Photo by Michelle Chance

After upheaval in Maricopa High School’s administration level last fall, district officials confirmed Monday another assistant principal is on leave.

MHS Assistant Principal Heidi Vratil reportedly went on an unspecified leave of absence last week, according to Maricopa Unified School District Human Resources Director Tom Beckett.

“Dr. [Steve] Chestnut announced to the high school staff on Wednesday, March 7, that Heidi Vratil was on leave,” Beckett said March 12. Chestnut left his position as superintendent March 9.

Beckett did not clarify whether Vratil was placed on administrative leave nor provide reasoning behind her absence, citing it as a “personnel issue.”

Vratil said she preferred not to comment.

Vratil is a longtime MUSD educator, administrator and a National Board-certified teacher. Her work as assistant principal at MHS focuses on curriculum and instruction. Vratil has advocated for teacher mentorship programs and professional development through the NBCT program while regularly reporting teachers’ progress at MUSD Governing Board meetings.

She is among 32 administrative staff members listed as returning for next year in the personnel schedule released Feb. 28.

Vratil’s leave is among many in leadership positions at MHS this school year. Vratil was temporarily acting principal while former principal Renita Myers was placed on administrative leave in September.

In October, Myers and former Assistant Principal Mallory Miller resigned.

Former Maricopa Wells Middle School Principal Rick Abel took over for Vratil’s temporary principal assignment that month after his own brief leave of absence from the middle school.

Abel is expected to carry out the principalship position until the end of the school year. Current athletic director Brian Winter has been hired to take on that role next year.

Explanations regarding all the administrators’ leaves of absence have remained vague or non-existent by district officials.


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