Beaver School Board with Superintendent Carrie Row (far right) / BeaverCountian.com file photo by Bill Waddell.

The Beaver Area School Board accepted the resignation of district high school principal Steven Wellendorf at their public meeting held tonight. Despite accusations previously made by third parties, Wellendorf admitted that his suspension had nothing to do with his religious affiliations or any personal animus on the part of other district officials.

Wellendorf was placed on administrative leave in August after the district became aware of “concerns regarding his workplace conduct.”

Shortly thereafter, Beaver County Young Republicans President Luke Beradelli, age 37, made public statements asserting that the principal was being retaliated against because of his affiliations with Beaver Valley Young Life (BVYL), a nonprofit international Christian group dedicated to proselytizing to students about a strict following of scripture.

The Beaver County Times published Beradelli’s unsubstantiated accusations and publicized a rally he organized ahead of a meeting of the Beaver School Board, despite having no one directly involved in the controversy who would attest to his assertions. The Republican Committee of Beaver County subsequently joined in Beradelli’s claims about an “attack on First Amendment Religious Freedoms at Beaver Area School District,” urging area Republicans to attend his rally.

BeaverCountian.com published an in-depth investigative report that called Beradelli’s claims into question and exposed hidden attempts by some in the community to undermine district superintendent Dr. Carrie Rowe because of her sexual orientation.

Rowe came out as gay last month at the school board meeting that followed BeaverCountian.com’s report. Beradelli backed down from his claims of religious persecution and failed to call for an end to Rowe’s employment contract as he had publicly announced he would be doing.

The school district issued a press release tonight formally announcing Wellendorf’s resignation.

“Mr. Wellendorf was placed on administrative leave in August after District Administration became aware of concerns regarding his workplace conduct. Mr. Wellendorf acknowledges that the District’s concerns did not relate to his religious beliefs, affiliations or social opinions, nor were they the result of any personal animus directed toward him by any District employee or School Board member. The District would like to assure the community that the concerns did not involve criminal allegations.”

The press release went on to state that no additional comments will be made by any of the parties concerning the personnel matter.

“Neither the District nor Mr. Wellendorf will comment further on the circumstances surrounding this negotiated settlement beyond what is contained in this statement,” said Superintendent Dr. Carrie Rowe. “The District and Mr. Wellendorf recognize the absence of detailed information creates the opportunity for speculation and conspiracy crafting; however, Mr. Wellendorf is entitled to privacy in this matter and that privacy will be respected by the District and the School Board.”

Dr. Rowe acknowledged the public controversy that erupted after Wellendorf’s suspension, and said such division within the community has a negative impact on students in the district.

“As a community, we need to set aside our differences and work together toward our common goals. We request that the community discontinue its hurtful commentary where this matter is concerned, which has no purpose other than to perpetuate the division, and that we move forward together to support the success of our students.”

Steven Wellendorf will remain off work until his resignation becomes effective on October 31. As per his negotiated settlement with the district, he is exiting his position in good standing.

See Also:

In-Depth: Beaver Area School District Facing Controversies And Protests Involving “Young Life” Group

Republican Party Joins Call For Protest Against Beaver School District – Counter-Protests Planned

WATCH: Beaver Superintendent Comes Out As Gay – Promises All Students “You Have A Safe Space Here.”

WATCH: Berardelli Backed Down – No Claims Of Religious Persecution – No Calls For Superintendent’s Ouster

Democratic Committee Chairman: “Beaver County Republicans Continue to Divide.”

John Paul
John Paul is the founder of the Beaver Countian. He reports full-time for the site, specializing in investigative journalism with an emphasis on public corruption.

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Punktheskunk
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Punktheskunk

It’s always a resignation at Beaver both female and male employees. Never the facts. He like the others who have mysteriously resigned before him will resurface in another educational instituion to repeat the same inappropriate behavior. If a teacher resigns at Beaver, does anyone ever really know why? Well of course not..the solicitor has groomed the school district on how to evade providing details similar to the MO used by the Catholic Church. Outside of what we don’t know he was ineffectual in this role as will be the next puppet who takes his place.

