Principal quits; students protest
Less than three months after he arrived, Colusa High School's principal is resigning - sparking a Friday protest rally by students.
Steve Peters, who became principal in July, submitted his resignation to the Colusa Unified School District on Monday, said Superintendent Larry Yeghoian.
The school board accepted the resignation, which takes effect after Sept. 29.
Peters could not be reached for comment.
When teachers broke the news Thursday to students, they quickly expanded a football rally scheduled for the next afternoon into a send-off for a principal who had won their trust in his few weeks leading them.
Teenagers arrived on campus Friday wearing black clothing and passed black shirts to their classmates, said Brittani Gomez, a 15-year-old Colusa High sophomore.
Other teens sported beads with black added to the school's red-and-silver athletic colors, while some teachers pinned black ribbons to their shirts.
During the rally at the basketball arena, seniors leading the event “said we're dedicating this to Mr. Peters,” she said. “They were standing up, yelling and clapping, and then everyone ran off the bleachers to hug Mr. Peters and say goodbye.”
The principal's sudden departure deprives Colusa of a leader who quickly engaged students and faculty by taking a genuine concern in their school experience, according to Gomez.
“It was very apparent he was dedicated to the students and the school,” she said. “He'd go around asking, ‘How are you doing? How are your classes?' ... I know a lot of students are upset about the whole situation.”
Yeghoian declined to reveal why Peters quit, saying he would not discuss personnel issues. But he denied the resignation stemmed from any ill will between the two, or between Peters and the school staff.
“We've certainly been pleased with Mr. Peters - that's the feeling of the school board and myself,” Yeghoian said Friday. “It's not an issue of our wanting Peters to leave; we're disappointed in this.”
Peters succeeded Robert Hulbert, who retired as the high school principal after the 2005-06 school year.
Peters will take over Oct. 2 as principal of Armijo High School in Fairfield, said a spokeswoman for the Fairfield-Suisun Unified School District.
Appeal-Democrat reporter Howard Yune can be reached at 749-4708. You may e-mail him at email@example.com.