School District Responds To Principal's Resignation
Ben Davis Principal Resigns Weeks Before School Starts
Last Updated: 269 days ago
The Metropolitan School District of Wayne Township is responding to the departure of Ben Davis High School Principal Joel McKinney.
Wayne Township school officials called McKinneys departure a retirement, rather than a resignation.
Mr. McKinneys leadership at Ben Davis resulted in the increased graduation rate from 60 percent to 85 percent, read a statement provided by Superintendent Jeff Butts. Mr. McKinney is looking forward to new and challenging opportunities in education.
As the Call 6 Investigators reported Monday, many parents and staff were surprised and confused by McKinneys departure.
Some school staff referred to it as a resignation, but Butts told RTV6 via email Wednesday that it is a retirement.
Retirees are permitted to seek other employment and often do in our experience, read the statement provided by Butts.
Internal emails obtained by Call 6 Investigator Kara Kenney through a records request revealed just days before announcing his retirement, McKinney was talking to district officials about taking a teaching job at Achieve Virtual Education Academy, a school within the Wayne Township school district.
It was one option he inquired about. He ultimately decided to retire after 23 years in the MSD of Wayne in order to pursue other opportunities and receive his longevity benefits wrote Butts in an email to RTV6.
Meanwhile, Sandra Squire has been named interim principal.
Mrs. Squire joined Ben Davis High School in 2002 as a teacher in the Ben Davis Extended Day program, read the statement. In 2003, Mrs. Squire joined the schools English department, eventually becoming the department chair.
Parent Julie Klarich said she was surprised by McKinneys departure.
"I was shocked, shocked at the timing of it. I'm shocked with the lack of knowledge that my teacher friends have had. Im shocked at the thought that he was doing a good job as far as with parents and with students. Just think, most people still don't know," said Klarich. "I think there's some confusion associated with it, but my concern is there is effective leadership at Ben Davis High School and I do believe Sandi Squire will continue effective leadership."
Judy Stegemann, Stout Field Elementary principal, sent an email to staff June 21 saying McKinney resigned his position, citing stress and to pursue teaching.
"As a Wayne family we need to support (McKinney)," read Stegemann's email. "As you hear rumors about (McKinneys) decision, please share the stresses of teachers and administrators who choose to work in public education."
McKinney was not home when the Call 6 Investigators stopped by Monday.
Internal emails obtained by RTV6 through a public records request reveal shock and confusion among school staff about McKinney's departure.
"WOW! This is a shocker...I have to admit to not really knowing what to say, which is shocking in itself!" wrote a teacher in a June 22 email. "Good luck Joel!"
"I heard that you're leaving Ben Davis High School. I was shocked!" wrote another teacher in a June 21 email to McKinney.
McKinney is eligible for $20,792 in longevity and severance pay.
As principal, he earned $143,000.
School begins in Wayne Township on August 3.
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