Greenbrier Elementary principal on leave; BOE not talking

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Some Columbia County parents are wondering why an elementary school principal is on a leave of absence.

Jonathan Pike, principal of Greenbrier Elementary School, is still technically on staff...but you won't find him at school.

The school board isn't saying why, but many wonder if it's because of issues with the school faculty.

School is in session...but one key player is missing. The Greenbrier Elementary Web site shows John Pike is the principal. That's why his sudden absence is confusing parent Sue Tomasetto.

"He's a leader and the parents enjoy him and the teachers...and most of all the students. They all just love him," Tomasetto told the school board Tuesday.

But some parents, like Mark Link, disagree.

"He is not the most popular person among his faculty or students," Link says.

Sources in the school system say problems with the faculty may be the reason for the voluntary leave of absence.

A former Columbia County teacher tells us this isn't the first time this has happened at Greenbrier elementary.

Dr. Craig Spinks says he has worked directly with some staff members at Greenbrier Elementary in his decade as a Columbia County teacher, and this was his experience.

"Just hassle, not wanting to get along...just giving you trouble," Dr. Spinks says.

Spinks says his friend and former Greenbrier principal Charles Henderson left for the same reason several years ago.

That's when Pike moved into the position from assistant principal of Lafayette High School in Walker County. A school board representative from that system says Pike voluntarily resigned in 2003, his second leave in fewer than five years.

The question still remains for the school board: why did he leave in the first place?

"Any personnel matter that may come before me is something I'm not allowed to comment on," said school board member Mike Sleeper.

The leave of absence isn't necessarily permanent...News 12 will follow this story and bring you new information as it becomes available.