Controversy Heats Up at Bay High

By: Sabrina Zimring
By: Sabrina Zimring

The purpose of the meeting was to approve a list of administrative nominations for next year, but McCalister quickly ended up in the hot seat among a sea of Bolinger supporters.

Superintendent James McCalister said he isn't changing his mind. Larry Bolinger and his administrative assistant Carol Ryan will not be coming back to Bay High next year.

Superintendent James McCalister and his board heard over two and a half hours of concerns on both sides of the controversial issue, but it seems McCalister isn't wavering in his decision to not renew Bay High Principal Larry Bolinger's contract next year.

James McCalister says, "It's not a possibility I will reconsider. It's not!"

And with that announcement, even McCalister’s board asked for answers.

By law, McCalister isn't required to produce a reason for his decision. He skirted around the board’s questions, but did confirm Bolinger won't be coming back.

But among the sea of Bolinger supporters, there sat those standing strong behind their superintendent. It bears noting, the final grades for Bay are not in, those who say it's a "B" school are basing that on preliminary results from this past school year.

Several McCalister supporters said the whole situation is a shame. The controversy has torn apart friendships among students, parents and teachers, and they wish the community would support their elected superintendent, despite personal feelings.

On the other side, a few Bay students told board members they're disappointed; they felt like Mr. Bolinger had really turned things around at Bay for the positive.

The school board approved McCalister’s administrative recommendations for next year.

Bolinger is on the list as a principal, but no particular school is specified. Board members say it's not too late for McCalister to change his mind and assign Bolinger back to Bay, but McCalister seems to be sticking to his guns.


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