Blair Oak Principal Awaits Fate

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WARDSVILLE - The Blair Oaks School Board received the transcript Monday from the 14-hour hearing Saturday involving the fate of elementary school principal Lorie Winslow.  The school board informed Winslow in the middle of Februrary that her contract would not be renewed for next year because of events involving conflicts over paperwork between Winslow and Superintendent Jim Jones.

This is Winslow's eleventh year as principal and she said Monday she is more concerned about the kids than her job.

"I know that I give this school my all," said Winslow.  "I can't really do anything about my job now because it's in the hands of the school board.  Even if I can't get my job back, I want to make sure the kids and staff continue to maintain the high standard we've set here."

The problem began when Jones asked to see the paperwork from her teacher evaluations.  Winslow says she's not much of a "paper pusher" and when Jones told her on Feb. 10 that her contract would not be renewed, it was the first time she heard of Jones' problem with her evaluations.

Jones has been in the Blair Oaks School District for more than ten years.  He said he was very delicate in answering questions about the hearing and how he decided not to renew Winslow's contract.

"Right now we're in the middle of the process," said Jones.  "At this point, the board will be meeting to deliberate the hearing."

When asked about where the paperwork issue stemmed from he remained vague in order to allow to make their decision.

"At this point, the facts were laid out at the open hearing," he said.  "The board has to have the opportunity to review the facts."

Several parents said they are angry over the firing of Winslow.

"After sitting through the hearing in February and hearing both sides on Saturday, I am very upset and suspicious," said Blair Oaks parent Dawn Brooks.  "I want to know who's running the show.  Is it the school board or the superintendent?  This is a democratic society.  This is not a one-man show.  We're not going to allow this to be a one-man show."

Blair Oak School Board elections take place Tuesday and Brooks expects a large turnout.

"There are many people upset by this.  Winslow is a great principal.  Maybe she's not a great paper filer, but that's because she's busy learning every students and parents names."

Now that the board has the transcipts, it must make a decision within the next seven days.