Calls To Remove Orchard School Principal - KULR-8 Television, Billings, MT

Calls To Remove Orchard School Principal

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BILLINGS -

Parents with kids in a Southside elementary school are asking School District Two to get rid of their school's principal.

"We the parents, grandparents, friends and students of Orchard Elementary School, petitions the Billings School District Superintendent, Superintendent's Cabinet, and School Board to remove Ms. Julia Mattson from her position as Principal," said Orchard School Parent Teacher Association (PTA) President Jaye Ramirez, at SD Two's Board of Trustees meeting Monday, where she presented a petition with dozens of signatures from parents and staff to the Board.

"We have more invested in our school than any teacher or administrator, because after they all come and go, we're still here," said Ramirez on Thursday. She said Principal Mattson was absent on some important days in the school year.

"She's missed numerous days throughout the year. It was our first day of school, she was not present, and on the last day of school, she was not present," Ramirez said. She also said Principal Mattson did not communicate with her staff in a proper manner.

Some of the teachers at Orchard stood by their principal Thursday, saying the past year has been difficult for the school.

"Coming in to Orchard this year, we came in with a new principal, new secretary, new counselor, and several staff members," said 3rd grade teacher Jenny Barkac. "Total, we had 10 new people, and I think Ms. Mattson did a great job getting together."

Barkac went on to say that while things could have gone better, the only thing they can do right now is to learn the lessons, and move forward.

"We need to look at it as learning from the mistakes that were made. There were mistakes that were made on parts, and I think that learning from them, and choosing to do it differently next time, so that innocent people don't get hurt," said Barkac.

KULR-8 News reached out to SD Two Superintendent Terry Bouck for a comment. He issued a statement, stating that "Personnel issues of this nature will be dealt with in a private, professional manner."

KULR-8 News also asked Principal Mattson for comment via Jenny Barkac, but Barkac said Mattson was advised to not comment on this issue.

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