Fairfield principal to retain position

Plan for improvement will be put in place

Michelle Monroe

By Michelle Monroe

Executive Editor

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‘We have an independent review which says there is no grounds for dismissal.’

- Jim Farr, Maple Run board chair

ST. ALBANS — Fairfield Center School Principal Jill Ballou will retain her job, but will be given a plan for improvement.

The Fairfield school board made the announcement during a meeting at the Franklin Central Supervisory Union offices on Catherine Street Wednesday evening.

The district’s attorney, Pietro Lynn, had been asked to investigate accusations against the principal from teachers and school staff and determine if there was just cause to dismiss her. An investigator from his firm met with every staff member in the school except one as well as central office staff. The names of teachers and staff were not included in the report, which only quoted the staff anonymously.

Jim Farr

Maple Run school board chair Jim Farr, standing, speaks with parents and teachers at a meeting of the Fairfield School Board.

Following a two-hour executive session in which the Fairfield board, superintendent Kevin Dirth and Maple Run board chair Jim Farr met with the Lynn and the investigator, Fairfield chair Bennett Dawson announced that Ballou will remain and will be given a plan for improvement to be developed by the superintendent.

In addition, a professional facilitator will be brought in to help mend relationships in the school, and the Maple Run Unified School District Board will hold a public meeting in Fairfield next fall to find out how things have progressed. Farr described the planned meeting as a “climate check.”

The summary of the investigator’s report will be shared with the public at the Fairfield board meeting on June 12, along with the improvement plan, said Dawson.

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