NPHS band director on leave, pending investigation results
BAINBRIDGE -- The North Putnam School Board met for 10 minutes shy of 2-1/2 hours Thursday night but the issue on many patrons' minds was never mentioned.
The status of North Putnam High School Band Director Craig Rogers has become an issue after parents received a letter this week from NPHS Principal Alan Zerkel.
The letter, dated Feb. 13, states that Rogers has been on paid leave from North Putnam since Jan. 18, pending the completion of an external investigation.
Following the school board meeting Thursday night, North Putnam Supt. Mary Lovejoy declined comment on reports that Rogers is under investigation by the Indiana State Police for alleged sexual contact with a student.
Lovejoy did indicate an external investigation is ongoing but told the Banner Graphic only, "My formal comment is 'No comment.'"
Principal Zerkel's three-paragraph letter called the circumstances "a difficult and challenging situation," and noted that "Superintendent Lovejoy and I are legally bound not to disclose information" regarding the reported investigation.
The letter also advised parents that Rachel Pierce is currently heading the instrumental music program and teaching the history and theory classes in Rogers' absence.
She is prepared to finish out the year, Zerkel's letter noted, adding that the school corporation initially experienced difficulty in finding a qualified music teacher to fill in for Rogers.
"Thank you for your patience during this difficult situation," the principal's letter to parents concluded.
Neither State Police investigators nor Rogers were available for comment Thursday.