Local News

Owner charged with embezzling from private Wake Forest school

Posted October 14, 2014
Updated October 15, 2014

— The former owner of a private Christian school in Wake Forest has been charged with stealing more than $11,000 from the school.

Sue Horton Romano, 51, of 2700 Durham Road in Wake Forest, is charged with one count of felony embezzlement. She was released on a $1,000 bond.

Police say Romano stole $11,186 from Rejoice Community School between Feb. 21 and June 9, according to an arrest warrant.

Romano now operates another school, Rejoice School of Education and Performing Arts, out of Friendship Baptist Church in Wake Forest. She declined to discuss her criminal case on Tuesday, saying only that the truth would come out and quoting scripture.

Her husband called the embezzlement charge a misunderstanding that came about when she took over Rejoice Community School from its former owner.

Parents of Rejoice Community School students said, however, that there were problems before the money went missing.

One mother, who didn't want to be identified, said she pulled her child out of the school after finding out Romano failed to register the school with the state.

Documents from the state Division of Non-Public Education show Romano submitted the required forms in 2013, but they were turned in two months after the school year started.

"When I asked what could be done about this, (state officials) said, 'When you take your child out of public school, it is your responsibility to make sure a school is registered and inspected, and this is on you,'" the mother of the former student said. "I was disappointed. I was confused."

Romano also operated a school at Mount Olivet Baptist Church in Raleigh. The pastor there said the church terminated the lease with Romano because the school missed several rent payments and owed the church a large sum of money.


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  • tupelo Oct 17, 2014

    Hugs, agreed that the current Neuse Christian Academy is not involved. She did teach as recently as '06-07 at the Neuse BAPTIST Christian School that used to be on Capital, about 7 years ago.
    prayers are offered for the families of all affected by this.

  • Hugs! Oct 16, 2014

    Oh, and even the devil can quote scripture! The devil believes in God also! She has chose to take his grace and mercy and keep doing it! Chances have expired !

  • Hugs! Oct 16, 2014

    She stole from a non profit charity that raised funds for a tragic death of a child per a lawyer involved. It was not her money or authorized how she spent it on herself. It's her life ambition to steal! The school on Brooks Street in WF had 2 graduates in May 2013, but did register til the new school year that Oct. They have no diploma. The new location at Friendship open this year Aug 18, 2014. she did not register again until Sept 11, 2014. After parents confronted her. Neuse was 10 years ago for her. That school is great, she was only a teacher and they should be left out of it! Pray for the kids, families, and teachers!!!

  • tupelo Oct 16, 2014

    It is also being reported that she had criminal charges in 1993 in Pitt county for embezzlement. Charges were dismissed, except one, and that was misdemeanor larceny.
    She has taught in multiple private schools since that time.

  • reta Oct 15, 2014

    View quoted thread

    Which company did you work? They seriously didn't take any legal action to try and get their money back?

  • reta Oct 15, 2014

    Rejoice School of Education & Performing Arts IS REGISTERED with the NC Department of Non-Public Instruction and can be verified by calling their office at 919-733-4276. This school is NOT affiliated with Rejoice Community School which is/was owned by Norman Jean McKelvey. Folks - please verify your facts before posting them.

  • OneLove Oct 15, 2014

    Ohhhh, she has a history, eh? Glad she was stopped!

  • cynthier20 Oct 15, 2014

    I am so glad to see she has finally got caught! Her "school" used to rent property from the company I work for. She owed us $110,000 in rent that we were never able to collect. She owns no property in Wake County for anything to be seized. Karma, you know!!!

  • Raleighgirl13 Oct 15, 2014

    "Again?" is right! I've known this woman for a long time. Deja vu

  • ytb781pearl Oct 15, 2014

    View quoted thread

    There's no excuse for stealing. None.