UPDATE: Board Announces AUGS Principal Resignation

Zarco cites medical issues as reasoning for leaving post; Koeune to serve as interim.

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UPDATE: Board Announces AUGS Principal Resignation

Update: 10:50 p.m.

The Antioch School District 34 Board of Education announced tonight that despite community speculation Antioch Upper Grade School Principal Mike Zarco has resigned from his position “for personal reasons related to medical issues.”

In addition to the announcement, the Board took action to appoint Assistant Principal Joseph Koeune as interim principal of AUGS.

The Board of Education released a statement shortly after the conclusion of the meeting to district staff and that can also be found on the district website.

“The statement will speak for the resignation and it will all be transparent as possible with our community,” said Superintendent Jay Marino.

Koeune’s appointment will be for the remainder of the 2015-2016 school year. Per his agreement with the district, Zarco will remain available for transitioning Koeune into the position should he need it.

“I hope to focus on our continous growth as a staff and District. Our students know we have a growth mindset in place and we need to support our staff to benefit all our students,” said Koeune. “I am excited to have this opportunity and hope to serve the teachers, students and community.”

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After an emergency Antioch School District 34 board meeting was called on Nov. 5 and an empty office on Monday, there was speculation that Mike Zarco, principal of Antioch Upper Grade School, was terminated. The AUGS certified staff were also called together this morning for a union meeting to discuss a Board of Education meeting tonight.

While there is no official word from the District 34 office at this time concerning Zarco’s potential release, there is a board meeting scheduled for tonight, Nov. 10 at 7 p.m. at AUGS. A special board meeting precedes this general meeting at 5:45 p.m. The agenda for the normal meeting includes discussion of the district’s Policy 5.290 ‘Employment Termination and Suspensions’ and Policy 2.260 ‘Uniform Grievance Procedures,’ as well as “Approve Resignation Agreement with Employee” and “Approve Interim Principal at AUGS.”

While nothing is currently confirmed and District 34 has not commented, feedback from community members and AUGS staff from as far back as June 2 of this year, however, leads to the questioning of Zarco’s competency in his current position.

In a petition created by “a stakeholder in District 34” a variety of community members, including AUGS staff, expressed “no confidence” in principal Zarco’s position. Signers of the petition were “encouraged to leave comments that illustrate why you believe Zarco has failed the students, teachers and parents of D34.” This led to a number of negative comments surrounding Zarco’s tenure at AUGS.

Ultimately, the petition “[urged] the Board of Education to remove Mike Zarco from his position as soon as possible. One year has been more than enough to show his true colors, and none of us deserves another year of this.” Since the publishing of this petition, this board meeting is the first public discussion of the principalship by the District 34 Board of Education.

More information will be updated tonight following the board meeting.

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