• Volusia County principal retires amid allegations she created fake class, hired unqualified staff

    By: Michael Springer , Katlyn Brieskorn


    VOLUSIA COUNTY, Fla. - Mainland High School's principal submitted her resignation and retired last week after a report said she created a fake class that gave student athletes all A's, and had counselors and teachers working in roles which they were not qualified.

    A report shows the Volusia County school district was investigating Dr. Cheryl Salerno prior to the allegations. 

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    The school district reprimanded Salerno for giving out last year's AP test to freshmen and not telling them they would not earn college credit for the course.

    The school board said it was not aware of the allegations prior to the report.

    School board President Carl Persis said, "Well, in order for us to know a teacher is in a class that is not certified to teach that class, that's all generated from the master schedule, forwarded to us." 

    The district confirmed that eight of the nine students were athletes. 

    The district also did not know how the inflated grades would affect the transcripts of the former students and any possible scholarships they have received. 

    The Florida High School Athletic Association is investigating the fake class. The school district said there is no proof the class ever met.

    Officials said it is too early to say if the FHSAA will penalize Salerno.

    The district is determining whether it can terminate her or if it will have to accept her resignation. If she is able to resign, she will receive all of her benefits and her salary of $105,000 a year.

    Salerno has not commented on the matter.

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