Stories we remember in 2009

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Los Alamos experienced many losses this past year

By Carol A. Clark

Many stories appearing in the Monitor this year stirred community reaction. One that drew considerable passion was the story about Principal Mike Katko’s job being questioned at Mountain Elementary School.

The story first broke in the Monitor March 25. It was written based on a number of telephone calls that morning from alarmed parents and teachers and the refusal by school officials and Katko to talk about it.

Expressions of outrage followed the story’s publication. Some members of the community charged the story was baseless and others expressed shock that their “beloved” principal could be forced out.

Katko’s resignation finally became official in June following weeks of speculation, a barrage of rumors, anonymous tips, off-the-record-meetings and “no comment, it’s a personnel issue” responses.

“I’m amazed and still thankful for the 359 people who took their time and cared enough to sign a petition supporting my management style,” Katko said in an interview at the time.

Katko went before the school board in closed session to present that petition indicating the strong support he had from Mountain parents and students.

“I can’t say what happened at that meeting but I ended up still resigning,” he said.

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