CMS restores Pineville Elementary leadership after weeks-long internal investigation

The principal and assistant principal of Pineville Elementary School have been restored to their jobs after a six-week suspension, Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools announced Friday.

The district never gave a reason for the suspensions, citing personnel privacy laws. However, the Nov. 9 announcement that Principal Brian Doerer and Assistant Principal Kathryn Trotter were suspended followed Doerer’s message to families saying police and the school were investigating “a student incident on the playground,” the Observer reported at the time.

CMS never disclosed what connection that may have had to the administrators’ suspensions or what was under investigation during the six weeks that followed.

Friday’s statement from CMS said that “all employees cooperated fully in the thorough review. Teaching and learning by teachers, staff and students at Pineville Elementary continued uninterrupted during the review and Pineville Elementary families were notified of the conclusion of the review through phone calls from district leadership.”

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Doerer has worked for CMS since 1989 and has led Pineville Elementary since 2003, according to a work history provided by CMS. Trotter has been a CMS employee for 23 years and assistant principal at Pineville since 2009.

Ann Doss Helms has covered education for the Observer since 2002, long enough to watch a generation of kids go from preK to college. She is a repeat winner of the North Carolina Press Association’s education reporting award.