WESTFIELD, Ind. (WISH) — A movement to bring back the Westfield High School principal is growing. In 24 hours, more than 500 teachers, parents and students added their names to an online petition.
There are now thousands listed. The school board appointed the principal to a different post after 17 years on the job.
Some Westfield residents say it’s a community movement. The high school has made headlines in the past but for good reasons. U.S. News and World Report ranked it a top-ten high school in the state and in the top 4% of all schools nationwide. Some say it’s all thanks to Dr. Stacy McGuire.
There’s talk about what’s to come at the corner of Hoover and Union streets.
“Is this moral?” Westfield High School Special Education instructional assistant Victor McCarty said. “Is this ethical under current circumstances?”
McGuire is now taking on a new role as administrator of Alternative Learning.
“We know that she would move heaven and earth for us, so that is why the community is rallying together in support of her,” McCarty said.
A petition to keep McGuire principal was created by 2020 graduates after the news broke. Now, there are more than 3,400 signatures.
“You know, when somebody has left an impact when you remove them from their position and nobody understands it and it was super unexpected,” 2019 Westfield graduate Kathryn Mick said.
McGuire’s mom left a comment on the petition.
“This speaks volumes on how important this is,” McCarty said. “Not only to Dr. McGuire but how long they have been apart of our community. Literally in her mother’s post she says they are heartbroken by this.”
The school board said in a press release McGuire would start her new role Monday to “develop, implement and oversee alternative student programs and services in alignment with district and state objectives.”
Mick says it’s a bit emotional.
“I still have two siblings who are yet to graduate and it’s sad that they are not going to be able to experience it with Stacy Mac,” she said.
Sunday, a peaceful rally was held across the street from the high school. McCarty says close to 200 people packed Asa Bales Park.
“Support all around not just from former students, current students and current faculty and staff,” he said.
Speakers at the rally asked the school board to comply with four things, call a special school board session to explain the decision and answer public questions, conduct a confidential survey of all faculty on the culture and leadership of the central office, ensure no employee gets reprimanded for speaking out and not to extend the superintendent’s contract until after November and after voices have been heard.
Minutes after the rally ended, a district wide email from superintendent Dr. Sherry Grate saying, “Watching and reading what has transpired over the past several days is disheartening. The personal attacks and hatefulness toward school board members, administration and the superintendent only serves to further divide us.”
“The outcry is still there and people still want answers,” Mick said.