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George Washington High School Vice Principal Jim Crawford is now the new principal there.

The Kanawha County Board of Education voted 4-0 Monday night to approve the move. Crawford’s father, who shares the same name and has been on the school board for 20 years, recused himself from the vote.

Superintendent Tom Williams said the younger Crawford has worked for the district for 33 years, including 15 as an assistant principal. Williams said the vast majority of those assistant principal years have been at George Washington.

In 2018, former county schools superintendent Ron Duerring backed the younger Crawford for the South Charleston High principal position, in an earlier posting of that job.

Amid controversy and the Gazette-Mail reporting that Crawford was in line for that job, he withdrew his application.

A district central office leadership shift that the board approved last month made Crawford’s new ascent possible.

On Nov. 19, the board transferred then-George Washington principal George Aulenbacher into the role of countywide assistant superintendent over high schools and vocational centers.

The board simultaneously transferred the then-holder of that assistant superintendent position, Paula Potter, into the role of deputy superintendent, the No. 2 administrator in the district. And it simultaneously approved the retirement of the then-deputy superintendent, Mark Milam.

Milam had been the assistant superintendent over high schools and vocational centers until July 1, when then-deputy superintendent Williams became superintendent.

Around the start of this year, the board had approved that promotion for Williams in a 3-2 vote. Board members Crawford, Becky Jordon and Tracy White voted for the promotion.

Reach Ryan Quinn at,, 304-348-1254 or follow @RyanEQuinn on Twitter.