John Adams, former principal at The Nation Christian Academy in Port St. Lucie, resigned in July because he didn’t feel CEO Mike Woodbury reflected the Christian values the school was founded on.
“My life is based on deeply rooted Christian values that I have,” said Adams, who now teaches at Community Christian Academy in Stuart. “I chose Christian education because of my deeply held values. My Christian faith is important for me. I realized I could no longer work with an administrator who did not share those same values, and that’s why I resigned.”
A profanity-laced audio recording of a private conversation between Woodbury, who also is the school’s basketball director, and a group of student athletes at his home on Oct. 17 was uploaded to YouTube earlier this week and has gone viral.
Adams began working at The Nation Christian Academy in 2015 when it was Barnabas Christian Academy; 2017-18 was his lone year as principal and also the year Woodbury was hired as the school’s basketball coach.
Adams said he had witnessed Woodbury yell at students, but never heard him direct profanities at students the way he did in the recording.
Before Woodbury arrived, Adams said the school’s basketball team practiced on a portable hoop in the parking lot. Woodbury offered Barnabus students use of his basketball facility in St. Lucie West, and Adams felt it would be a good fit.
Adams said he “rarely” attended the school’s board meetings and was unclear of the details of how Woodbury became the school’s CEO. Former board chairman Scott Bartal declined to comment Thursday.
Adams said Woodbury asked him to return as principal for the 2018-19 school year, but he opted to resign instead.
Rebecca Williams, who moved her Wholehearted Fine Arts program into The Nation Christian Academy’s facility in August before leaving in October, said she heard Woodbury using profanities in his office at the school but was unsure who he was speaking to.
“I heard him cursing at other people,” Williams said. “Not at me, specifically. It was similar to what was heard on the video. It didn’t belong in any setting, especially not a Christian school.”
After spending 15 years as a teacher, Williams was surprised by what she experienced at The Nation Christian Academy, including not having a background check run for her or her three staff members.
“There were children running wild,” she said. “No maintenance, garbage cans overflowing constantly – including with diapers because they have a special needs program. It was a hot mess.”