Higley Unified school board votes to accept Williams Field HS principal Terri Wattawa's resignation

Posted at 11:27 AM, Sep 02, 2016
and last updated 2016-09-03 01:44:00-04

The Higley Unified School District has voted to accept the resignation of the principal of one of its high schools.

Students at Williams Field High School in Gilbert walked out of class Friday morning to support their principal, Dr. Terri Wattawa, who was put on leave recently.

Parents and students also started a petition to demand a reason for Dr. Wattawa being put on leave, and students also took to social media to show their support for the principal.

"The kids are very distraught and upset over the thought of losing Dr. Wattawa, she's been a wonderful asset at Williams Field and we've all really loved her, she's a good support," said Janae Heath, whose daughter attended the school.

Like many parents, Heath said she was upset over the lack of transparency by the district.

"If you're going to chase our principal out and if you're going to excuse her, I want to know why, I want to know why she's being excused, it's been crickets so far," she added.

Students and parents packed into the school board meeting where board members voted to accept Wattawa's resignation. 

"She's so great, she like does so much for our school, we appreciate her so much," said Williams Field student Hayden Heath.

The high school newspaper ran a story on Dr. Wattawa's resignation on Friday morning, dubbing it the "Wattagate Scandal."

A school district spokeswoman sent ABC15 the following statement:

"During 3rd hour today several students gathered in the WFHS courtyard to hold a peaceful demonstration.  Students respectfully returned to their classroom. Based upon the students' statements, it appears they are aware the board is going to be taking action tonight on the principal's letter of resignation."

ABC15 asked school administrators why the principal was resigning. A spokeswoman said they were not at liberty to discuss it.