Twain Harte school board puts principal on leave

By Giuseppe Ricapito, The Union Democrat

Twain Harte School Principal Dan Mayers has been placed on paid administrative leave for the duration of the school year, said Twain Harte School District Superintendent Rick Hennes.

Hennes declined to comment on the reason, calling it a “confidential personnel matter.”

Mayers could not be reached for comment.

As of Thursday afternoon, Hennes said he has yet to send out notification to Twain Harte School parents based on the counsel of his attorney not to comment on the Mayers decision.

Hennes did want to stress, however, that he will fulfill Mayers’ role on campus.

“I will be sending out a notice letting the parents know that I will be the principal designee for the duration of the administrative leave,” he noted. “During that time, I will be the acting principal and I will be on the school grounds every day.”

During a special board meeting Tuesday evening, the Twain Harte School District Board of Trustees convened for a closed session regarding personnel matters. Though no report was made available to the public at the meeting, Hennes Wednesday morning told Mayers that he would be placed on paid administrative leave.

Hennes said the decision was handed down to him from the board.

“I’m just the superintendent. I do what the board directs me to do,” he said.

Hennes also added that an attorney met with Mayers and explained what he is able and not able to do under the guidelines of the leave.

“Generally, if that’s the case, you’re not able to participate in school activities or communication,” Hennes said.

Because Mayers at a Feb. 8 board meeting was reassigned to the classroom for the remainder of the 2016-17 school year, his paid administrative leave will expire at the conclusion of his tenure as principal at the end of this school year.

“The status now is he would still have the right to a teaching position next year,” Hennes said.

On March 8, a group of concerned Twain Harte parents and family members presented a petition with 118 signatures to the Twain Harte School District Board of Trustees calling for the ousting of Hennes from his position.

One of the central grievances, along with a lack of board transparency and a disregard for parents’ opinions, was the reassignment of Mayers to the classroom.

At the meeting, board President Eli Wingo cited the Brown Act as the reason why information regarding his reassignment could not be shared with the public.

Mayers has served as principal at Twain Harte School since 2008.

The Union Democrat
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