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Southern Middle School asst. principal fired following arrest for alleged felony sex act with a student

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Southern Middle School assistant principal Tyler Kelly has been fired, based on the personnel report that Alamance-Burlington school board members approved at their latest meeting Monday night.

James Tyler Kelly

School board members also approved Monday night a recommendation by the school system’s administration to appoint Joe Burns as the new assistant principal at Southern Middle School.

Kelly, 39, white male of Graham, was arrested earlier this month (during the night of August 7/8) for an alleged felony sex act with a student, believed to be a 16-year-old female student at Southern High School.

Kelly had been transferred in June from his position as an assistant principal at Southern High School to the assistant principal’s position at Southern Middle School.  Following his arrest, Kelly was suspended from his job without pay, pending an internal investigation.

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ABSS superintendent Dr. Dain Butler confirmed for The Alamance News earlier this month that, in keeping with state law, Kelly had been given a two-week window in which to appeal his suspension.

Burns is currently employed with Gaston County schools as an assistant principal, ABSS officials said.

Meanwhile, Kelly is currently scheduled to appear in Alamance County district court on November 21.

He is the second Southern Middle School employee this year to face charges related to alleged sex offenses with a student.

On May 1, Alamance County sheriff Terry Johnson and Butler announced at a joint press conference that a Southern Middle School teacher and girls’ soccer coach, Ivan Danilo Ardila-Perez, 37, white male, of Burlington, had been arrested on two charges of felony indecent liberties with a child.  Johnson had said at the press conference that his investigation had revealed that there may be as many as seven victims.

Ivan Danilo Ardila-Perez

Ardila-Perez is currently being held in the Alamance County jail under a $300,000 secured bond.  He is charged with five counts each of felony indecent liberties with a child and five counts of indecent liberties with a student.  Ardila-Perez is currently scheduled to appear in Alamance County district court on September 15 and September 25, according to his court files.

Burns, the new assistant principal at Southern Middle, is currently employed with Gaston County schools as an assistant principal, according to ABSS.  He replaces interim Southern

New SMS assistant principal Joe Burns

Middle School assistant principal Donna King, a retired longtime ABSS administrator, who also had served as the interim principal at Southern Middle earlier this year, following the unpaid suspension and subsequent departure of then-principal Matt Ritter.

Burns’ start date had not been announced by press time.

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