Monkton Central School searches for new principal

MONKTON — The Monkton Central School board will soon begin the search for a new principal.
Principal Susan Stewart, who is on a year of unpaid leave, this month submitted her resignation to the board. In a brief letter to the board, she did not explain why she was leaving. The board accepted her resignation at its Feb. 11 meeting, at which Stewart thanked Superintendent David Adams, teachers and the community.
Stewart, who was hired in 2010, asked for and was granted a one-year leave last summer in order to pursue a temporary teaching position somewhere else. Stewart told the Independent last June that she intended to return as principal for the 2015-2016 school year.
Stewart was principal of the school in 2013 when the school’s faculty, in an anonymous survey, said that a culture of respect between teachers and administrators did not exist at the school. About half of the school’s faculty resigned that year, for a variety of reasons, including retirement, other employment opportunities and dissatisfaction with the school’s leadership.
Last spring, a group of parents and community members urged the school board not to renew Stewart’s contract until a plan to improve the climate at the school was implemented. The board ultimately kept Stewart as principal.
Stewart did not return a request for comment about her resignation before deadline.
The school board hired Betsy Knox as interim principal for this year. Knox did not by deadline say whether or not she will seek the permanent job. The school board will discuss the vacancy and search process at its meeting Feb. 25.

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