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The Honolulu Advertiser
Posted on: Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Baldwin High principal on leave 'pending investigation'

By Ilima Loomis
Maui News

WAILUKU Baldwin High School Principal Natalie Gonsalves has been placed on leave "pending an investigation," Department of Education Maui District Superintendent Bruce Anderson confirmed Monday.

Anderson said Gonsalves' leave started Thursday, a day before Baldwin's graduation ceremonies.

Vice Principal Philip Gilbert has temporarily been assigned as principal and is managing the school, Anderson said. Baldwin's last day of class is Wednesday.

Gonsalves could not be reached for comment. A call by The Maui News to Gilbert's office was not returned.

Gonsalves served as principal of Honokaa High School before taking over at Baldwin in 2006.

Dave Jorgensen, a Baldwin parent and co-chairperson of the school's 2010 Project Graduation, said the news about Gonsalves "came as a total shock, and it is very unfortunate to have happened at the end of the school year before graduation."

Parent Brandy Gaddis said she learned of Gonsalves' departure from her daughter, and there seemed to be much discussion and speculation among the students about what had happened.

Gaddis said that when she had met with Gonsalves previously about school issues, the principal had listened to her and been professional and responsive.

"My experience has always been good with her," she said. "She took care of business."