BREWER, Maine — The Brewer High School principal is no longer at his post as of late last week, but school officials are not saying why.
“I cannot comment,” Brewer School Committee Chairman Mark Farley said Monday about why Principal David Wall was not at his desk. “There is nothing I can say.”
Farley said he could not disclose whether Wall was fired, suspended, sick or is on leave. He referred all questions to Superintendent Cheri Towle, who did not respond on Friday or Monday to phone and email requests left for comment.
Towle, did, however issue the following written statement on Tuesday.
“Principal Wall is currently out on leave from his position as the high school principal of Brewer High School,” Towle wrote.
“I understand that people may have questions about this, but please understand that neither I, nor anyone else authorized to speak for the School Department, can provide information about personnel issues — regardless of who the employee might be,” she said.
“I can assure everyone, however, that the School Department plans for the absence of any employee and that we work hard to ensure that the students and their programs are not impacted by an absence. We will continue to do all we can to ensure that the Brewer School Department is providing its students with an excellent education,” she concluded.
School board and Brewer City Council members, the police department and City Manager Steve Bost have all received calls regarding Wall.
“I literally do not have a clue what the situation is,” Bost said Tuesday.
Public Safety Director Jason Moffitt contacted Bost on Monday to say he had received several calls about Wall’s departure and had been in contact with Towle.
“He sent her a note saying, ‘You need to get out in front of this,’” Bost said.
“There is only so long you can maintain silence on this,” the city manager said later. “The public needs to know what is going on.”
A parent and a teacher emailed the Bangor Daily News on Friday asking for an explanation of why Wall left the school.
“Rumors are swirling,” Deputy Chief Chris Martin of the Brewer Police Department said Monday.
One rumor was that Brewer police officers escorted Wall out of the building, which Martin said was absolutely not true. The deputy chief also said the department is not investigating anything involving Wall, quelling another rumor.
“This is an employment issue,” Martin said.
The reason why there are so many rumors is because of the lack of a straightforward answer, a Brewer High School parent, who asked not to be identified, said Monday.
“I’m pretty curious,” the parent said. “There are certainly questions about what happened. The kids all know he’s [gone].”
A local teacher also sent a message about Wall’s exit that ended with, “I cannot have my name attached to this [because] I’m a teacher also but in another district. I’m just surprised it isn’t in the news yet.”
Wall was hired in 2012 to replace outgoing Principal Becky Bubar, who was the interim high school principal for one year in 2006 and accepted the full-time job the following year.
He came to Maine after spending 13 years as assistant principal at Airport High School in West Columbus, South Carolina, and he taught chemistry and coached both football and basketball for 12 years before that.
Wall said he began searching for a job in Maine shortly after visiting the state.
“We fell in love with the climate and the area,” Wall said at the 2012 meeting where he was hired.
Attempts to reach him for comment were not successful.
Those who email Wall through the school department’s email get the following response: “If this is an emergency, please call the office at 989-4140 or email Samantha Pangburn at email@example.com.”
Bost said silence from public officials often leads to confusion.
“A vacuum is created and leads to all sorts of rumors,” he said.
The secretary for the principal on Monday and Tuesday continued to take messages for Wall, saying he was “unavailable.”
Bangor Daily News writer Dawn Gagnon contributed to this report.