Jacob J. Getty Jr., 43, of Wilmington, was arrested on Sunday after turning himself in. He was arraigned and released on $12,000 unsecured bail.
Getty is the principal of the Harry O. Eisenberg Elementary School in the Colonial School District.
Police say Getty had misappropriated funds from several book fairs at the school beginning in 2009.
The issue of the missing money was brought to the superintendent's attention on October 3rd. When Getty couldn't explain where the missing money had gone, he was told police would be called.
"I am outraged. I am very upset," said the superintendent, Dr. Dorothy Linn. "Colonial School District works for what's best for the kids."
Investigators also allege that Getty had written numerous checks to himself from the school Parent Teacher Association (PTA) account for his personal use.
In all, police say Getty stole more than $18,000.
Getty has been suspended with intent to dismiss from his $130,000 per year position.
"This was something that was not even hinted at," Dr. Linn said. "This is something that is not part of any educational culture, to steal from kids."
Getty has been in the Colonial School District for 15 years as a guidance counsellor and asst principal He has been principal of Eisenberg Elementary since 2008.
Action News went to his Wilmington home, but no one answered.