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Garfield Schools Looking Into Validity Of Complaints Around Principal

Board Member Jeffrey Stewart responds to a public comment at a Garfield Board of Education meeting.
Board Member Jeffrey Stewart responds to a public comment at a Garfield Board of Education meeting. Photo Credit: Arthur Augustyn

GARFIELD, N.J. — The Garfield School District is looking into the case of an elementary school principal who parents want removed from her position.

Hundreds of community members signed an online petition launched by Chistopher Columbus School No. 8 parent regarding principal Ann Taylor.

"Anyone can sign a piece of paper," Superintendent Nicholas Perrapato said. "We're going through the process to see if the complaints have any validity."

In 2015-2016, teachers in the school gave Taylor a formal vote of no confidence. The motion achieved more than 80 percent of teacher support.

"By the end of the year the school had a vote of no confidence against her," former first grade teacher Rachel Dudek said, whose contract was not renewed last year.  She attributed her opposition to Taylor as a potential reason.

There were a lot of grievances about her.

According to Perrapato, the issues brought up in the vote of no confidence were resolved last year. He said the board has not received "significant people writing letters" since then.

Dudek said more teachers would have spoken up but were concerned about the ramifications of opposing Taylor.

"The district is very nervous," Dudek said.

"Even tenured people wouldn’t sign [the vote of no confidence] because there would be backlash from the board."

Parent Krista Nolan created the petition for Taylor's removal after trying to resolve personal issues through direct contact.

The board's actions have not satisfied Nolan's concerns.

"I'm not stopping," she said. "I hope you guys are taking this serious [sic] because I am."

Principal Ann Taylor did not respond to a request for comment.

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