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County schools cited in audit

April 16, 2014

By Josh Presley

The Mississippi Office of the State Auditor has released the Clay County School District annual financial audit for the year ending June 30.
The audit found that West Clay Elementary School Principal Helen Kennard took office without a proper surety bond.
According to, a surety bond guarantees the principal will act in accordance with certain laws. If the principal fails to perform in this manner, the bond will cover resulting damages or losses.
The finding in the audit states that according to Mississippi Code 37-9-3, all school principals and attendance center principals shall furnish good and sufficient surety bonds in like manner as required of superintendents. The audit says that Kennard began her employment as principal July 2, 2012, but was not bonded until Jan. 2, 2013.
Clay County Superintendent Mae Brewer said the delay in getting the surety bond was an issue of timing.
“In 2012 we got into a dispute with a former principal and as a result were late hiring a new principal,” Brewer said. “They put us behind as far as getting the bond for the new principal.”

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