YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) – Last week, the principal at Stambaugh Charter Academy on Youngstown’s west side was let go — and some parents aren’t happy.
Wendy Thomas had been on the job for just a few years.
“Every fiber in my being knew she did not resign,” said Alisha Wilson, a parent. “I knew she was fired.”
Students at Stambaugh loved Thomas. Parents said she made sure everyone was ready to learn.
“Teaching them individually after school,” Alicia Chapdelaine said. “One year, I couldn’t buy school clothes. She took them out shopping and got them everything that they needed, and just spent quality time with them all.”
During her time as principal, Thomas turned the school’s performance around but — according to these parents — she may have rubbed some staff the wrong way.
“The way that the school was run prior to Wendy being principal, it was going downhill,” Wilson said. “Once Wendy came in, it was like, ‘Oh, now we have to do our job.'”
Thomas was escorted out of the building on her last day without ever having tendered a resignation letter.
Minutes later, the school sent an email, saying Thomas resigned.
The next day, she was offered a severance package on the condition that she could not talk about the separation.
For the parents of Stambaugh, questions remain.
“Everybody wants to know why,” Wilson said. “Why did you let our principal go because we know she didn’t quit. She never would have quit on these kids.”
We reached out to the company that owns Stambaugh Charter Academy but haven’t heard back.
We also reached out to Thomas for a comment, but she couldn’t say anything due to the pending severance agreement.
All parents we talked to said they hope Thomas is reinstated as soon as possible.