Board ousts middle school principal and vice principal

| 22 Feb 2012 | 08:34

    Superintendent advises termination of two contracts; outgoing principal vows to sue, By Tom Hoffman Sussex — The Sussex-Wantage Regional School District has placed Sussex Middle School Principal Kristin Touw and Vice Principal Teri Haight on paid administrative leave through June 30 after deciding not to renew their respective annual contracts. The decision to terminate Touw and Haight was made by Superintendent Dr. Edward Izbicki. Izbicki did not return phone calls from The Advertiser-News to discuss the cause for the dismissals. Responding to an e-mail request for information on these actions, Board of Education President Thomas Card said that an ongoing performance issue involving Touw had been cited by Dr. Izbicki, though he wouldn’t elaborate on the nature of the issue. “It was the only factor behind Dr. Izbicki’s decision,” said Card. No information on the decision to dismiss Haight was given. When reached by phone, Touw said she plans to take legal action against the school district but declined to comment further at the request of her attorney. Touw said her attorney had filed a statement of claim with an attorney representing the Board of Education on May 14. A message left at the law offices of Genova, Burns & Vernoia in Newark wasn’t returned before the newspaper’s deadline. Less than a year on the job Touw, who was named Principal of the Sussex Middle School last August, had previously served as Vice Principal of the school for the prior two years. She had been credited with helping the Middle School to meet state requirements for math proficiency in November after the school had attained an “at risk” designation for its math program when a certain percentage of its students had failed to meet state testing requirements for the previous two years. Card said the board will be begin a search for new principals of the Sussex Middle School and The Wantage School. In the meantime, Child Study Team Director Nanci Valente will serve as the Acting Principal and Curriculum Coordinator Sue Petrick will serve as the Acting Vice Principal, said Card.