JustPeachy
Guest
JustPeachy

Well, well, well…..those who were adamant that Wellendorf’s departure had to do religion look to be wrong. Hopefully your lessons in speculation has been learned. As far as Berardelli goes, congrats on dividing your community based on your unsubstantiated claims….you and those who believed what you were selling should be ashamed of yourselves. Karma’s a bitch when it comes back around.

kklyneal
Guest
kklyneal

Actually once all the facts are laid out, Wellendorf’s departure, as well as others (all connected to the Young Life group) appear to be EXACTLY that. If it walks like a duck, and talks like a duck, it’s a DUCK. There is no doubt that there is bias against Christians in this school.

sallyrea
Member
sallyrea

Personally don’t care what Wellendorf did… however as a Beaver school District tax payer— not necessarily happy for subsidizing him for a few months of sitting at home and whatever else in payment we are giving him. That being said, interesting how he exits in good standing but still resigned and wondering where he will turn up next?
As far as Mr. Beradelli— thanks so much for dividing our community and stirring the pot. You are poison!! What a great representation of the young Republican committee you are… Not!!

BeaverNewbie
Guest
BeaverNewbie

Yes but there is a subtle point here. He exits in good standing because he was not fired. He left as a result of resignation.

Regardless of what really happened, I think it is safe to conclude that whatever he did, it was not grounds for termination.

punktheskunk
Guest
punktheskunk

Not necessarily. Megan Batykefer was a Latin teacher at Beaver and resigned just before the end of a school year. I am noting this specific former teacher as you can easily Google her. For those of us who knew the reasons behind her sudden dismissal (sex with a minor student), she was quickly hired on at North Allegheny as a coach. She then resumed her bad behavior at her new school which resulted in her being sentenced to 8 to 23 months for having sex with a student. FYI this is not an isolated case but one that has some verifiable details for those who are not apprised to the multiple former incidents of staff being allowed to resign without repercussions or public notification. North Allegheny never would have hired this teacher if Beaver handled it appropriately.

kklyneal
Guest
kklyneal

Where is Megan now?

kklyneal
Guest
kklyneal

Berradelli was correct that the principal was placed on leave without due process. The superintendent does not have the authority to do this on her own, it has to be voted on by the board. So what the heck is going on here? Taxpayers have a right to know. If the elected board doesn’t represent you, or do their job, then what is their purpose?

btw, the community was divided by Rowe’s announcement over the school’s PA system, to the entire student body, to “attend a very positive pro LGBTQ rally” before the board meeting.
Luckily only about a dozen kids showed up, but they were holding signs reading “Just go to Quigley” and “No Bibles in school” etc. And a couple of kids that I parked next to stayed in their car. I asked them why they didn’t go to the “rally” and they said that they were “told to stay home” if they didn’t support Rowe or LGBTQ rights.

How’s that for dividing the community? How’s that for using kids to further an obvious agenda? HERE is the poison. A lot of parents are not happy about that either. Took a whole lot of nerve. What a despicable act, to call the local news to film everything to boot.

I’ve never seen such garbage played out in a school in my life. How very, very sad and hateful.

Justaguy
Guest
Justaguy

I still don’t understand why neither party is allowed to speak of why he was suspended and then resigned in a plea attempt to have left in good standing. The whole personnel reasons thing can be a vague thing. I would think that in a public sector setting even tho it was not a criminal matter that anything that would cause of disciplinary/suspensions/or resignations as actions would still need to be made public. I do also understand that as educators their is a code of conduct that goes with being employed by the public schools and even tho there are not any criminal misdeeds that can cause one to be fired. But I feel that if it was a just reason to be suspended and then get the choice to resign in good standing that that cause that caused the whole thing needs brought to light so that if another school district does hire him they understand what the issue was and can ask him if he will never do that again. Also with Regards to DR.Rowe. The majority of the people protesting did not want you fired for what you did and they did not want you fired because you are gay. Yes you did claim to have come out in the school board meeting. But it was widely known that you were gay for years and most people have been fine with it for years and still are. During that time she did an excellent job far better… Read more »

findthegood
Guest
findthegood

Did you ever think that just maybe there is something to be gained by Ms. Rowe also by respecting “his” right to privacy? It takes two to tango.

concerned bobcat
Guest
concerned bobcat

well lets see! he resigns no one knows why? Carrie Rowe thinks coming out at a public meeting in necessary! now there is a billboard right by the school with the lgbt agenda on it. we have a AD that was known to be having relations with a girl at the school and no one cared! they have a football coach that is happy being mediocre and the volleyball coach had to resign due to cry baby participation trophy parents. My school district has become a joke and the entire county know about it. cant wait to see whats next.. a gender nuetral bathroom..