The parents and guardians of students at Lord Baltimore Elementary School received an automated phone call from Indian River School District Superintendent Susan Bunting on the evening of Wednesday, Jan. 15, informing them that changes were being made in the coming days to the principal and assistant principal roles at the school.
Principal John Turssline, who was in his first year in that role, and assistant principal Melissa Oates, who had served in that role for a number of years, are reportedly no longer serving in those roles.
In response to an inquiry from the Coastal Point, Bunting released the following statement on Jan. 16, echoing her comments in the phone call: “During the next few days, it will become necessary to make changes to Lord Baltimore Elementary School’s administrative staff in regard to the principal and assistant principal positions. These changes are not the result of any criminal activity or issues involving the safety and welfare of children,” she emphasized, in an apparent response to parental concerns.
“The district will provide support to the school during this process to facilitate a smooth transition and to ensure children continue to get the best possible educational experience,” she continued. “We thank parents for their patience and understanding during this time of change.”
The school district has offered no additional comment on the situation at this time. The Coastal Point is seeking further information, and additional coverage will appear in the Jan. 24 issue of the Coastal Point.
Update: The district announced on Thursday, Jan. 16, that former assistant superintendent Gary Brittingham would serve as temporary principal at the school and Southern Delaware School of the Arts Vice Principal Ann Marie Logullo as temporary vice principal at LB starting on Tuesday, Jan. 21. Advertising for a permanent replacement has begun, they said.