Parents and high school students in Newmarket, New Hampshire, want to know why their beloved principal was placed on administrative leave.
“He takes his time to get to know his students,” Navya Kotturu said. “It’s more than just a student principal connection, it’s a person-to-person connection. It’s a true relationship."
Chris Mazzone, the principal of Newmarket Junior-Senior High School, has been on administrative leave since Nov. 1, and students don’t know why.
"They’ve sent zero emails for why and I understand it’s confidential but we need to have communication,” Maria Willerer said.
Students and their parents sought transparent communication with Newmarket Superintendent Susan Givens and the school board during a Thursday night meeting, but it abruptly ended with parents chasing board members after the board temporarily suspended the meeting.
“Frankly, we’re done trusting the board. We feel that we can’t trust this process,” parent Michael Willerer said.
The process of resuming the meeting eventually took place.
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“I as a student can blatantly recognize how his absence has affected the mood in the atmosphere at the school. And I personally no longer feel comfortable coming into school,” one student said at the meeting Thursday night.
The discomfort and lack of transparency has led to nearly 500 signatures requesting the board remove Superintendent Givens.
“As a parent and as a community member, I’ve already stepped up and I’m willing to continue to do that," Willerer said.
School Board Chairman Michael Kenison said he did not need to make a comment about Thursday night's meeting. Superintendent Givens and other school board members also declined to comment on the meeting or Principal Mazzone's employment.