Free of charges, Emory returns to job with schools Ex-principal oversees training

August 03, 1993|By Consella A. Lee | Consella A. Lee,Staff Writer

Patricia Emory, the former Severna Park Elementary School principal once charged as a drug kingpin, returned to work yesterday as the staff development coordinator for Anne Arundel County schools.

Mrs. Emory, who will be working at the Carver Staff Development Center near Crofton, is spending her first few days back on the job working at the school system's headquarters on Riva Road in Annapolis.

She met there briefly yesterday morning with Carol Parham, director of human resources, who is now acting superintendent, said Jane Doyle, a school spokeswoman.

Mrs. Emory, reached by telephone at home last night, refused to talk with a reporter.

Her new job involves coordinating training for all school system employees, from food service workers to principals. The school board approved her appointment to the position at a meeting last month.

Mrs. Emory has worked for the county school system almost 20 years. She was principal of Severna Park Elementary School from 1991 until she and her husband, James Mitchell Emory, 47, of Pasadena and eight others were arrested Oct. 29 in raids on their homes and at storage lockers in Millersville and Glen Burnie. About 400 pounds of marijuana was seized from the storage lockers.

Charges against Mrs. Emory, 45, were dropped. Her husband was convicted of drug kingpin charges in May and sentenced to 25 years in prison.

Mrs. Emory had been on paid leave from her $63,837-a-year job since her arrest. She applied for the staff development coordinator job -- a lateral move -- while she was on leave. The position was advertised from Nov. 30 to Dec. 31, 1992.

"I think she'll bring a lot of experience to this job, and I think that's why she was selected from the applicants who applied," Ms. Doyle said.

After the charges against Mrs. Emory were dropped, her fate at Severna Park Elementary often surfaced as a divisive issue. Some parents felt she should never return, but others praised her as a principal and said she should come back.

Despite the publicity over the drug charges Mrs. Emory once faced, Jackie Huey, a resource teacher at the Carver Staff Development Center, said she has no objection to working with Mrs. Emory.

"She was absolved of all those charges, so I don't have any problem at all," Ms. Huey said. "I have a great deal of respect for [her] personally and professionally, and I'm looking forward to her coming aboard."

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