The gallery was full of students wanting answers during Monday night’s District Education Authority meeting.
Approximately 12 students were in attendance at Princess Alexandra School, showing what former student Reiss Kruger defined as “discontent” with the DEA’s decision to request current Diamond Jenness principal Paul Theriault’s resignation.
The meeting began with Theriault addressing the DEA and members of the gallery explaining the situation from his point-of-view.
“I know why you guys are here, and it really touches me,” he said.
He explained that although he may not agree with the decision made by the DEA, he “wholeheartedly” supports their power over the leadership of Hay River schools.
“I support their right to make that decision,” he said.
He also said that he was the one who decided to resign, as the demotion to teacher he would have been given would not have been the best thing for the school.
Before leaving the meeting to attend to his cadets in the gymnasium, Theriault told the students that “DJ is going to continue to be the best school ever.”
The board continued on with the rest of the business meeting, before reaching the correspondence item on the agenda.
Two letters were read aloud by DEA Chair Kandis Jameson, both of which demanded reasons for Theriault’s resignation request.
The students also had a petition on hand, to demonstrate the want to keep Theriault at Diamond Jenness. There were 54 signatures on the document which had been circulating for under a week.
Upon reading the two letters, the DEA made the motion for an in-camera session, requesting those in the gallery leave the room.
Following the in-camera session, the gallery members who stuck around were given a few answers, however they may not have been the ones they were looking for.
They were informed that the reason behind Theriault’s resignation was a personnel issue that legally was unable to be discussed.
As of next fall, PA’s current principal Geoff Buerger will be taking over the helm at DJSS, and Chris Philpotts will maintain his post at Harry Camsell in addition to taking on PA.