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GIRARD SCHOOLS Parents petition for Foley



Published: Thu, July 12, 2001 @ 12:00 a.m.



Robert Foley is a favorite because he was the first school official to notify parents of health problems at his school.

By TIM YOVICH

VINDICATOR TRUMBULL STAFF

GIRARD -- A parents group has launched a petition drive to get Robert Foley reassigned as principal of the troubled Girard Intermediate School.

Foley was removed during the board of education's June 26 meeting from his position at the intermediate school, to become principal at the junior high school.

David Leo of Girard, principal of Maplewood Elementary School, was hired to replace Foley. He will be paid $66,255 annually during his three-year contract.

Foley replaces Joseph Shoaf, who is expected to be named schools superintendent.

Cathy Ross, president of Girard Concerned Citizens, said the petition drive began Wednesday after a committee meeting Tuesday night.

"We want to get him back where he wants to be," Ross said, noting the committee hopes to get 1,000 signatures to present to the school board during its July 24 meeting.

"I really can't respond [to the petition drive]," Foley said Wednesday, noting he feels a response would be inappropriate.

Well-liked: Foley has been a favorite of many parents because he was the first school official to formally notify parents that some pupils in the intermediate building were experiencing health problems.

As it turned out, pupils, teachers and staff were experiencing headaches, vomiting, rashes, dizziness, respiratory problems and lethargy.

The school was eventually closed and will not reopen until remedial work is complete. It may not reopen in the fall, school officials have said.

Ross said Foley will not complain about his transfer because "he will remain faithful [to the board] and will go where they put him."

Foley has a year left on his contract.

Holly Hunkus, committee vice president, said she doesn't believe Foley did anything to warrant the transfer.

"Hopefully, they'll reconsider," Hunkus added.

Board president Richard Ragozine has said Foley's move was not the result of his notifying parents of the situation at the school.

Rather, Ragozine has said, he approved of the letter to parents, and Foley has junior high school experience and Leo has experience with intermediate pupils.

Ross said those interested in circulating a petition can obtain one at www.ctiss.com/girardparents.

yovich@vindy.com




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