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PCHS guidance counselor arrested

 

Accused of embezzling more than $50,000 from cheerleading program

By MELINDA WILLIAMS
melinda@southwesttimes.co

Pulaski County High School Guidance Counselor Angelia Paige Harrell was arrested Monday evening on three felony counts of embezzlement, according to police.

Virginia State Police Sgt. Michael Conroy said Harrell was served with the three indictments and voluntarily surrendered herself to authorities. She was released on bond.

According to Conroy, Harrell is alleged to have diverted funds from Pulaski County School System, but more specifically from funds set aside for the cheerleading program. Harrell was a head coach of the varsity cheerleading squad.

The code section under which Harrell is charged deals with the diversion of public funds by a public employee. The charges are Class 4 felonies, each of which carries a possible sentence of two to 10 years of imprisonment and a fine of up to $100,000.

The alleged embezzlements occurred between March 2010 and Oct. 2011, said Conroy.

Pulaski County Schools Superintendent Tom Brewster declined to comment on the situation Monday or on the status of Harrell’s employment due to it being a personnel matter.

Comments

comments

340 Responses to PCHS guidance counselor arrested

  1. Heather Shaffer

    September 26, 2012 at 11:30 pm

    “David”, I would think someone, such as yourself, that makes such intelligent comments would want to post their full name so they could get the credit they deserve.

    • TT

      September 28, 2012 at 10:32 am

      Hey David…I think someone wants your number ^.. lol ;)

    • david

      October 1, 2012 at 5:38 pm

      seems I dont need to….I have got your attention. Isnt that enough?

  2. TT

    September 27, 2012 at 11:44 am

    LOL!! So glad I left the area years ago….Such a huge crime in Pulaski…lol maybe she wanted some pills like most Pulaskians….

    • Joy

      September 27, 2012 at 7:02 pm

      People like you give Pulaski Countians such a bad name!!! While there is a drug problem MOST do not do drugs!!! REALLY???!!!

      • TT

        September 28, 2012 at 9:14 am

        Just because a doctor prescribes it to you doesn’t mean its not a problem…..REALLY!!!

      • david

        October 1, 2012 at 5:42 pm

        “Most” probably isnt the best word to use, because it gives the assumption that “Most do”. Is that to jard for the lil pl jead of yours Joy. Please if you cant follow the understanding I cqn break it down for ya. “Pulaski Countians” Really?

        • david

          October 1, 2012 at 5:44 pm

          Read between the errors, theres a hidden message!!!!!

    • toni bowman

      September 28, 2012 at 5:26 pm

      If you are so glad to be gone, why are you so interested in what is going on in our community. Maybe it is a good thing you left. You cannot even write a full sentence.

      • TT

        October 1, 2012 at 7:15 am

        ooh grammer police…I’ve learned well from the Pulaski County school system…btw it is a full sentence dork…the several dots are just several periods instead of one, most commonly used while texting or facebook but I assume you’re either old as he** or behind the times. Reguardless I am from there and I have family there as well. So you worry about why you’re blogging on here and I will worry about me…ok?

        • Bill

          October 4, 2012 at 10:54 am

          You spelled regUardless wrong… No U…

          • TT

            October 9, 2012 at 7:44 am

            Thanks for checking my grammar, I graduated from Pulaski County High….this is just a blog forrum not an essay for school….wow you’re so intelligent

      • david

        October 9, 2012 at 8:47 pm

        of course!!!!! Who was your response toward?

  3. Pulaski Countian

    September 27, 2012 at 9:06 pm

    Get a life!!!!!!!!!!

    • david

      October 15, 2012 at 12:30 pm

      Ma’am….I have a life! I am but a small part in this place we call world. I am part of the movement that upends this hypocritical biblical BS this small home on the range pray and all will be forgotten town you and others call Pulaski. We can see through you, with you squinched up face like you smell POO, eyes folding in and your eye brows fitted with anger wondering how dare I talk to in this manner to you. Why….Because its people like you who is still stuck in the 1950′s, greeting your husband with a bottle classically marked “XXX”, living in you 18×66 single wide trailer popping out “youngins” So the rest of the county can pay into a social program so you can enjoy your HUD, food stamps! I am only hear to continue to shed light on the retarded comments of others…..VIVA LA RESISTANCE

  4. TT

    September 28, 2012 at 10:29 am

    I should rob the bank there in Pulaski because I have kids…and the great thing is that everyone in Pulaski is so forgiving…they understand that I need that money …right?

