The opinion of the court was delivered by: James M. Moody United States District Judge
FINDINGS OF FACT AND CONCLUSIONS OF LAW
This case was tried to the Court on February 14 - 15, 2007. Following a presentation of the testimony of the parties and witnesses and submission of exhibits, the Court makes the following findings of fact and conclusions of law:
1. Karen Ware has a masters degree in elementary school administration and a bachelors degree in music education. She is fully certified by the Arkansas Department of Education as an elementary principal and music teacher.
2. Karen Ware began her employment in the Little Rock School District as a music teacher at Baseline Elementary School in August 1987.
3. In August 1991, Ware transferred to Rockefeller Elementary where she also worked as a music teacher.
4. Ware transferred schools again in 1995 when she began working at Franklin Elementary School as a music teacher.
5. As a music teacher, Ware worked on a 9.25 month contract.
6. Ethel Dunbar became principal at Franklin Elementary on August 9, 1995.
7. In late March, 1996, Dunbar scored Ware as "very good" in all eight essential instructional competencies in her formal evaluation of Ware. She remarked then, "Mrs. Ware is a talented creative employee that works for the betterment of the school. It has been a pleasure to work with her."
8. In 1997 and 1998, Reba Reynolds, the assistant principal at Franklin performed Ware's evaluations. She too rated Ware very highly.
9. For the 1998-99 school year, Dunbar asked Ware to serve as a "theme specialist." This position was not posted as a vacancy at LRSD. Dunbar had the discretion to place whomever she wanted in the position. The position was for a 9.25 month contract. Ware remained theme specialist for three years.
10. For the school years 1998-99 through 2000-01, Dunbar evaluated Ware with the highest marks on her annual evaluations.
11. On July 19, 2000, Reba Reynolds, who was then assistant principal at Franklin Elementary, requested and was granted a transfer from Franklin to the same position at Gibbs Elementary School.
12. Dunbar recommended Ware for a promotion to the assistant principal position left vacant by Reynolds.
13. In making the recommendation, Dunbar admittedly went "against the grain" of a former practice within the District's elementary schools, whereby if the principal was one race, ...