A hybrid high school in Salt Lake City will see three principals in a single school year when its current head administrator steps down in April.
In a letter to parents dated Monday, Innovations Early College High School acting principal Tara Radmall announced she plans to leave the school — and Utah — to pursue a business opportunity in Colorado.
“Rest assured that the district is committed to Innovations,” Radmall wrote, “and that I will continue to work diligently with district leaders to strengthen and clarify the procedures and programs that make Innovations great before I go.”
Radmall is the second administrator to leave Innovations during the current academic year, following the December exit of founder Kenneth Grover. She did not respond to a request for comment.
The public school — a specialty campus operated by Salt Lake City School District — is currently restructuring its operations and finances after questions emerged regarding Grover’s use of funds in a districtwide account without formal approval.
Launched in 2013, Innovations has traditionally offered students free concurrent and early-college enrollment at the nearby Salt Lake Community College campus on State Street.
But parents recently learned they will be personally responsible for some tuition costs next year, after district officials discovered Innovations was making those payments out of a districtwide concurrent enrollment budget, intended to cover students in all Salt Lake City high schools.
Grover’s administrative practices were also scrutinized in a recent report by the Utah Investigative Journalism Project, which found the former principal had exaggerated student achievement and graduation rates while spending large sums on candy, gift cards, accessories and other student incentives.
Grover has denied the characterizations, arguing instead that the school’s early college model allowed state per-student funding to be used on community college tuition and other nontraditional operating costs.
In her letter, Radmall did not refer to the allegations against Grover, who also resigned from the school to pursue another job opportunity.
The interview process for finding a new Innovations principal has already begun, Radmall wrote, with the hope of selecting a new administrator before her April exit.
“We will continue to communicate with you as changes occur,” Radmall wrote to parents. “Thank you again for allowing me to have a part in your student’s education.”
Salt Lake City District spokeswoman Yandary Chatwin said an interim principal will likely be named to finish out the current academic year. She said there’s no indication that Radmall’s resignation is related to the ongoing review of Innovations’ operating model.
“Just weird timing, I guess,” Chatwin said.