  5. Amber

    September 29, 2012 at 12:20 am

    Not everyone here is like that. if your glad to be gone then why
    are you on here commenting?

    • TT

      October 3, 2012 at 9:39 am

      Pure entertainment dear. Don’t get so upset with me for the fact that you couldn’t find your way out of there…..

      • Pat W

        October 10, 2012 at 4:47 pm

        TT – you are *so* funny.

  6. Concern parent

    September 29, 2012 at 7:10 am

    It is really sad that this happen.I do feel sorry for her family and also all the people she screwed up.Did her sister help her coach at one time? Her brother inlaw also works for the Pulaski Chamber of Commerce so did they not notice the extra money she had?? The whole school system needs to be looked into and changes need to be made. If they would listen to parents things like this would not get out of hand.

  7. anonymous

    October 1, 2012 at 4:45 pm

    AS I HAVE READ SOME OF THE BAZAAR COMMENTS I HAVE WONDERED WHAT ARE THE STUDENTS AND CHILDREN IN THE COMMUNITY THINKING ABOUT HOW THE MOMS AND DADS ARE REACTING. BE ADULTS AND LET THE JUDICIAL SYSTEM DO ITS JOB. UNFORTUNATELY SOME WILL NOT ACCEPT THE OUTCOME IF IT DOES NOT AGREE WITH THEIR OPINION AND THIS JUST ADDS ANOTHER DIMENSION TO WHAT IS ALREADY A TRAGEDY FOR AN INDIVIDUAL AND COMMUNITY.

    • TT

      October 3, 2012 at 9:41 am

      What’s with the all caps in your paragraph there….It doesn’t get your point across any different….just sayin’ that’s all…have a lovely day

  8. Someone that actually knows

    October 2, 2012 at 11:07 pm

    As an individual who knows the system (and the situation), I’m shocked by the lack of intelligence in some of the comments here. Why bother to comment if you have NO CLUE what you’re talking about? (And to the woman who suggested that Ms. Harrell took scholarship money – that money either comes in the form of pledges or checks…colleges do not send cash directly to these students or their guidance counselors, so this claim, at least, is totally false…geez. Get a clue.)

    To the parents who lost money – why weren’t you an advocate for your children and your money? If my child participates in as many fundraisers as these hardworking girls did, I would question why she didn’t receive the items she (we) paid/worked for. And if I wasn’t satisfied with the answers at PCHS, I would take the matter to the school board…and if I still felt dissatisfied (and believing that my money was wrongfully used), I would have taken the matter to the state police. (Which is what happened.) Shame on parents for not being an advocate for your children at the expense of being labeled a “disgruntled parent” or whatever other labels I’ve read on here. Having been in the system for years, I can personally assure you that the only “disgruntled parents” are the ones who allow their kids to be disruptive jacka**es in the classroom and expect the teacher to “stop picking” on their “poor child”. Gag.

    And secondly among the slanderous filth I’ve read, let me make one thing clear: this was NOT a breakdown of checks and balances or the accounting procedure. Or a person who “took the fall” for other employees. Where there’s smoke, there’s fire, people – as many of you have written that people were complaining for years – so don’t accuse the other sponsors of fundraising organizations of doing the same thing that Ms. Harrell has been charged with. Every activity requires SO MUCH money, and since our school system (and government) are so friggin’ cheap and won’t support these activities, the money has to come from somewhere. Clearly, there is plenty of evidence against Ms. Harrell and I suspect that if they investigate it further, they’ll find a more startling figure than $50,000, but don’t trash or slander the other high school employees who work hard for your kids, raising money for their activities. Booster funds are SEPARATE from school funds, and the school doesn’t control that money. (Again, parents, WHY would you pay for something, not receive it, and ACCEPT that? Any other variation of that is that your money was TAKEN, STOLEN, whatever you like, but ultimately, YOU allowed her to get away with it for years by not pursuing it.)

