Masset parents unhappy with principal shuffle

  • Mar. 13, 2006 6:00 p.m.

By Alex Rinfret-The school district’s decision to shuffle around four principals and teachers after approving a leave for Queen Charlotte Secondary principal Elizabeth Condrotte will have a negative effect on hundreds of students, Masset parents say.
Shirley Kricheldorf, a member of the parent advisory committee at Tahayghen elementary, has organized an emergency meeting of concerned parents in response to the staff changes, which she said will be disruptive and were poorly communicated. The meeting is set for Thursday at the Masset community hall, and starts at 7 pm.
Ms Kricheldorf said parents are wondering why the administration of three schools plus a class of grade 5 students must be negatively affected by a leave for one principal.
She said meeting organizers are hoping to hear from everyone affected by the decision-parents, teachers, school staff and students. She wants to record all objections, concerns and possible solutions and then decide what to do next.
The school district announced last week that in order to fill Ms Condrotte’s position, it will move G.M. Dawson principal Angus Wilson to QCSS, Tahayghen principal Darlene Bragg-Hounsell to G.M. Dawson, and Tahayghen grade 5 teacher Donna Bouchard to the principal’s office at Tahayghen.
Kim Mushynsky, vice-president of the parent advisory committee at G.M. Dawson, described parents as “extremely concerned” about the staff shuffle.
“It seems like an awful lot of disruption for one position,” she said, adding that students are also concerned about the move.
She said she has spoken to many parents in the community in the last couple of days to gauge their opinion, and “everybody I’ve talked to is unhappy.”
The parent advisory committees have asked for a meeting with school trustees and the district superintendent, but Ms Mushynsky said Friday (March 10) that she had just received an e-mail from superintendent Mike Woods in response to the complaints.
The e-mail said it would be inappropriate for trustees or staff to discuss the reasons for the shuffle with the public, because the details are confidential. It also said the school board is convinced that the solution is the most educationally sound one possible, given the circumstances.
“I can appreciate that he can’t share all the details,” Ms Mushynsky said. “But I find it amazing that two schools have to be so disrupted. I don’t understand why they can’t deal with it internally.”
Mr. Woods did not return a phone call and e-mail message from the Observer on Friday.
Meanwhile, Sandi Morgan, vice-president of the Queen Charlotte Secondary parent advisory committee, said she hasn’t heard any concerns from south-end parents. Neither had president Su-san Brown.
Ms Morgan said she can sympathize with the Masset parents, because she thinks Mr. Wilson is an excellent principal.
“He’s a real go-to guy,” she said. “We’re looking forward to having him here.”