Andrea McGrath was fired from her position as principal of Ashburnham’s J.R. Briggs Elementary School on Tuesday, her spokeswoman said.
Andrea McGrath was fired from her position as principal of Ashburnham's J.R. Briggs Elementary School on Tuesday, her spokeswoman said. (SENTINEL & ENTERPRISE / FILE PHOTO)

ASHBURNHAM -- Principal Andrea McGrath was fired Tuesday from John R. Briggs Elementary School after more than a month on administrative leave, according to her spokeswoman.

"Ms. McGrath, who has worked more than 20 years for the Ashburnham-Westminster Regional School district, absolutely rejects any wrongdoing," said McGrath's spokeswoman Susan Shelby in a statement released Wednesday.

McGrath was placed on leave in May after her husband, James, allegedly raped and sexually assaulted an 18-year-old district employee. Police say he assaulted the victim four times in the spring while he was a substitute custodian.

Ashburnham-Westminster Superintendent Gary Mazzola did not confirm McGrath's employment status Wednesday, citing it as "a personnel issue."

School Committee Chair Gwen Farley referred comment to the superintendent on Tuesday.

McGrath plans to file suit against the school district, Shelby said.

She has been principal of Briggs since 2011 and previously worked as assistant principal and a teacher at the school.

The former principal hired her husband in 2008 while McGrath was assistant principal. He has worked in all four of the district's schools.

Her spokeswoman previously said that McGrath shouldn't be punished for her husband's alleged sexual relationship.

"Termination is nothing more than political expediency; the School seeking to sooth (sic) public opinion," Shelby said in the Wednesday statement.


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The school district posted an interim principal position Monday on the job site SchoolSpring. Applications are due July 20 and the start date is Aug. 1.

An email to school staff mentioning the opening also went out on the same day.

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