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updated: 4/26/2011 6:00 PM

Parents question Waterbury principal's firing

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  • Parents are upset that Waterbury School Principal Beth Carow, shown with students in 2001, was dismissed from her post about one year shy of her retirement.

      Parents are upset that Waterbury School Principal Beth Carow, shown with students in 2001, was dismissed from her post about one year shy of her retirement.
    Daily Herald, 2001


A group of parents from Waterbury Elementary School in Roselle are upset that principal Beth Carow will be dismissed from her post at the end of this school year, just one year shy of her retirement.

Carow has worked for Keeneyville District 20 since 2001, when she joined Waterbury as assistant principal. District officials are not revealing the reasons behind their decision, which was announced in late March.

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"We deserve to know and do not like the way this is being handled," parent Kiran Ansari Rasul said. "If they are letting her go for, say, financial reasons, then that is perfectly valid. But they should tell us.

"They have assured the parents that she has not done anything illegal or anything that could harm the students. However, that's about all we know," she said.

Carow declined to comment on the district's decision.

Superintendent Carol Auer said she could not discuss the reasons behind Carow's dismissal because it is a confidential personnel issue.

Carow has the "overwhelming support" of parents, said Rasul, and several are planning to attend a school board meeting Thursday night, April 28, to demand more information.

An informal meeting was scheduled between parents and administrators, but Auer said the parent group canceled because it conflicted with their children's religious education classes.

PTO President Lorie Catrambone said Waterbury parents typically support staff in times of unexpected change, such as a situation in recent years where a custodian was slated to be moved from Waterbury to another school in the district.

"We would do this for any of our teachers, so of course we're going to do this for our principal," Catrambone said. "Our school is doing very well, the kids adore her, and they took 45 minutes to decide her fate. It just seems very suspicious."

In addition to Carow's dismissal, District 20 will see several other changes this spring. Auer is retiring, along with Assistant Superintendent Dorothy Dirks, who focuses on curriculum and instruction.

The district will not replace Dirks, since new Superintendent Michael Connolly has background in curriculum development. Connolly is currently director of curriculum at Fenton High School in Bensenville.

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