Philadelphia charter school principal resigns following vehicular homicide charges

PHILADELPHIA (WPVI) -- The former principal of a Philadelphia elementary school waived his court hearing Tuesday on charges in connection to a 2017 hit-and-run.

Parents at John Wister Elementary, a Mastery Charter School, were notified Monday that the principal resigned last week because he is charged with vehicular homicide.

Jovan Weaver served as principal for three years and was credited with bringing positive change to the school in the 100 block of Bringhurst Street in Germantown. In fact, his upbringing in an impoverished household and work as principal at the school became the focus of a podcast.
According to court documents, Weaver was arrested and charged in early April with homicide by vehicle, an accident involving death or personal injury, and tampering with or fabricating physical evidence. He posted bail following his arrest.

The charges stem from a hit-and-run that happened on December 26, 2017.

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Charter school principal resigns following vehicular homicide charges. Sarah Bloomquist reports during Action News at 5 p.m. on June 17, 2019.

Fifty-eight-year-old Anthony Rodgers of the 5600 Block of Woodcrest Avenue was crossing the 5400 block of City Avenue when he was hit by an oncoming car just after 10 p.m.

The driver behind the wheel of a red Lexus fled the scene. Rodgers was later pronounced dead at the hospital after suffering severe injuries.

Police found the red Lexus in the 4600 block of North 19th Street. There was blood on the exterior and evidence that someone had tried to set the vehicle on fire.

Mastery Charter spokesperson says they learned of Weaver's April arrest just last week and immediately placed him on administrative leave "to investigate."

Weaver resigned the following day and is no longer a Mastery employee.
Weaver informed the staff on Friday and parents were notified Monday.

Some who know him were stunned to hear the news.

"I don't believe he did something like that. He is so nice, so proper. He's so good with the kids," Nyquallah Bey-Blackson of Germantown said.

In a statement, a Mastery Charter spokesperson wrote, "This is a very sad day for the Wister community. Mr. Weaver did an outstanding job leading the school's turnaround for the past three years. Students, parents, and staff spoke often about their love and admiration for him. We recognize that this is a terrible, terrible tragedy and our hearts and prayers go out to the family who lost a loved one."

Weaver is out on bail. His next court date is July 9.
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