Bowie High assistant principal resigns

EL PASO, Texas - (Nov. 2012 story)

El Paso Independent School District Interim Superintendent Vernon Butler has accepted the resignation of a Bowie High School assistant principal he had put on administrative leave.

"Former Bowie High School Assistant Principal Johnnie Vega, who I placed on administrative leave last week, has opted to resign from the El Paso Independent School District (effective yesterday) and will retire.," according to Butler's statement. "Mr. Vega had been placed on administrative leave pending further review for possible violations of the State Educators' Code of Conduct.  EPISD will also forward a report and notice to the State Board for Educator Certification that could result in sanctions against his teaching certificate.

"The El Paso Independent School District is continuing to move forward with corrective actions against individuals who failed to uphold their obligation to provide our students with a high quality education, and as Interim Superintendent, I will continue to hold all employees accountable."  

Vega served as Assistant Principal of Bowie High School since August of 2006.  He has worked in the El Paso Independent School District for 19 years.  

Anna Luisa Kell (Assistant Principal, Bowie High School) and Felipe Cobos (Guidance Counselor, Bowie High School) will remain on administrative leave, pending ongoing reviews by the district.

About 30 students stood screaming for the return of Vega on Nov. 5. Vega admitted to the El Paso Times three months ago that he helped remove students as part of Dr. Lorenzo Garcia's cheating scheme.

"We need Mr. Vega back, we need Dr. Chavez back, we need Ms. Kell, Mr. Cobos. I mean, they're great," Bowie High parent Mary Gonzales said Nov. 5. "They did wonders with our kids."

Gonzales supports the  student walkout and protest, a push back she says  comes from the students low morale. 

"We got great kids, good students," "Gonzalez said. We need to bring good people back."

But the great students, according to Interim Principal Nick Cobos, were not a part of the walkout, but in their classrooms. 

"This call to walk out of class, to go protest  was all over the school today," Cobos said, "but the great majority of our Bowie students chose to  stay in their class , chose to do what they were suppose to do. And I was very proud of them. 

Pride is something that's been gradually eroded at Bowie High, and after months of  mixed media coverage, and the suspension of two administrators and one counselor in one week and the final resignation of former principal DR. Jesus Chavez, students are acting out their frustrations. They want back Mr. Vega, a grandfather-like figure who presides over the disciplinary department on campus and held a strong rapport with students. 

"He was just following his orders," one student said. "They fired him for false pretenses."

During this investigation, the loss of cherished administrators is will be tough for bowie kids, but Cobos said, it will only make the school stronger. 

"The Bowie High school community has been through some tough times but  they've become tough for it," Cobos said. "This is a tough time in Bowie's history, but we'll get through it."

(Nov. 2012 story)

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