.
On Tuesday, April 18 she posted the outcome. A settlement of $25,000 was reached between Thomas-Wilson and the people she sued: the school board, her 6 former teachers, and the school superintendent.
"The upheaval for our school, the public, and the community...what we want them to know is we didn't do anything wrong," Thomas-Wilson says.
Thomas-Wilson says she always keeps a paper trail, even the makeup order receipt...which she paid for with her own check, not the school's.
She said the Aiken County School Board refused to listen.
"I filed a lawsuit for defamation of character and conspiracy and intent to cause emotional distress," Thomas-Wilson says.
And as the allegations made headlines, some families quickly withdrew students.
But it's bittersweet for the ones that stayed and toughed it out.
"There are a lot of families who chose not to stick with the school through this because it was a very tough time," says Thomas-Wilson.
Our calls to the Aiken County School Board have not been returned.