The first Native American superintendent for the Plummer-Worley School District – a district that includes areas of the Coeur d’Alene Indian Reservation – has resigned.
Nobody has much to say about Dr. Wayne Trottier’s October resignation, including the superintendent himself. The school district issued a brief press release more than a month after Trottier resigned, listing the reason as “personal circumstances that require his attention elsewhere.”
“I have no comment. Sorry,” Trottier wrote in an e-mail Wednesday evening.
Not a single call made to Trottier’s co-workers this week was returned. Those who could be reached declined to comment.
According to the press release, Trottier will be acting superintendent through June 2005. District Clerk Karyn Stockdale said the board may hire an interim superintendent to assist Trottier “if he has personal things he needs to take care of” in the meantime.
She said Trottier’s wife, Paola Trottier, hasn’t indicated that she plans to leave her job with the district. Paola Trottier teaches business and technology at Lakeside High, just across the street from the district office.
During interviews with The Spokesman-Review this fall – including an interview just days before he submitted his resignation – Trottier gave no indication that he planned to leave the district. He spoke passionately about the progress students in the district have made since he came to Plummer-Worley in 2000 and spoke candidly about the challenges the district faces in meeting increased state and federal standards for education.
When the school board selected Trottier from four finalists for the superintendent’s job, tribal members told The Spokesman-Review that having a Native American in charge of the district would provide students with a positive role model. More than 60 percent of the rural district’s students are Native American.
Trottier is a member of the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe in South and North Dakota, a lineage that comes from his mother’s side. His father belongs to the Turtle Mountain Chippewa Tribe in North Dakota.
He came to Plummer-Worley from North Dakota, where he served as an administrator, teacher, community college instructor and education consultant for 20 years.
As Plummer-Worley’s superintendent, Trottier took on the challenge of reducing the district’s high truancy and dropout rates.
“Many positive and overdue changes have been made in this district and I am proud to have been a part of the new growth and direction it is now taking to best meet the needs of the students in its schools,” Trottier wrote in his letter of resignation, dated Oct. 11. In the letter, he told the school board more changes were needed, but didn’t explain why he was leaving.
He described the district as the best in which he had ever worked.
“I’ve gained some very valuable experience here,” Trottier wrote, “and I believe I will take that to my next level of professional endeavor.”
Trottier closed the letter saying, “You can only expect my best during the remainder of my employment with the district.”
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