Hundreds of students and parents rallied outside of Stoneman Douglas High School Thursday in support of their principal, Washington Collado. Present were parents Melissa Prochillo, Scott Ethridge and School Board member Abby Freedman's assistant Dae Gilmer. NBC6's Steve Litz reports.
Hundreds of students and parents rallied outside of Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland Thursday in support of their principal, Washington Collado.
The rumor around school is that Collado’s contract is not being renewed at the end of this school year.
“I’m heartbroken, the school has never been cleaner, the academics have never been higher – he didn’t deserve this,” said parent Melissa Prochillo.
Collado left school Thursday without making a comment, but he did offer a friendly wave.
NBC 6 obtained last year’s principal evaluation which shows Collado scores "effective" and "highly effective" in categories such as leadership, planning and costumer focus.
“He's one of the best principals this school has ever had,” one Stoneman Douglas High School student said.
But some parents have a theory on why he might be removed.
“What he hasn’t measured well on is parent complaints and these complaints come, seriously, from four parents who have not liked a cheerleading decision from a couple of years ago,” said parent Scott Ethridge.
Broward school district officials aren’t saying much about the principal’s status, except that they can’t confirm any contractual actions for the next school year.
The school is rated one of the best in Florida, and parents and students don’t understand why the school district would not renew his contract.
School Board member Abby Freedman, who represents Parkland, is aware of the controversy but was out of town and was not able to witness the rally. Her assistant, Dae Gilmer, showed up to get a firsthand look, but said it’s the superintendent who has the final say.
“The School Board members do not make day-to-day decisions, she is the voice for her constituents,” Gilmer said. “She passes all of the concerns, every email, every phone call on to the superintendent who makes the decisions.”