Tortolita Middle School principal takes second leave and resigns

2014-03-20T00:00:00Z 2014-03-20T11:25:12Z Tortolita Middle School principal takes second leave and resignsBy Veronica M. Cruz Arizona Daily Star Arizona Daily Star

Tortolita Middle School Principal Barbara Kohl has taken a second leave this school year and submitted her resignation.

Kohl, who’s been with the district for two-and-a-half years, began an approved Family Medical Leave Act absence on June 24, 2013, and resumed her duties on Aug. 26, Tamara Crawley, a Marana Unified School District spokeswoman, said via email.

Kohl submitted her resignation on March 3 and is on paid time off, which includes accumulated vacation and sick and personal leave, until March 27, when she will finish her contract on an administrative assignment at home, Crawley said.

Kohl did not respond to requests for an interview.

Kohl’s contract expires June 30, and the district did not have the option of not paying Kohl after her leave ran out.

An administrative assignment at home is decided by district administration, Crawley said.

The issue did not require Governing Board action, she said. Contacted via email, board members declined to comment.

The responsibilities of an employee on an administrative assignment at home vary, Crawley said.

“Ms. Kohl will be required to be reasonably available, by telephone during normal work hours, so that she can respond as needed to work-related inquiries from district administrators,” Crawley said. “The district will also retain the option to add additional responsibilities.”

The district expects to hire Kohl’s replacement in late April or early May with that person’s contract beginning July 1.

Kohl’s base salary is $84,109.22. Her contract also includes $752 from a budget override and a $480 cellphone allowance.

When Kohl first took leave at the beginning of the school year, Tortolita associate principal Todd Ponder was put in charge of handling any issues that would have been brought to the principal’s attention. He was also assisted by another associate principal, Brian Paradis. Both will continue in those roles through the rest of the school year.

Lynne Prouty, who retired as principal at Marana Career & Technical school, known as MCAT, in June 2013, was hired as a third administrator at the school on a temporary basis while Kohl was on leave. On March 10, Prouty was hired as a substitute associate principal at Tortolita and is expected to keep that position until the school year ends on May 22.

Kohl has worked in several K-8 schools as a teacher and administrator and has been director of many K-12 departments in several districts in her career in education that spans more than 20 years, according to a brief biography on Tortolita’s website.

She was principal of Townsend Middle School for eight years before joining the staff at Tortolita, the bio said.

Contact reporter Veronica Cruz at vcruz@azstarnet.com or 573-4224.

Copyright 2014 Arizona Daily Star. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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