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School Board issues statement after firing principal and superintendent with bogus credentials

Posted: 11:26 AM, Aug 30, 2019
Updated: 2019-08-30 13:26:27-04
School Board

KIOWA COUNTY — The Plainview RE-2 School District in Sheridan Lake has issued a statement to staff, students and the community after voting to fire Yonda Leonard, Plainview School's principal and superintendent.

News 5 Investigates discovered Leonard lied on her resume and falsified her credentials when she applied for the permanent position in the Spring of 2019.

However, Leonard previously held the position of interim superintendent and principal since the summer of 2018.

Leonard claimed she had her principal's license, but the Colorado Department of Education confirmed she did not have this credential in her possession.

She also lied about having two special education endorsements.

Leonard did apply for these credentials this year, but the State denied her applications.

Her K-6 elementary teacher's license remains active, pending a formal revocation hearing.

The Plainview RE-2 Board of Education released the following statement:

"The board approved, by a majority vote, to terminate the employment of Yonda Leonard. The Board of Education (BOE) made this difficult decision after the State Board of Education denied Ms. Leonard's application for licensure and added endorsements during the State Boartd's Aug. 14, 2019 meeting. The BOE acknowledges that the transition to a new superintendent may cause some added stress and inconvenience for students and their families in the short term, and wishes to apologize in advance of any difficulties this transition may cause. The BOE is looking to fill the position as soon as possible. At the Aug. 21, 2019 meeting, the BOE voted to offer the Plainview Superintendent/Principal position to Dana Jo Unruh; as she was the runner-up in the previous interview process."

A source close to the school board informed KOAA News 5 that Unruh will likely start in September.

Unruh currently teaches in Cheyenne Wells and has to officially give her notice to that district first.

"Until a new superintendent is in place, the BOE asks that the standard chain-of-command be used, and day-to-day tasks and communications that would typically be handled by the Superintendent should be brought to the attention of our Principal, Jennifer Wilson," the statement said.

According to the Plainview School District's web page, Wilson previously served as a math, art and building trades teacher.

"The BOE is committed to the education of all of our students, and will work together with the staff and the community to ensure that our students will contiuie to thrive. While the BOE acknowledges that this transition presents challenges, we are confident that the district and the community will be able to move forward together to support the education of all of our students. Again, we apologize for the stress and inconvenience."

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