Hillsboro Charter Academy announced to parents late last night that it is appointing an interim principal, just four months after it opened its doors.
Trisha Ybarra-Peters, principal of the public charter school, is on medical leave, according to Roger Vance, vice president of the school’s board of directors. But the board is hopeful that she will be back to work before long.
“We anticipate her full return,” he said.
Parents were notified in mid-December that Ybarra-Peters would be on temporary leave.
In an email sent to parents late Monday night, Rebecca B. Fuller, president of the school’s board of directors, said Virginia “Ginger” Minshew has been appointed as a temporary administrator. Minshew retired in 2014 as one of the longest tenured high school principals in Loudoun County Public Schools’ history. She served as principal of Park View High School in Sterling from 2005 until her retirement. Before that, she was principal at Farmwell Station Middle School in Ashburn.
She currently serves as an adjunct faculty member of Shenandoah University, so she will work on a part-time schedule at the charter school.
“We’re excited to have Dr. Minshew, even though it’s not ideal because we all miss Trisha,” Fuller said. “Snafus happen, and we’ll work through it.”
Fuller said a panel of two faculty members, parents and members of the board met with Minshew over winter break.
“We all felt that her familiarity with the policies of LCPS, as well as a positive working relationship with all of our contacts in the division’s administration will prove to be invaluable. We were pleased be able to invite her to join our team and she has agreed to a short-term contract filling in for administrative duties during Mrs. Ybarra-Peters’ absence,” Fuller stated.
She said that she does not know Ybarra-Peters’ return date, but “I have been assured that she is getting good care and rest. We will continue to share updates as they unfold.”
Hillsboro Charter Academy is Loudoun’s second public charter school. The first, Middleburg Community Charter School, also had an unexpected change in leadership in its first year. The original principal, Barbara Smith, resigned in spring of 2015 after she was denied reentry back into the U.S. from Canada because of a lapse of her visa.