The Scott County school board may have denied the reinstatement of the former principal of Garth Elementary School, but some supporters still want the longtime educator back.
A Facebook group called “Bring Back Mr. Quillen” has acquired more than 500 members since it was created Dec. 23. The purpose of the page is to “share ideas and research” to get Terry Quillen reinstated as the principal of Garth Elementary School, the page states.
Quillen and a Garth Elementary School teacher, Jayson Featherston, resigned after an alleged incident on Nov. 30 in which Featherston allegedly dragged an autistic student in the school. Kentucky State Police charged Featherston with second-degree wanton endangerment on Dec. 27.
Quillen requested the school board withdraw his resignation on Dec. 15, but the board refused it after an executive session that lasted more than 3 1/2 hours.
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Comments on the Facebook page range from “(Mr.) Quillen is a great guy” by Kimberly Keener Duff to “(Quillen) has always been a dedicated and caring person. As an educator, he is one of the best,” by Darrell Clark. Photos and videos depicting Quillen interacting with students and staff are also posted on the group’s page.
Stephanie Hatter, president of the Garth Elementary School Parent Teacher Organization and creator of the Facebook page, said she’s worried about the future education of her children.
“Garth (Elementary) is more than a school, we’re a family and without our principal, our family is broken. It’s time for someone to look into this, look into Terry Quillen’s impeccable record in education, to talk to the student’s at Garth and show them their opinions are important.
“It is time for this wrong to be made right and for Terry Quillen to be returned to his position as principal of Garth Elementary,” she said in an emailed statement.
Quillen said he is humbled by the support.
“It let’s me know that I’ve done the right thing,” he said Thursday.
Quillen said he has applied for other jobs in education, including in Fayette County and his old job as Garth Elementary School principal.
According to state law, a principal is voted on by the school-based decision-making council along with the superintendent or the superintendent’s designee also having a vote.
In an interview with the Herald-Leader in early December, Scott County Superintendent Kevin Hub said the process to select the new Garth Elementary School principal will likely begin in January.
Meanwhile, Paul Krueger, director of elementary education for the school system, is acting principal at Garth.