Gary Snyder, the principal at Princeton High School, is on leave for the rest of the school year, school district officials confirmed today.
Superintendent of School Steve Cochrane sent a letter to parents this afternoon announcing that Snyder’s leave of absence.
“I am writing to make you aware that Principal Gary Snyder will be on leave through the remainder of this school year. I have asked Ms. Lori Rotz to serve as Acting Principal in his stead, and I know that PHS will continue to thrive under her knowledgeable and caring leadership,” the letter reads. “Ms. Rotz has been an assistant principal at Princeton High School since 2007 and is very familiar with our students, staff, and families, as well as with all procedures and programs at PHS. Thank you for your ongoing support. I know we are all looking forward to an exciting and productive month ahead.”
Students and parents at Princeton High School began expressing concerns about Snyder’s absence on Monday. Snyder has not been at school and did not show up at the prom. Rumors circulated Monday that he was retiring. Planet Princeton emailed the superintendent on Monday in response to questions from parents and students, but Cochrane never responded.
Several student and parent sources said they were told Snyder is out sick, but that has not been confirmed, and districts oftensuch don’t comment on personnel issues.
With Snyder’s absence, two of the district’s six public schools have acting principals.
Snyder, who is in his early 50s, has served as the head of the high school for almost 13 years. Previously he was the principal at the Pioneer Valley Regional School in Northfield, Mass. He also served as an assistant principal at another Massachusetts high school for six years, an athletic director at a high school in Virginia for three years, and a social studies teacher for eight years. Originally from Pennsylvania, he earned his bachelor’s degree in secondary education and social studies from the University of Pittsburgh and a master’s degree in public school administration from Virginia Tech.
An earlier edition of this story stated that three district schools have acting principals. The Community Park School principal was out on leave briefly this year but has been back for a while now, school officials said.