DuPont Manual | File Photo

Former duPont Manual High School principal Jerry Mayes will retire from the district in June, Jefferson County Public Schools announced Wednesday.

His final day in the district will be June 30, JCPS said.

The announcement comes on the eve of Mayes’ employment hearing, in which he was expected to contest his July 2018 reassignment. A monthslong investigation found Mayes had made inappropriate and insensitive comments to teachers and students at Kentucky’s top high school.

He had been working in a non-instructional role at his principal salary — more than $150,000 — since that decision. He was scheduled to move to a lower pay grade on July 1.

After months of waiting and watching, a hearing to debate the decision was scheduled to begin Thursday and last at least four days. JCPS said the hearing is canceled.

“The matter has been settled to the mutual satisfaction of the parties,” JCPS said in a statement. “Neither party will make any further comment regarding the matter.”

Garry Adams, Mayes’ lawyer, echoed JCPS’ statement and did not elaborate.

JCPS began investigating Mayes, a white man, in October 2017 when he was recorded making racially insensitive remarks in a conversation with two students. In that recording, he also criticized the district’s work with racial equity.

In the following months, multiple students, parents and alumni publicly accused Mayes of racist, transphobic and intimidating behaviors. Despite that, Mayes was allowed to stay in his role as principal as the investigation continued — something those in the school said prevented them from being forthcoming in interviews with investigators.

He was eventually reassigned in late July after the investigation found a “trend” of unprofessional comments.

“Mayes exhibits a trend of offensive, inappropriate, unprofessional, and racially charged comments,” a performance evaluation conference summary focused on the investigation’s findings said.

After the demotion, Mayes threatened legal action if he was not reinstated. “Mayes will not just walk away from this demotion without exposing the truth behind your decision,” Adams, his lawyer, wrote in a letter to JCPS Superintendent Marty Pollio in July. No lawsuit was ever filed. 

Student approval of Mayes’ leadership dropped nearly 25 percentage points in his final year at Manual, according to district survey data. This year’s data saw that number rebound under the leadership of new principal Darryl Farmer, jumping 30 points from 58% approval to 88%.

This story has been updated. 

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Olivia Krauth
Krauth reports on education in Louisville, including JCPS, the University of Louisville and state policy.Before joining Insider Louisville, she covered technology and business as a reporter at TechRepublic. She also spent time on the data team at the Austin American-Statesman in Texas as a Dow Jones intern.Krauth graduated from UofL, where she was an award-winning editor of The Louisville Cardinal and obtained a degree in investigative journalism with a minor in Russian studies.Email Olivia at [email protected]nsiderlouisville.com.