    And lastly, there’s nothing wrong with a Pulaski County education. NOTHING. There are several driven, intelligent, and successful young people who graduate from there every year. Don’t bash the hardworking, honest, and good people whose children are in Pulaski County Schools. But as for the rest (the ones who keep the negative reputation alive and well)…you can’t make chicken salad out of chicken poo-poo, folks, and when parents send their kids to school hungry, drugged, undisciplined, and with a sense of entitlement, then THAT IS THE RESULT. Until good parents take issue with the school board and demand that there be ENFORCED no-tolerance policies regarding disrespect, classroom disruption, drugs, alcohol, fighting, and other such issues, it’ll continue.

    If we as parents take anything away from this situation, it should be this: WE MUST BE AN ADVOCATE FOR OUR CHILDREN. Our kids and our wallets will be much better off.

    • TT

      October 4, 2012 at 7:30 am

      Let’s blame everyone and everything except her…such an intelligence response…wow you even went as far as to blame the victims….you must be her best friend….your comment makes absolutely makes no sense

    • Bill

      October 4, 2012 at 10:57 am

      Very well said!

    • Tweeter

      October 4, 2012 at 1:39 pm

      Boring! Some of what you said is true that others should not be assumed to be part of this. As for sending kids to school as you stated hungry, drugged, undisciplined and etccc….do you know this for a fact? If a child goes to school drugged are you REAL sure their parents know. When you say undisciplined are you referring to the ones who actually cause trouble or the children taking up for theirself because they are being bullied????? I have told my son that if any even just ONE person bullies him there to take up for hisself. I will NOT let my son be a stastic just because it is seen as a disclipine problem. This is being an ADVOCATE for our children too. It’s not all about cheerleading, football and selling and or buying stuff. It is being an ADVOCATE however is necessary to protect our kids.

      • david

        October 15, 2012 at 12:42 pm

        Were is 07Crack when you need her! People…..People can we stay on topic here……and thats bashing the teacher that stole the money….yes the ones comment section we are on. She wants us to side track and argue with one anothet….takes the spotlight off of her! Now…pull up your big girl pants and get back to the real point at hand………VIVA LA RESISTANCE

    • fedup

      October 4, 2012 at 1:51 pm

      Oh please, GAG! You are obviously someone that DOES NOT know!! You sound like a “disgruntled teacher” to me.

    • PCHS Alum

      October 4, 2012 at 2:55 pm

      It sounds like you’ve been “in the system” too long if you feel like troubled students are “entitled jackasses”. The troubled ones are those that need the most help and guidance. Believe me, I know of what I speak; I work with troubled youth and adults.

      While I do agree with you that a majority of the posts on here are ignorant and self-serving, when I previously left a comment it was based on my family’s own personal experience. My husband and I are both PCHS alumni, college graduates and working professionals, who quite calmly and rationally went to the high school on several occasions with some very valid concerns. Additionally, some of our friends (and multiple) colleagues did the same. All with the same end result…NOTHING.

      Please don’t complain about those whom you feel are “generalizing” the entire school system while you are doing the same. Your statements insinuate that we parents didn’t do enough to stop this from happening, which is both asinine and insulting. You wrote it yourself: “people stated they were complaining for years”. No matter if they only made one phone call and never went further. Multiple people complained over a span of many years regarding the same concerns. Why was nothing done?

      Believe me, I get it. Booster funds are separate and there was no oversight required for this. My position regarding this is still the same. It is IDIOTIC to not have a checks and balances system in place for all funds, no matter from where they came. Booster funds ultimately are for school sports and last I checked, school sports are part of the public school system. Angie Harrell,a public school employee, had complete access to these funds. Therefore, the SCHOOL has some fiduciary responsibility in this. No they didn’t rob the bank. But they certainly left the door of the safe wide open.

      I work for a public organization that also has several different types of funding sources. A small amount of our money comes from fundraising and has absolutely nothing to do with money received from our main funding source (the government). Guess what? We still treat fundraising money with the same oversight as the other money. It’s just a smart business practice.

