LIMA — Perry High School Principal Nick Weingart discussed his job as principal of the school and concerns some residents have expressed on how he conducts his job during an interview Wednesday at the school.
About 50 people turned out for a school board meeting June 21 when many believed there was going to be an attempt to oust Weingart as principal. Several residents reported the meeting becoming a heated discussion concerning renewing Weingart’s contract.
At the following meeting July 19, the crowd swelled to more than 100, mostly in defense of Weingart. To date, no school officials have come forward on the record of concerns or what they may be. The only concern pinpointed to date has been a former student, Morgan Abry, now 16, who said she had problems with bullying at the school and the problems were not addressed despite several reports to Weingart.
School board president Rusty Rush did not confirm any concerns, but has been on record stating that he couldn’t discuss the status of Weingart because talks have been in executive session.
Weingart said he cannot positively identify what concerns there may be.
“I don’t choose to speculate,” Weingart said. “I have never been called into executive session or addressed by a board member of what the concerns are. I simply don’t know.”
Weingart said on occasions he has been requested to give clarifications to the board, but no particular concerns have been pointed out. He was eager to find out what concerns there may be to address the problem. Weingart said a meeting has been scheduled to discuss possible concerns in executive session during the board’s Oct. 18 meeting.
Weingart was hired as principal after working for several years with Columbus City Schools to help the Perry district fix some of its shortfalls. He pointed out that he feels that has been done, with fewer reported incidents of problems, higher test scores and graduation rates and other high marks for the district.
“I am pleased to be here,” Weingart said. “It has been a fantastic school district. We have been recognized in the top 14 percent of schools in the nation.
Resident Joe McDonnell, wife of board president Tammy McDonnell, spoke at the July meeting and said he was speaking for the “silent majority” and said there were concerns with administrators in the school district but did not give details. Weingart said he would simply like to get to the bottom of it.
“He seems to be alluding to something and is talking like he knows something,” Weingart said. “It appears there is some that have a beef with me, but I don’t know what it is.”
While Weingart did not specifically discuss the bullying issue with Abry, he said every situation has to be handled on an individual basis.
“A lot of times what seems like bullying may be the result of someone constantly getting problems from another student and finally getting to the point they cannot take it any more,” Weingart said. “I am not saying that is what happened with this case, but sometimes it isn’t what it may seem.”
Weingart said it is his wish to simply continue the good work going on in the Perry school district.
Reach Lance Mihm at 567-242-0409 or at Twitter @LanceMihm.