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Principal's Release Causes Controversy - KOAM TV 7

Principal's Release Causes Controversy

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FORT SCOTT, KANSAS -

Heather Geiger is a fan of the Eugene Wade Elementary School principal, Dave Elliott. 

"All the students love him, all the teachers love him," Geiger said. 

She's has three children; one currently in elementary school. 

"Mr. Elliott is one of the best principals they've ever had," Geiger said. "He's one of the very few principals I've ever seen that know every student's name in the school."

She's one of hundreds of community members signing petitions to convince the board of education to rehire principal Elliott, following his 23 years of service. 

Petitioners will present the signatures at this Monday's school board meeting. 

"Hopefully there's going to be as many people there that have signed our petition, and let the board members know that this is not something they should do," petition organizer Carla Fowler said. 

At the February school board meeting, the board voted in favor of Superintendent Bob Beckham's proposal to let Elliott's contract expire.

Parents say the district hasn't given any reason why principal Elliott will not receive a new contract. 

"What upsets me is the loss that it is for our community, for our kids," parent Sarah Dorsey said. "I feel like he is the only advocate many of these children have."

Mr. Elliott declined to comment on this story. Superintendent Beckham has not responded to our request for an interview. School board member Gary Billionis said over the phone he can't discuss personnel matters. But said he recognizes the petition as people, "doing what they can to support their principal."

"They've told us nothing," Geiger said. "There's no reason for them to get rid of him. Not that they've made the public aware of."

The schools board's next meeting is Monday night at 5:30.

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