Champion School District elementary principal suspended for 'insensitive and improper comment'
A Champion School District Elementary principal was off the job for three days for making what the school is calling "an insensitive and improper comment" to a teacher in the district earlier this month.
On Aug. 26, the school board approved three days of unpaid leave for Central Elementary principal Alexandra Nannicola, according to Champion School District Superintendent John Grabowski.
The letter of suspension states the incident occurred on Aug. 15, when allegedly Nannicola used "inappropriate language" with a staff member regarding the staff member's personal reason for stepping out of a trauma-related professional development session.
The letter states that Nannicola failed to "show signs of empathy, compassion, and human understanding."
Nannicola was suspended from Sept. 6 through Sept. 8.
21 News spoke with Champion School District Superintendent John Grabowski who said, "We conducted an internal investigation into the allegation and formally disciplined the administrator. We are working with the administrator to ensure that professional standards are met in the future, and they have indicated their commitment to meeting those standards."
Champion School Board President James Scher said in a written response, "We believe that the swift and serious action taken by the District to address this matter sends a clear message that we support all staff impacted and that Champion Local Schools does not tolerate behavior that falls below expectations for professionals in our buildings."
The district mandated that Nannicola attend three days of sensitivity training during the suspension. The letter also said any future occurrences might be dealt with more severely.
Youngstown State University graduate Alexandra Nannicola has been named Ohio’s top elementary school principal by the Ohio Association of Elementary School Principals.
“Given that the number of elementary principals in Ohio numbers in the thousands, this recognition is a real tribute to Ali and her professional accomplishments as a principal,” said Chuck Vergon, professor and chair of Educational Foundations, Research, Technology and Leadership at YSU.
Nannicola was named as Ohio’s National Distinguished Principal in 2016.