NewsNews5 Investigates


School board fires principal and superintendent who lied about credentials

Posted at 1:32 PM, Aug 22, 2019
and last updated 2019-08-22 18:49:28-04

KIOWA COUNTY — We've confirmed Plainview RE-2 school principal and district superintendent Yonda Leonard has been fired. The school board has taken action following a series of News5 investigations revealing Leonard lied about her credentials.

News 5 Investigates learned that Leonard lied about having her principal's license and holding special education endorsements.

In a 3 to 1 vote, the Plainview school board terminated Leonard's employment with the district late Wednesday evening. Kirbi Stum was the only board memberwho voted to keep her.

Leonard's boyfriend, David Walker, who also serves on the board and initially voted to hire Leonard, did not cast a vote this time.

The trouble for Leonard is not yet over. Her K-6 elementary teacher's license now in jeopardy.

The Kiowa County Sheriff's Office has confirmed the criminal investigation centered around Leonard's bogus credentials is now in the hands of the District Attorney's Office.

Earlier this year the fake principal applied to become a real one, but we now know the state denied her request. Leonard submitted an application for a principal's license and special education endorsement with the Department of Education back in February---two things she told the school board she already had when she applied to become a permanent principal and superintendent for the district.

Some people who spoke to News5 Investigates this week expressed support for Leonard.

"I see a personal vendetta being brought up against Yonda and I think it's been taken way overboard," says parent Joanna Beck said.

Other residents say the move to fire Leonard is long overdue.

"She has lied to everyone in the community about what she has and what she doesn't," says Kathy Davis. Her grandchildren attend Plainview School.

After terminating Leonard's employment, the school board voted to offer the job to Dana Unruh of Cheyenne Wells. Unruh was the second runner up the first time around.

We're told Unruh will likely start in September.