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Archbishop Spalding High School principal and assistant principal fired, announcement sent to families

Archbishop Spalding principal Amy Cannon receives the Archdiocese of Baltimore's Excellence in Teaching Award in 2017. From left: Chancellor of Education, Archdiocese of Baltimore James Sellinger, Cannon, Superintendent, Archdiocese of Baltimore Barbara Edmondson, Archbishop William E. Lori. The school announced Thursday it had fired Cannon.
Archbishop Spalding principal Amy Cannon receives the Archdiocese of Baltimore's Excellence in Teaching Award in 2017. From left: Chancellor of Education, Archdiocese of Baltimore James Sellinger, Cannon, Superintendent, Archdiocese of Baltimore Barbara Edmondson, Archbishop William E. Lori. The school announced Thursday it had fired Cannon. (Courtesy photo / HANDOUT)

Archbishop Spalding High School has fired its principal and vice principal, the private school in Severn announced Thursday.

Principal Amy Cannon and Assistant Principal of Academics Nicholas Hondrum were removed from school leadership, school President Kathleen Mahar wrote in an email to families.

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She stated that the two were in “violation of school and Archdiocesan administrative policy,” but did not offer any additional explanation.

The announcement comes two weeks after the Catholic private school reopened its doors for the fall start of the school year. Part of the Archdiocese of Baltimore, the school is relying on a hybrid model on a rotating basis that allows for a half the students to enter the building while the rest learn from home.

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With the two top school officials removed from staff, Mahar wrote in the letter that she will take up the responsibility as principal until the position is refilled. Three other school officials will assume more responsibilities as well.

Assistant Principal for Student Affairs Kaycie Bowen will fill in as assistant principal of academics. Athletic Director Jeff Parsons will serve as the interim assistant principal of student affairs with William Weber, an assistant principal, according to the announcement.

“While we regret to inform you of this news, we appreciate your cooperation and support in following our COVID safety protocols which have enabled us to create a safe environment for blended learning,” Mahar stated.

“Thank you for your patience, prayers and understanding during this period of transition.”

A spokesperson for archdiocese schools declined to comment, calling the move a personnel issue. Mahar also declined to comment, directing requests to the archdiocese schools.

The two former school officials had a long history with the private school.

In 2016, Cannon was awarded the Excellence in Teaching award by the Archdiocese of Baltimore. She was hired by the school in 2005 to teach science.

Cannon first served as the interim principal for Archbishop Spalding during the 2018-19 school year. She also served as the director of professional development and was the department chair for the science department, according to a letter posted by the school in 2018.

Cannon was also a parent of three Archbishop Spalding graduates. She first began teaching in Prince George’s County but in 2002 she moved over to catholic schools as a fourth grade math and science teacher.

Hondrum began working at the school in 2004 as an English teacher before being promoted to assistant principal in 2011, according to his LinkedIn biography.

“We wish them both well and thank them for their service to the school over the years," Mahar said in the email.

The announcement comes at a time of a drastically different school environment as both public and private schools addresses concerns brought on by the coronavirus pandemic.

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Archbishop Spalding reopened its doors late August for the first day back to school. In the school’s reopening plan, students are part of a “blending learning model" with two different groups either learning from home or learning in school.

On Wednesdays, the school is cleaned and sanitized while students can meet with teachers, join virtual clubs or prayer service.

While in school, students are given assigned desks that are six feet apart. Staff and students must wear face masks and are required to complete daily health screenings before arriving to the school campus.

If someone at the school shows symptoms of the coronavirus, the person is sent to a “COVID health suite” and will be sent home, according to the plan.

The private school is made up of 1,200 students and was created in 1963. It serves Anne Arundel County and surrounding counties, according to the school website

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