Originally created 08/18/99

District employs former principal



ALLENDALE, S.C. - In three short weeks, 43 teacher vacancies have been filled in Allendale County, one of them by Richard Terlizzi, a former North Augusta High School principal who admitted to embezzlement there.

Mr. Terlizzi has been hired as a math teacher at Allendale-Fairfax High School after completing a year with no license to work as an educator, a condition of pretrial intervention. By completing that program, Mr. Terlizzi emerged with no criminal record.

The former Aiken County principal was among 180 teachers who met over breakfast with state Superintendent Inez Tenenbaum on Tuesday to hear her long-term salvage plans for the failing district, now being run by the state.

After the meeting, Mr. Terlizzi would not comment, saying, "I just want to get all that behind me."

Mr. Terlizzi surrendered to authorities Sept. 23 and later was released on a $2,500 personal recognizance bond, charged with embezzling public money from the high school.

An outside audit found the former principal twice received checks for $500 and deposited them without giving them to the bookkeeper, which is a procedural violation. Mr. Terlizzi also admitted to twice removing cash from school deposits.

Mr. Terlizzi's resignation and subsequent arrest left the community reeling. He was credited for improving attendance, attitude and morale during his brief tenure.

Two other former Aiken County educators also are teaching math in Allendale County schools this fall. Retired guidance counselor Beverly Clyburn and Aiken County school board member Rosemary English signed contracts to teach in the troubled school district.

Chasiti Kirkland can be reached at (803) 279-6895 or scbureau@augustachronicle.com.