Parents arrived at Sequoia Pathway angry at students being let out of class. Photo by Adam Wolfe

Dozens of parents came in angry. Many screamed at administrators.

Sequoia Pathway Academy was a scene of confusion today after several teachers walked off the job. They were apparently protesting the reported firing of two administrators.

EdKey CEO Doug Pike stayed in a closed office. Parents tried to enter but police restrained them and asked for them to wait in the gym.

Those reportedly let go by the charter school today were Nate Lamma, the dean of students, and Assistant Principal Diane Sylvia.

“The official statement is that we are introducing a new a leader to the campus; his name is Keith Greer. He is the replacement for Jon Gentile who tendered his resignation several weeks ago,” Pike said.

According to staff, the word starting going around of the “firings” at noon. When teachers found out about the administration turnover, they began sending students home.

“Unfortunately, a number of the teachers apparently sent (their students) out of their class,” Pike said. “I haven’t been out there talking to the teachers, but I’m told the teachers left. It’s unfortunate and disappointing.”

Students left in tears. Many were unaware of what was happening.

“This isn’t right! This isn’t necessary!” was shouted by many parents. Most didn’t understand why this happened in the middle of a school day.

Most teachers stayed and students were able to attend classes until the regular dismissal time of 2:30 p.m. for elementary and 2:45 p.m. for secondary.

“Two of our best administrators were fired today,” said one teacher who did not wish to be identified.

A lot of expletives were shouted at Pike as he was escorted out by police for his safety.

“I’m not a prognosticator, but I expect students to be here tomorrow,” Pike said. “There will be staff here tomorrow.”

There was police presence after word spread of the confusion at Sequoia Pathway.

“We are out here just keeping the peace and making sure all the kids are being picked up by their parents,” Officer Colt Homan said. “We are making sure all kids are accounted for and to ensure no fights or arguments break out at the school. The Maricopa Police Department has not made any arrests of students, teachers, parents or anyone on scene at this point.”

Pike said a community meeting is planned for Thursday at 6 p.m. in the gym.


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