      You stated, “Until good parents take issue with the school board and demand that there be ENFORCED no-tolerance policies regarding disrespect, classroom disruption, drugs, alcohol, fighting, and other such issues, it’ll continue.” So my question to you is this: why should the “good parents” have to always go to the school board to have their problems resolved? Why can’t it be resolved at the school administrative level? Where is the leadership at there?

      • Someone that actually knows

        October 5, 2012 at 12:01 pm

        PCHS Alum –
        You raise some valid questions. And perhaps I should clarify my own position. I raised three points (perhaps a little strongly) in response to the rot that I read on here. 1) why did people accept a non-response from the PCHS administration? 2) that PCHS doesn’t have checks and balances / that other coaches and sponsors shouldn’t be thrown in the same pot as Angie Harrell and 3) that people who trash a Pulaski County education are wrong.

        To your first point: I didn’t call troubled students “entitled jackasses”. I said that parents who allow their children to be disruptive jackasses in the classroom and complain about the school being unfair are the ones who are labeled “disgruntled parents”. (This was in response to the excuses that I read on here saying that being labeled a “disgruntled parent” was one of the reasons they didn’t continue follow through with the school/school board office.) And furthermore, I believe that as parents, it is our job to see that our kids get the best education possible. My son, your children, and everyone’s children, have the right to sit in a classroom free of disruption. Sadly, that doesn’t happen. (Substitute at the high school for a couple of days and you’ll see exactly what I mean – in fact, that is probably a good exercise for everyone so that they can get a full picture of what goes on).

        Secondly, I can’t agree with you more regarding the in-action of the PCHS administration. Unfortunately, there are too many tasks and too little personnel and money to go around, and they pushed the complaints aside because they didn’t have the time, inclination, or whatever else, to deal with it. Not fair (and the parents of Pulaski County should demand more out of the administration as well), and YES, having heard multiple complaints, the administration were negligent in their duties. Maybe parents shouldn’t HAVE to go to the school board to get things resolved, but sometimes it has to happen. Sometimes, not always, as you accused me of implying. And yes, I question our leadership in Pulaski County Schools as much as you do.

        I NEVER said that Ms. Harrell’s crimes were the fault of the parents. What I DID mean was that as taxpayers and working people, we should be good stewards of our money. And if we don’t get something that we are paying for, especially where our kids are involved, we should be willing to do what it takes to get answers. Clearly, the PCHS administration dropped the ball on this one, and until a parent was willing to go further than the school, nothing was done. So, if you know it’s happening, why let it KEEP happening if you know that the administration isn’t doing anything about it? It just doesn’t make sense to me that this has been happening for SO LONG and that only recently, there were parents who went to the state police (after getting NOTHING from the administration).

        And, there’s NO POSSIBLE WAY that booster funds can be monitored by the schools unless it is a school account. That’s like suggesting that schools audit federal grants that come to them to fund schools. And if such a thing could be done, who do you suggest oversee this? The staff is stretched way too thin as it is, and unless you want to agree to more tax increases to hire people to do it, there’s no way that’s going to happen. What SHOULD have been questioned, in regards to checks and balances, was why Angie Harrell was over both the school account AND the booster club account. I imagine that other coaches/sponsors will certainly not be able to in the future. Which is clearly a good thing, given what’s happened with this situation.

        • fedup

          October 5, 2012 at 1:53 pm

          I was the one that said I felt like I was labeled a “disgruntled parent” when contacting the school about some valid concerns and I DID NOT allow my child to be a disrruptive jackass. Believe it or not, there are teachers in this system that have a lot of room for improvement!!!!!! The Angie Harrell case is a great example!!!!! You sound like you are also one that needs improving!!!

          • Someone that actually knows

            October 5, 2012 at 3:59 pm

            Dear Disgruntled Parent…AKA fedup,

            I am so happy that you don’t allow your child to be a disruptive jackass; every student up at PCHS appreciates that, I’m sure. And that you seem to be formally evaluating teachers in your spare time and using your own experiences in teaching to guide you in that process is another feather in your hat. In fact, with all of your experience, I’m surprised that Pulaski County Schools aren’t paying you as a consultant! (And, as everyone knows, teachers only teach for the money…those heartless capitalists!)

