It’s the latest in a string of administrative shakeups since a former student murdered 17 people at the school Feb. 14, 2018. Stoneman Douglas added a second principal last spring and transferred three assistant principals in November to jobs while investigating their roles in the massacre.
Now Thompson, who has led the school since 2013, will give up day-to-day operations while he, too, is being investigated. He will instead oversee recovery efforts as well as construction plans for a new building to replace the one where the shooting happened. Those duties had been handled by former West Broward Principal Teresa Hall, who will take over Thompson’s old job.
The district also is bringing back the school’s former principal, Dan Traeger, to provide “additional oversight and support,” district spokeswoman Kathy Koch said. He led the school from 2001 until 2008, when he left to open West Broward High. While at West Broward, he hired Hall as an assistant principal. She replaced him after he retired in 2013.
Traeger’s education certificate expired in June, making him ineligible under state law to be a principal or assistant principal. It’s unclear whether the certificate is needed for his new role with the district. Neither Traeger nor district officials could be reached for comment about that issue.
Thompson is the fifth administrator at the school to be investigated for actions related to the massacre. In November, Superintendent Robert Runcie transferred assistant principals Denise Reed, Winfred Porter and Jeff Morford and security specialist Kevin Greenleaf to jobs outside the school, pending an investigation into their roles. The district hired the law firm Cole, Scott, Kissane in January to conduct the review. The investigations are expected to be finished by the end of the school year, Koch said.
Runcie said in December that he had removed the assistant principals from the school so that teachers could speak freely to investigators without fear of retribution from their supervisors.
But district administrators decided that keeping Thompson at the school “to be in the best interest of the students and teachers,” Koch said. “Since the tragedy, Thompson has provided stability to the school and community, and has been considered by many to be instrumental in helping with healing and recovery.”