Ex-prin­ci­pal loses ap­peal over chang­ing grades

Saskatoon StarPhoenix - - FRONT PAGE - AN­DREA HILL ahill@post­media.com Twit­ter.com/ Ms An­drea Hill

A for­mer Saskatchewan prin­ci­pal whose teach­ing li­cence was sus­pended af­ter she was found guilty of chang­ing her daugh­ter’s grades has lost her ap­peal.

Kim­ber­ley Saut­ner, who was the prin­ci­pal of Wolse­ley High School from 2006 to 2014, had ar­gued there was in­suf­fi­cient ev­i­dence for the Saskatchewan Teach­ers’ Fed­er­a­tion to find her guilty of pro­fes­sional mis­con­duct and said a six-month sus­pen­sion of her li­cence was “ex­ces­sive.”

Judges in Saska­toon Court of Queen’s Bench dis­agreed and dis­missed her ap­peal this month.

Saut­ner was found guilty of pro­fes­sional mis­con­duct for chang­ing her daugh­ter’s grades in June 2014.

Ac­cord­ing to court doc­u­ments, Saut­ner’s daugh­ter grad­u­ated from Wolse­ley High School in June 2014 and went on to at­tend classes at the Univer­sity of Leth­bridge. Saut­ner’s daugh­ter strug­gled in her univer­sity English class and was told that if she’d done bet­ter in her high school English class she would not have to take the course.

Saut­ner, who by then was work­ing as a prin­ci­pal in an Al­berta school, con­tacted teach­ers at Wolse­ley High School and asked them to help her daugh­ter up­grade her marks.

“I want you to know that I plan to pay you $500 for do­ing this (that’s be­tween you and I) be­cause I know it’s more work than hav­ing some­one sit in your class,” Saut­ner wrote in a text mes­sage to one teacher.

The re­quest prompted an in­ves­ti­ga­tion of Saut­ner’s daugh­ter’s grades. An IT su­per­vi­sor de­ter­mined that Saut­ner’s daugh­ter’s English and theatre arts grades had been changed in an elec­tronic pro­gram be­tween June 25 and June 26, 2014, and only Saut­ner and an ad­min­is­tra­tive as­sis­tant had logged into the pro­gram dur­ing that time pe­riod.

A Saskatchewan Teach­ers’ Fed­er­a­tion com­mit­tee found Saut­ner guilty of pro­fes­sional mis­con­duct for chang­ing her daugh­ter’s grades but said there was in­suf­fi­cient ev­i­dence to charge her with mak­ing in­ap­pro­pri­ate re­quests to teach­ers.

Saut­ner’s lawyer said this spring that Saut­ner was no longer teach­ing and had no plans to re­turn to the pro­fes­sion, but still wanted to clear her name and have her li­cence sus­pen­sion over­turned.

Kim­ber­ley Saut­ner

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