Claudell Withers, played by Richard Hildebird, is the Principal of Edward J. Tilghman middle school and has held the post for eleven years.
Withers is regarded as something of a renegade. He entrusts much of the operation of the school to Assistant Principal Marcia Donnelly. Withers goes out on a limb to allow Dr. David Parenti and Howard "Bunny" Colvin to launch a controversial pilot study at his school. Withers holds the education department’s adimistrators in low regard and refers to their headquarters on North Avenue as the puzzle palace.