Parents Upset After Powell Principal Removed

By: Kim Bedford
By: Kim Bedford

Knoxville (WVLT) - A shakeup in the administration at Powell High School has folks there asking questions.

Two high ranking administrators are on paid administrative leave now and may be reassigned.

It's important to note, school officials say the two cases are not related.

As we first told you Tuesday, Assistant Principal Kim Kallenberg is on leave with pay while the Knox County School District investigates allegations she had sex with a student and also may have changed grades.

Both Kallenberg and a student at the center of the allegations deny the allegations.

Also on leave with pay, Principal Diane Psihogios.

A school district spokesperson says that suspension is related to the "academic and administrative atmosphere of the building."

She is expected to be reassigned within the district.

Some parents in the Powell school community are upset and as Volunteer TV's Kim Bedford reports from the newsroom, they want this all straightened out before students go back to school.

Parents say they don't understand why their children's high school principal is being transferred just two weeks before school starts.

And Diane Psihogios's attorney says they're also waiting for a better explanation.

"Miss Sehoyah has been accused of nothing," says Psihogios' attorney John Valliant.

Diane Psihogios is not out of a job, but she's lost her title as Powell High School principal.

"She is very disappointed about losing her position at Powell, but she fully intends to stay with the Knox County School System," Valliant says.

But no one has told Psihogios what school she'll go to next, School Spokesperson Russ Oaks tells WVLT the transfer was part of Superintendent Charles Lindsey's routine school leadership reviews.

"After evaluating the academic and administrative atmosphere at Powell, he felt that a re-assignment needed to be made," Oaks says.

"We don't know exactly what that means and nobody has filled in any of the blanks," Valliant says.

Some Powell High school parents say they don't understand why Psihogios is being taken away from their child's school this late in the summer.

"I just hope it works out for the better before the kids start school. They only have, what two more weeks to go and they need a good principal that's going to stand behind them," says Eileen Doheny.

"It's kind of scary to me just because I have kids there and you don't know what's going on," says Kristy Campbell. "These are our children. We put their lives in their hands."

"I think anybody that knows Diane Sehoyas knows what a fantastic person she is, what a wonderful administrator she has been," Valliant says.

Psihogios' attorney says while the sudden move is not fair, it's completely out of her hands. "Sometimes you get caught up in things in which you have no control and I think that is one of those situations."

Ken Dunlap is now listed as the principal of Powell High School.

We did a background check on Miss Psihogios employment records, and found nothing out of the ordinary.

In fact, she won the 2005 Principal of the Year Award for Knox County.

This leaves a lot of folks in the Powell community wondering what went wrong.


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