weather icon Mostly Cloudy

Acting principal appointment at Johnson raises concern

The school district is not backing down on an administration move at J.G. Johnson Elementary School that caused an uproar with some parents this week.

On Monday, the Nye County School District appointed former Tonopah High School principal Alvin Eiseman as the acting principal at JG Johnson, replacing principal Charles O’Connor.

Parents of students at J.G. Johnson were informed about the change on Monday by letter.

Some parents expressed outrage with Eiseman being named despite the fact that the District Attorney’s office declined to file charges on an incident that saw him removed from Tonopah High last year. Eiseman was arrested on preliminary charges of open and gross lewdness and child abuse in separate incidents that allegedly occurred while he was principal at Tonopah.

The decision came down at the end of 2015 after the district attorney found the allegations against Eiseman to be unfounded.

“Over the course of nearly a year, my office explored leads, conducted telephonic interviews and made repeated efforts to set up face-to-face meetings with those related to the alleged incident,” said Angela Bello, Nye County district attorney. “In the end, we were simply not able to corroborate the allegations to the extent needed to justify bringing charges for which we would have to provide proof of guilt beyond a reasonable doubt. Therefore, we made the decision to deny the request for prosecution late last year.”

The school district stood by its decision to place Eiseman as the acting principal of JG Johnson, as Nye County School District Superintendent Dale Norton highlighted the new principal’s lengthy education career and the fact that charges weren’t brought against him.

“Mr. Eiseman was placed as the acting principal at J.G. Johnson Elementary School. Mr. Eiseman brought 23 years of educational experience with him to Nye County School District when hired in July 2007. Mr. Eiseman taught in the classroom for 15 years before becoming a principal. He currently has more than 30 years of educational experience, with 15 years as a school principal,” Norton said in a statement. “As an administrator at Tonopah High School, false and malicious allegations were made against him in an attempt to discredit his character.

“Mr. Eiseman was arrested due to these baseless and spiteful allegations. The district attorney’s office denied charges and Mr. Eiseman has been cleared of any wrongdoing.”

The Nye County Sheriff’s Office arrested Eiseman in March after they found probable cause in the original complaint that he touched a female student’s breasts and punched another one in the arm during a conversation in February 2015.

The additional preliminary charge came while the sheriff’s office further investigated the original incidents and another female student came forward saying that Eiseman made crude and sexually suggestive remarks to her.

While the Nye County District Attorney’s office conducted their own investigation to decide whether or not to formally press charges against Eiseman, the school district transferred him out of Tonopah High School to the school district’s southern district office where he served as principal on special assignment pending the findings of the investigation. His role there didn’t involve him working with any students while the DA completed its investigation.

Although charges weren’t brought against Eiseman, some parents of students at JG Johnson still don’t trust him being around their children at the elementary school.

Some parents took to social media to air their displeasure about Eiseman being at the school, while others took the chance to argue in favor of Eiseman.

“I have two students at J.G. and my sister has two there and we kept our kids home,” said one concerned parent on the Pahrump Valley Times’ Facebook page.

One person who was in support of Eiseman on the newspaper’s Facebook page stated that he isn’t the criminal the dismissed charge made him out to be.

“He’s not a bad guy. He was my principal and nothing that was said happened,” the Facebook poster said. “He’s a good guy and for people to judge him by the things they heard is wrong.”

Concerned parents showed up to the Nye County School District office to file complaints about Eiseman being the acting principal Wednesday and the Nye County Sheriff’s Office was called out as a precautionary measure at one point during the day.

Despite the pressure from the public, the school district is staying put with its decision to have Eiseman as the acting principal as of press time Thursday afternoon.

The school district didn’t give a reason behind O’Connor’s sudden departure other than stating, “This is a personal matter which by its nature is private and confidential.”

Contact reporter Mick Akers at makers@pvtimes.com. Find him on Twitter: @mickakers

Don't miss the big stories. Like us on Facebook.
Local Salvation Army hit by thieves

As Pahrump’s Salvation Army prepares to serve families in need during the holiday season, approximately $500 worth of new toys set aside for its annual Angel Tree program were recently stolen, along with Christmas decorations and items being stored for the Kiwanis Club and Pahrump’s Sleep In Heavenly Peace organization.

Pahrump community comes together for Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving is a time for appreciation and for hundreds of Pahrump area residents and visitors, there was plenty to be grateful for this year at the Pahrump Holiday Task Force’s annual Community Thanksgiving Dinner.

Pahrump Valley Academy virtual town hall set for Saturday

Throughout much of 2019 and into 2020, a group of local residents hoping to add a new educational option to the valley worked diligently toward establishing Pahrump Valley Academy, which would have been the valley’s very first public charter school, only to have the proposal nixed in early 2020.

Rotary Club encouraging students to read

The Pahrump Rotary Club has performed countless community service projects since its inception in 1987.

Bowling for Our Wounded Warriors – Fundraiser set for Dec. 5

Donning a U.S. armed forces uniform is something that comes with great risk and the men and women who step up to take on the challenge of protecting America through military service often come home with injuries, both the visible and the invisible kind.

Man calls 911 while speaking to deputies, report says

Nye County Sheriff’s Office deputies arrested a man who allegedly called 911 for a complaint about loud music at a residence along South Chippewa Street last week but ended up getting arrested himself.

Development of Pahrump’s Kellogg Park tracking right along

Development of Pahrump’s newest park, Kellogg Park on the southern end of the valley, continues to move along steadily, with a variety of milestones reached in recent months and officials with the town of Pahrump and Nye County now setting their sights on the next steps of the development process.

PLAC to decide on Rough Hat recommendations; meeting Nov. 30 in Pahrump

Throughout its many years, the Pahrump Public Lands Advisory Committee hasn’t seen a whole lot of community involvement, with the group historically hosting its monthly meetings amid almost empty audiences.

Together With Veterans hosting SWOT assessment meeting in Pahrump

The men and women who have served in the United States military have given of themselves, made sacrifices on a daily basis and put the safety of others before themselves in order to protect America but when service comes to an end and they return to civilian life, the transition can be jarring.

Beatty Advisory Board deals with trails, racing, blue light

There will be no informal election to choose appointees to the Beatty Town Advisory Board. Randy Reed and Erika Gerling, whose terms expire at the end of the year, were the only people to submit letters of interest, so the Board voted, at their Nov. 22 meeting, to forward their names to the Board of County Commissioners for reappointment.