Principal resigns months after teacher misconduct charges

November 5, 2019 GMT

CONCORD, N.H. (AP) — A New Hampshire high school principal has resigned months after he took a voluntary leave of absence during an investigation into his handling of sexual misconduct allegations against a teacher.

The Concord School Board unanimously voted to accept Tom Sica’s resignation from Concord High School at its meeting Monday night. Sica’s resignation came three days after former Superintendent Terri Forsten stepped down.

The board began investigating after special education teacher Primo “Howie” Leung was charged in April with sexually assaulting a student off of school property in Massachusetts. Leung pleaded not guilty.

Sica had been on leave since June, after revelations that he had suspended a student in 2014 for raising concerns about Leung. Since then, the school district reached a settlement with the student, agreeing to remove her suspension and paying her and her parents a total of $15,000.

More recently, Education Commissioner Frank Edelblut criticized the school district over concerns that it misled the public about Sica’s leave. Edelblut said he was disappointed to read a Concord Monitor story that said Sica continued to work while away. Edelblut said that potentially undermines the integrity of the investigation.

As part of its investigation, the board placed both Sica and Forsten on paid leave in September. Board members said Monday that within days of receiving the results of the investigation that month, the board voted to fire Sica. After an agreement that resolved contractual issues, Sica submitted his resignation.

The board has hired an interim superintendent and will look for permanent replacements for Sica and Forsten.