Bath County HS Principal Pete Pitard Submits Resignation
Warm Springs, VA – Bath County High School Principal Pete Pitard has resigned. He resigned at Tuesday night’s school board meeting when the board wouldn’t consider restoring the assistant principal position at the high school. The Bath School Board eliminated that job from the budget it approved at a May 19th work session.
At the School Board meeting on Tuesday night, school board member Joyce Hevener asked the board to take another look at the budget and she made a motion to rescind the budget the board approved and accept the budget the administration proposed. The board’s budget removed the assistant principal job while the administration’s budget included it. Hevener’s motion died for lack of a second. Bath County High School Principal Pete Pitard,
“I did not use that as a ploy for negotiations or as a threat to the board to change it” says Pitard. “I simply don’t feel that I can do the job of both CTE [Career and Technical Education] and Assistant Principal evaluation, instruction and doing discipline for special education and twelfth; that I can’t physically, mentally, emotionally, be capable of doing that. And I feel that this is a real capricious, ill-advised decision that was not based on anything; they never asked me, they never asked my teachers; they never asked what the Assistant Prinicipal does. They just suddenly at one snap made a decision.”
Pitard announced that as of 9am on Wednesday June 8th, his letter of resignation would be on School Superintendent Sue Hirsh’s desk. He said the school board’s action in eliminating the assistant principal job will undo the ten years he’s spent building a discipline system. He said the job cut would be the undoing of bath county high school.
The administration’s proposed budget included a 2% raise for staff in order to save money to keep the job. The school board did not approve that budget, but instead passed a budget that included a 3% raise for staff and the elimination of the assistant high school principal job. School Board members Eddie Ryder, Barbara Waldeck and Mary Lynn Riner made that vote.
Board members Joyce Hevener and Dreama Burns were not present at the May 19th work session when the budget was approved. Hevener said Tuesday night that teachers have told her that rather than lose people, they would take a smaller raise. School Board member Joyce Hevener says she doesn’t like the way it came about.
“I’m really disappointed that the board voted on something that came up at one meeting and they voted on it at the same meeting” she says. “We are losing a great person, a great Principal of a school. And I think the kids will definitely have something to say about it. I’d like to see our [school] board rethink, meet, and look at another way before he turns in his resignation.”
Board member Dreama Burns said that Tuesday night was the first time she’d heard there was a consensus among teachers to take a 2% raise instead of a 3% raise. She said she didn’t disagree with Hevener but said she’d had no time to digest that information and needs time to think about it. Board Member Mary Lynn Riner agreed. Burns said she’d like to see what Hevener has to say and would like to see more discussion on the budget.