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Principal Quits: Resignation Letter Cites Differences With Administration & Board

Dr. Bridget Hermann will leave Ladue Horton Watkins High School at the end of the current academic year.

UPDATED Wednesday 9:15 a.m.

When the Ladue School District announced the resignation of Horton Watkins High School Principal Dr. Bridget Hermann Monday night, administrators said Hermann was leaving at the end of the school year to pursue new opportunities in education and cited her desire for flexibility in location and lifestyle.

But according to her letter of resignation to Superintendent Dr. Marsha Chappelow obtained by Patch, philosophical differences, and not a desire for new opportunities, appear to be behind the move.

"My decision has not been made lightly; I love the students and community of Ladue Horton Watkins High School," Hermann wrote. "However, it has become increasingly apparent that my philosophy of education is very different than that of the Board. The divergence is such that I cannot lead the high school in the direction the Board is expecting."

The letter continued:

During the course of the last two school years, I have been asked to spend a significant portion of my time clarifying day-to-day administrative decisions to you and the Board of Education. In addition, I have also spent significant time justifying the need for educational initiatives such as the one-to-one laptop computer initiative, instead of working toward implementation of these important teaching-learning opportunities. Because of this, I have not had and do not anticipate having, the time necessary to focus my work on leading the students and teachers in a direction that will benefit the Ladue Horton Watkins community.

Wednesday morning, in an email to Patch, a district spokeswoman said "Dr. Chappelow will clearly be talking with and seeking input from Dr. Hermann regarding her concerns and reasons for her resignation.  However, prior to having the opportunity to have those conversations and considering all factors involved, it would be inappropriate for Dr. Chappelow to be interpreting or commenting on statements in Dr. Hermann's letter of resignation.  Any issues that exist deserve due consideration and this is precisely what will happen over the coming weeks and months."

According to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch Tuesday, Hermann "said the differences with the School Board were 'general' and declined to elaborate."

CreveCoeurDad November 14, 2012 at 09:11 PM
Trying to read between the lines here... Is this a.) A case of the board no longer just setting policy and instead micromanaging or b.) the principal running off the rails and doing her own thing? I could make the case for either, but my history of dealing with bureaucracies tells me the answer is A. Which is why we'll never get a straight answer - if the answer were B, they would claim it's a personnel issue.
Angela Adams November 14, 2012 at 11:10 PM
Thank you for the post. The parent notifications were generic and vague, as anticipated. Is it coincidental that Superintendent Chappelow also intends to retire?

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