Saturday, 25 May 2024

Billig: Questions about treatment of middle school principal

Wednesday morning at 10:04 a.m., I received a very odd notification text on my phone that the Terrace Middle School principal was on leave and that it was a confidential personnel matter, but, not to worry, Lakeport Unified School District has this covered.

Frankly, I do not think so.

The Terrace Middle School principal, Mrs. Rachel Paarsch, has been nothing short of amazing in her time at the school.

I have had a very conflicted relationship with this school district (including my wife and I settling a lawsuit against the school district).

Recently, Mrs. Paarsch was hired to be the principal of Terrace Middle School and since her hire date, my relationship with the school and its employees has improved immensely. I credit this mainly to Mrs. Paarsch’ s willingness to reach out and invite our family to be part of the school community and ensure that we felt safe in our interactions with school employees.

Our schools need people who give their professional experience as well as giving of themselves. I find Mrs. Paarsch to be a perfect example of that – and I have observed improvements since she arrived in the behavior of the students at the school, the morale of the teachers and staff, and have felt a general positive feeling while on school grounds.

Again, her willingness to reach out to my family and invite us back into the school community has been incredibly healing for myself and my children. Lake County needs more devoted, caring, and passionate people like Mrs. Paarsch.

While I applaud LUSD’s forethought and fantastic choice in hiring Mrs. Paarsch as the principal for Terrace Middle School, I strongly question the sudden and unforeseen leave of this experienced, capable and caring principal from our school district.

Though I will not be able to attend the school board meeting Oct. 4 at 6 p.m., I encourage all caring parents and community members to attend and make it clear to the board that this community supports Mrs. Paarsch.

If this is how we treat our treasured and hardworking school administrators, who would ever decide to come to this district and teach our students?

Sarah C. Billig is a parent and resident of north Lakeport, Calif.

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