‘There was something wrong’: Deputy superintendent resigns after graduation speech

NORWOOD, N.C. — Deputy Superintendent Vicki Calvert resigned her position at Stanly County Schools, Superintendent Dr. Jarrod Dennis said in a statement Monday after an emergency board meeting.

Calvert had been placed on paid leave, which prompted the school board to hold the emergency meeting on Memorial Day. The board investigated Calvert’s conduct but would not say what she’s accused of doing.

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“I do want to apologize to those in attendance Friday night at South Stanly High School’s graduation,” Dennis wrote. “High school graduation is a special event for our seniors, their families, and the school staff. Obviously, Friday night’s graduation did not live up to my expectations or those of Stanly County Schools.”

“As this is a personnel matter, we cannot comment further on Ms. Calvert or the alleged conduct,” a district spokesperson said on Sunday.

No criminal charges have been filed.

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Calvert seemingly stumbled through most of her speech during last Friday’s South Stanly High School graduation.

The school board clearly wanted to get the situation handled quickly after parents and students complained about Calvert’s behavior.

“Within the first five minutes, we could tell there was something wrong,” parent Diane Barrier said. “The crowd became very anxious.”

Barrier was in the football stands at South Stanly High School on Friday night to see her daughter get her diploma. She said the pomp and circumstance turned to concern and confusion during Calvert’s speech.

“We wouldn’t think someone of her authority would show up at a high school graduation intoxicated like that,” Barrier said.

The graduation was streamed live online, but that video has since been taken down. Sources said Calvert was evaluated by paramedics after the ceremony but details have not been released.

Sources said no crime was committed, and that Calvert is not facing any charges.

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Barrier said the incident overshadowed the ceremony for the Class of 2021.

“It was not centered around the fact that my daughter had a high school diploma,” Barrier said. “It was centered around the video circulating on Facebook about the deputy superintendent attending the high school graduation intoxicated.”

Some parents told Channel 9 that they are having photographers they paid to record the ceremony edit out Calvert’s speech.

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