Tonganoxie school district suspends two administrators
Two Tonganoxie school administrators are serving suspensions from the district.
Tonganoxie High School principal Tatia Shelton and Tonganoxie Middle School assistant principal Darren Neas each were suspended for three days, said school board member Darlyn Hansen.
Reasons for the suspensions, which began Thursday and will continue through Monday, were not given.
Shelton could not be reached for comment, and Neas declined to comment.
Tonganoxie school Superintendent Richard Erickson also declined comment. Erickson did, however, provide a copy of the district's suspension policy, which follows:
"The superintendent may suspend certified employees with pay for any one or more of the following reasons: alleged violation of board policy, rule or regulation; the filing of a formal complaint against the employee with any civil authority or with the board charging the employee with the alleged commission of an offense involving moral turpitude; and other good cause.
An employee may be suspended with pay. If the suspension is imposed on an employee pending dismissal, the employee is entitled to pay until the employee has had a due process hearing before the board. The hearing shall determine whether further suspension shall be with or without pay and whether the employee will be terminated."
The school district's policy gives the superintendent the authority to suspend certified employees with pay until the suspension is resolved by board action at the "next regular or special meeting of the board."
The board will meet at 7 p.m. Monday in the district's central office for its regularly scheduled March meeting. Agenda items include board discussion and action on principals' and athletic directors' contracts.
Less than two weeks ago, Shelton dismissed rumors she had either been fired or resigned but admitted hearing rumors she would be dismissed.
"Probably the toughest job of any school employee is the high school principal," Shelton said in an interview Feb. 26. "You have a major target on your back all the time. You're a very visible person."
At the time, she said she was too busy with work and family to do much else.
"Unless it is something that is illegal, then what I do during my personal time away from Tonganoxie High School is my own business," Shelton said. "I have never done anything that I am ashamed of. I don't have time for anything. I barely have time to clean my house and get my laundry done."
Shelton has been THS principal since 2004. She came to Tonganoxie from Garden City, where she served a year as an assistant principal with the title dean of students. She also taught high school biology for nine years in the Rock Creek school district near Manhattan.
Shelton holds a master's degree in educational leadership and administration from Kansas State University. She earned a bachelor's degree in secondary education from the University of Nebraska at Kearney.
Neas began work with the Tonganoxie district in 1999 and has been assistant principal at the middle school since 2001.