            You said that the reason you didn’t do what is right for your child is because you were afraid to be labeled a “disgruntled parent”, and if that’s true, then you possess a serious character flaw. You only have to look as far as your own mirror to see potential for improvement.

            Valid concerns that aren’t addressed should be taken to the next level. I applaud the parents that finally did.

          • fedup

            October 6, 2012 at 9:25 pm

            Someone that actually knows….AKA Disgruntled Teacher. I did speak up and no one listened or checked into my concerns. Why should I have to go to the school board or state police because people like you aren’t doing their jobs!!! You have called my child a disruptive jackass and now you are saying I have a serious character flaw. You call children names and downgrade parents and you don’t even know our story nor do you know my profession, which I don’t think I’d have the position I do with a serious character flaw. You are a PERFECT example of the problems in the PC system!!!!

        • TT

          October 11, 2012 at 9:46 am

          @someone that actually knows……do you actually know because you are Mrs. Harrell? Something a little suspicious with you.

      • fedup

        October 5, 2012 at 1:01 pm

        Very well said!!! My husband and I too are PCHS alumni and are working professionals. We went to the school on several occasions with concerns and nothing was done. I have the same question – where is the leadership in our county schools? Why must we have to go to the school board? Other comments have suggested we leave the county if we don’t like it or keep our mouths shut if we fear retaliation. Really, that’s their solution? FYI – I will not be leaving the county.

    • david

      October 15, 2012 at 12:33 pm

      WHO in the hell says “Get a clue” anymore!

    • Angie

      November 4, 2012 at 8:09 pm

      It is about time someone with a brain wrote something that made sense. While I agree with the drug problem, we need to also admit it is everywhere. Radford is full of drunken college students. Does that mean all college students are alcohol driven party animals? One apple could be bad it doesn’t mean the entire bussel has gone to waste. I went to PCHS, some teachers were great. Others were not. Like before it is anywhere you go. I am sure Montgomery, Giles and others have it’s fair share. It is ridiculous that this has happened. Why was such a large sum missing before someone had a light bulb go off. Anyway instead of everyone focusing on the negative issues we should look at what we can do to make our community better. That goes for if your in Pulaski or not. Those of you who have nothing better to do than troll these forums and bash everyone are the ones who need to get a life. Since your parent of the year shouldn’t you be somewhere home schooling or child or coaching little league. Oh and by the way I am sure some idiot will grammer and spell check this and find your little mistakes. Go ahead and waste your time haha :) God bless you all

      • David

        November 9, 2012 at 9:56 pm

        Ok since this will actually have an impact on the quality of life in Pulaski…what can you do to make Pulaski better? Maybe get new elected officials who are pretty comfortable with Pulaski becoming a ghost town. Maybe Pulaski can add a methadone clinic for meth addicts to score legally…that will actually help the community.Bring stable jobs to a sore of a town. What about, bring no business to Pulaski, except for a fast food resturant that brings great wages that Pulaski is used too…$7.25 seems to be a great start for the struggling middle class. Since these things seem to be working so well, what can actually change Pulaski from this case, and ultimately move this community forward….Please explain!!

        VIVA LA RESISTANCE

    • Maryland-my-Maryland

      December 5, 2012 at 4:10 pm

      A scholarship fund was set up for that HS kid (Cameron something-or-another) who died in a car accident last year. Money was to be sent to the Guidance office at PCHS. So, in this case, scholarship money was sent to the school and presumably administered by the school; which would present a thief with an opportunity to “sticky finger” some money.

  9. Observer

    October 3, 2012 at 2:24 pm

    People — this isn’t about her ability or inability as a guidance counselor!!! What she did as cheerleading coach (they need a coach, why???)is a felony!!! Let the courts handle it. She will get her day in court. I just pray that her little girl is protected by all of this!

  10. Cheer Mom

    October 5, 2012 at 4:39 pm

    To clarify once again: The Cheer Booster Club and their funds are totally separate from the cheer money in question. Angie Harrell never, at any time, had access to the Booster funds or account. All monies raised by the actual Cheer Booster Club have always been separate from the accounts at PCHS.

    • PC

      October 10, 2012 at 2:53 pm

      Question, if she was not charged with embezzeling funds from the Cheer Booster club fund, what fund is she acused of taking from?

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