The Lincoln Academy charter school is preparing for its first school year. In recent weeks it has seen the departure of its principal and the finance and operations officer.


A week after the man who was hired to be The Lincoln Academy’s first principal left his post, Adams Publishing Group has learned the charter school’s director of finance and operations also resigned earlier this month.

Lincoln Academy CEO Kristi Cole confirmed Gregory Gurley resigned effective Aug. 1.

According to earlier information provided to Adams Publishing Group by the academy, the chief operations officer was to be paid $135,000 with $5,000 for moving expenses. Cole confirmed that was Gurley’s position.

Cole also confirmed in an email that Lincoln Academy accountant Melissa Badger would be returning to a previous employer in the coming weeks.

When asked if the positions are being advertised Cole emailed: “They are not being advertised at this time. We are currently assessing our needs.” The Lincoln Academy is in preparations for its first year of instructing students.

Gurley’s departure comes after that of Samuel Karns, the first principal selected by The Lincoln Academy. In an email last week, Cole confirmed Karns was no longer in the position and that Priscilla El-Amin was selected to serve as principal as the school opens this fall.

Adams Publishing Group requested Karns’ resignation letter, the separation agreement between him and the school, and any and all financial payouts or arrangements related to ending his employment with The Lincoln Academy in an open records request. The school’s special projects manager Jean Marie McKearn said in an email on Aug. 10 that “no such documents exist.”

Adams Publishing Group has since requested Karns’ contract and Gurley’s resignation letter, separation agreement, and any and all financial payouts or arrangements related to ending his employment and contract.

The Lincoln Academy, 608 Henry Ave., is a public charter school for 4-year-old kindergarten through 12th grade. The school is authorized through the UW System, not the Beloit School District. Tuition is free to families, and enrollment is open to any Wisconsin student. As a public school, it will be funded by taxpayer dollars but can also receive private donations and grant funds.

The first day of school is planned for Sept. 1.


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