Parents, Teachers Confront Lake Forest School Board About Person - WBOC-TV 16, Delmarvas News Leader, FOX 21 -

Parents, Teachers Confront Lake Forest School Board About Personnel Practices

(Photo: WBOC) (Photo: WBOC)

HARRINGTON, Del. -- A community is up in arms about how a Kent County school board has been handling personnel issues.

Dozens of concerned parents and teachers confronted the Lake Forest school board with tough questions at Thursday night's monthly meeting held at W.T. Chipman middle school.

The group wants to know why a well-liked principal won't be returning to East Elementary next year.

Last month, the school board voted unanimously to not renew the contract of principal Susan Piavis.

The community says Piavis has had a successful track record with bringing grants and academic recognition to the school in her six year tenure.

An East Elementary teacher explained why a petition was filed for the board to reconsider.

"We felt very strongly that Mrs. Piavis is the kind of person that you want in charge," said Bridget Shea. "She displays all the leadership qualities that everyone is looking for."

The school board's president Danny Aguilar had an answer for the crowd.

"[A] personnel issue and it is something that we're just not able to speak publicly about for specific reasons. I know you're looking for answers. We're just not able to speak specifically into the details of it," said Aguilar.

But the group says this is the same response they received at the last meeting, as well as every other time some have asked and received a response.

Some parents, including Vivek Maharaj, have made multiple inquires to the board about the principal but have gone unanswered.

Maharaj had strong words for the board at the meeting.

"Is this a school board or a high school playground," asked Maharaj.

"What is exactly going on with principals, teachers and superintendents that we have spent money -- state money, taxpayers money -- and yet there's not a decision, comment or communication for any one of us here," Maharaj asked.

A number of parents say the lack of communication is forcing them to reconsider sending their children to schools in the Lake Forest district.

Adding to the group's frustration is the sudden departure of the superintendent, Dr. Jason Conway, who has only served eight months in the position.

The school board says Conway has been placed on a leave of absence, but they have not stated a satisfying reason, according to some parents and teachers.

The group has raised questions about why a newly appointed superintendent would not, at least, finish the school year.

But even as parents and staff asked about Conway's status, the board's response was the same: a personnel issue that cannot be discussed.

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