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NHES principal suspended with pay

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District policy does not classify action as disciplinary

By Kelly Cantrall

A Hardin County Schools principal was suspended with pay Tuesday.

Mark Thomas, principal at New Highland Elementary School, has been suspended with pay pending an investigation into “alleged actions,” said John Wright, HCS community relations director.

Wright did clarify the “alleged actions” didn’t involve students.

Thomas received a letter notifying him of his suspension Tuesday morning, Wright said. His suspension is effective immediately.

Thomas did not comment.

Chalis Packer, assistant principal at New Highland, is serving as building administrator during Thomas’ absence.

According to HCS policy, an employee is suspended with pay when “there is a justifiable need for an investigation of alleged employee actions necessary to protect the safety of students and staff or to prevent significant disruption of the workplace and/or education process.”

The suspension shouldn’t last longer than the investigation, according to the policy.

Wright said suspension with pay isn’t used as a disciplinary action. According to HCS policy, suspension without pay can be used as a disciplinary measure.

The suspension is included in the report of the personnel actions on the board agenda for the board’s regular meeting Thursday.

Thomas began serving as New Highland’s principal in 2010. He previously was assistant principal at New Highland and Woodland Elementary School. He also has worked in the Jefferson County and Elizabethtown Independent school districts.

Kelly Cantrall can be reached at (270) 505-1747 or kcantrall@thenewsenterprise.com.