Blair Oaks Community Backs Elementary School Principal

7 years 9 months 6 hours ago Tuesday, February 14 2012 Feb 14, 2012 Tuesday, February 14, 2012 6:38:00 PM CST February 14, 2012 in News
By: Maggie Miller and Megan Rice
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WARDSVILLE - There was controversy at Blair Oaks Elementary School Tuesday evening surrounding the current principal, Lori Winslow, possibly not being rehired next year.

There was a school board meeting Tuesday evening to discuss the matter, among others. The meeting began at 6:00, but was closed to the public until 7:00. Many community members showed up as early as 5:30 so show their support for Winslow. 

The school board did not reach a decision Tuesday night. Parents stayed waiting for a decision until roughly 10 p.m., but the Board said they have 72 hours until they have to address the situation. After parents voiced their opinions in a closed session, the board members addressed other issues on their agenda. The board members then finished the night by going back to closed session to discuss the Winslow matter. 

KOMU 8 receieved many e-mails and phone calls about this situation. Parents and members of the community insist that Winslow is a great role model for their children as well as a great principal.

Blair Oaks parent Dawn Brooks said, "We want answers of why they're trying to fire Lori Winslow. She is an excellent principal. We as a community are going to come together and get these answers. We feel threatened that we are losing someone so vital to our community. We want answers."

Winslow sent an e-mail to school parents about an incident that occurred with Superintendent Dr. James Jones about teacher evaluations. In January, Jones insisted that Winslow never turned in her teacher evaluations, and asked to see the last 10 years of her previous evaluations. Winslow gave him 9 years, and said she turned the most recent into the main office and they were not returned to her.

Winslow said in her e-mail that on February 10, Jones accused her of not turning in any evaluations last year. He said she was breaking the law, and as a result, he would recommend to the board not to rehire her.

Brooks says most of the community is up-in-arms about the issue, and will not stop questioning until they receive answers. She says Winslow has molded many children into the young adults they have now become.

Jones said he could not speak directly on personnel issues, but he had not heard many comments from parents about Winslow. 

KOMU will continue to update this story as is progresses.

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