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A seven-year principal at C.S. Porter Middle School has been let go from her position, and has been temporarily replaced by a 20-year Missoula County Public Schools District educator.

Gail Chandler has been on paid leave since she was released on Jan. 20. Julie Hainline, a longtime teacher and curriculum and Title I coordinator with MCPS since 2006, has taken over as interim principal.

MCPS regional administrator Karen Allen said the decision was made by Superintendent Alex Apostle.

"Gail has contributed a great deal at C.S. Porter, and she's grown and developed the school," she said. "But in terms of leadership, we do make changes."

Hainline did not return a phone call from the Missoulian.

School administrators are refrained by law from commenting on personnel issues. But Allen stressed that the decision to remove Chandler had nothing to do with any wrongdoing.

"The superintendent has the right to assign people to positions where they have the best influence," she said.

In all likelihood, Chandler will be reassigned within the district in the near future, Allen said. Meanwhile, Hainline, who began her career as a German teacher in MCPS and moved on to library sciences before her most recent position, will need to apply for the permanent position at C.S. Porter.

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The job has not yet been posted, but Allen said the vetting of applicants and public meetings on a replacement will follow the usual protocols, probably in March or April.

Reporter Jamie Kelly can be reached at 523-5254 or at jkelly@missoulian.com.

 

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