By: Sharon Aron Baron
Broward County School Superintendent Robert Runcie had a question and answer session with parents from Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School on Tuesday, but only one question was answered: Their principal would not be staying.
Runcie was given questions by parents who wanted to know why Principal Collado, who received a “highly effective” rating which placed him in the 90th-99th percentile for Broward School Principals on his December evaluation, would be removed from their school.
Runicie spoke about transferring Collado to another school, which would be a better fit for him, despite initial reports that his contract would not be renewed.
“It seems inconsistent,” said Parkland Mayor Michael Udine. “I’m just as baffled as everyone else.”
Many of the parents asked the superintendent if the cheerleading issue had any bearing on his decision. Responding that he would not disclose confidential information, Runcie said, “Principal Collado was not effective as he’d like him to be, given the situation.”
However, when asked repeatedly to elaborate on the use of his words “situation” and “conflict” Runcie refused to explain.
One parent asked the superintendent, “Please help us to help you. Please tell us what these issues are?” To which he answered, “I’m not going to tell you what your challenges are.”
“I would hope the superintendent would have the character to recognize he potentially made a mistake in the community in the rushing to fire our principal, said Cindy Beach, mother of a sophomore. “Clearly this principal has the support of the community….his evaluation and scores are bar none, and he shouldn’t be transferred. This mistake should be corrected by him.”
Runcie said he wanted to find a leader that would work for the school and the parents, who was an effective leader.
“I’m insulted. This is not a cheerleading issue, this is an employee issue,” said Cindy Bolger who’s daughter is a freshman at Stoneman Douglas. Bolger felt the decision had been made, and that Collado was going to be transferred.
“They thought they were removing the conflict, but they just made our community more hostile.”