Buena Vista principal resigns

       Dr. Jade Amick, Buena Vista Elementary's first Montessori-trained principal, has resigned for health reasons.
       Her resignation was accepted in a vote of the Board of Education May 7. Interim principal Duane Helfer is filling out the rest of the school year, which ends May 22.
       District 11 Deputy Superintendent Mary Thurman said the school “will absolutely go forward with a Montessori focus.” A national search for a Montessori-trained principal is under way, she said.
       Details on Amick's condition were not available. Buena Vista parents were informed in a May 12 letter from Christian Cutter, District 11 executive director of achievement and accountability. “I must share with you the difficult news that [Amick] has submitted her letter of resignation and requested a leave of absence. She sincerely requests that we honor the great service she has contributed to our school and asks that her privacy be respected.”
       Helfer is “a District 11 assistant principal with many years experience,” the letter also states.
       Amick, fluent in Spanish with an international Montessori background dating to the early 1970s, had started at Buena Vista Oct. 1. One of her contributions to the school was a detailed analysis this spring of the school's Montessori situation, warning that if it does not move to a full “magnet” status - with controlled class sizes and experienced Montessori students - the program could be “at risk.” Her request for that status was put on hold by district administrators who first want to develop a consistent district-wide definition of a magnet school.
       Montessori started at Buena Vista in 2004 and continues to be the only such program in District 11.

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