Back in early March, it was announced that Maria Goodloe-Johnson was being fired as the Seattle Public Schools superintendent, due to an $1.8 million phony contract financial scandal. And unfortunately, Seattle Public Schools' luck does not seem to be getting any better as the school season winds down towards summer.
As the news of recent firings -- some justified, some seemingly unwarranted -- under interim superintendent Susan Enfield's reign continue to pile up, Seattle families are growing increasingly weary of what will happen next.
Since Goodloe-Johnson's surprising dismissal there have been two major, highly-publicized firings in the Seattle Public Schools, along with others. The first, which came in late April, was that of Garfield High School's athletic director, Jim Valiere -- who had been "teaching" a made-up independent study Spanish class so that two of his athletes could get passing grades, among other dishonest allegations.
Valiere had been placed on administrative leave since October of 2010, and following a full investigation, was rightfully dismissed for "inappropriate and unprofessional behavior" and "violation of district policies," according to the April 11 termination letter handed down by Enfield. [Seattle Times]
But the most recent firing, is where things are getting really hairy. On May 10, Enfield confirmed that the popular principal of North Seattle's Ingraham High School, Martin Floe, would not be returning after this school year was finished. In an email sent out to IHS staff and families, Enfield stated,
"I have made a decision that Ingraham High School would benefit from new leadership for the next school year," Enfield said in an email to staff and families. "I want to thank Principal Martin Floe for his years of service to the students and staff at IHS."
Parents and fellow IHS staff members were completely stunned by this surprising news. Under Floe's leadership since 2004, IHS has had many high points, including being featured in Newsweek's 2009 list as one of the nation's top high schools. Floe also helped to develop the highly-anticipated International Baccalaureate (IB) program, that will offer accelerated course work for highly capable students beginning this fall. (Though under someone else's reign?)
But it doesn't sound as if Floe's parent and staff supporters are taking this lightly -- the IHS teachers and staff have begun to sign a resolution letter in support of Floe and his post as IHS prinicipal to send to Enfield. Teachers and parents have also begun to arrange meetings with Enfield to discuss Floe's firing.
On Floe's firing, IHS science teacher Peter Schurke told The Seattle Times, "We feel this is tremendously unfair to a very good and effective educator."
Though Enfield has stated that an interim principal for IHS will be chosen until they can find a long-term replacement, the future seems quite unclear as for how this will all eventually play out. Floe has 10 days to file an appeal, but he has not yet said if he will be doing so.