Parents, teachers distraught by school principal's mysterious leave

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By Christina O'Haver By Christina O'Haver
By Christina O'Haver By Christina O'Haver
By Christina O'Haver By Christina O'Haver
By Christina O'Haver By Christina O'Haver
By Christina O'Haver By Christina O'Haver

PHOENIX -- Parents and teachers at a Valley elementary school are distraught by the news that their principal is on some sort of leave.

The Pendergast Elementary School District sent a letter to parents and teachers at Westwind Elementary School saying an interim principal is assuming the duties of principal Natasha Camp.

The letter did not explain the reason, and the school board and administration say they cannot comment on personnel matters.

"The principal is still employed by the district," said district spokeswoman Nedda Shafir. "We welcome parents to come and talk to the school about anything they want to, come and express concerns, but our focus is going to be on supporting the school and the teaching and learning process for every student."

Compounding the confusion is the resignation of the school's assistant principal earlier this month. The resignation was discussed behind closed doors at Friday's school board meeting.

Dozens of parents and teachers attended the open portion of the meeting in support of Camp, saying her leadership has helped to improve the school.

"At this point, we're just looking at really bringing stability," Shafir said. "The superintendent's been there. Administrative staff from the district's been there. I was there today just to make sure that everybody is feeling comfortable, supported and really focused on the children."