Nick Primiano faces FACE

January 16, 2007

Montreal, Quebec — Former FACE school principal Nick Primiano met with FACE students, teachers, and parents at Christ Church Cathedral on Monday night. The event, organized by SOS FACE, was the first opportunity for members of the school’s community to speak to Primiano since his suspension in September and his subsequent resignation in November.

Having signed a confidentiality agreement with the Commission Scolaire de Montréal (CSDM), Primiano gave the best explanation he could, by providing anecdotes from his encounters with school board officials over the years. The most notable example was a phone call that the then-principal received from a CSDM functionary concerning media reports of parents camping outside the school to register their children there. Primiano expected a word of congratulations, but instead was chastised for creating a “spectacle” that left “people with questions.”

Alluding to the allegations brought against him by the CSDM, the former principal did not deny bending rules when it came to administering the school.

“Want to find me guilty of putting the students first? No problem…Sure, I didn’t respect some rules,” said Primiano. “Nobody can say that I didn’t serve the students.”

Addressing his November 1 resignation, Primiano provided three reasons for the decision: age, family and the school’s best interest. At age 54, and near the end of his career, Primiano didn’t feel he had the health to fight a court battle which would take several years to complete; it would also put FACE in limbo, if his situation continued to be unresolved. He also felt that his presence at the school was doing more harm than good, with the CSDM often targeting him for what he was doing with “his” school, as officials often put it.

Sylvie Tremblay, who had served on the school’s governing board for several years, supported Primiano’s claims, saying that the school faced daily battles with the school boards.

When asked by reporters about the CSDM’s suspension and the charges of wrongdoing which he accepted as part of his agreement with the CSDM, Primiano dismissed them as ridiculous. According to Primiano, an inventory that is not up-to-date is not uncommon for a school the size of FACE. As far as the budget of the school’s daycare program is concerned, the school’s daycare usually runs a surplus; last year it was around $43 000 CDN.

“Principals use those surpluses differently. Some during a year, some at the end of the year…Apparently there’s a rule that you can’t touch it until the end of the year,” said Primiano.

When the evening concluded, the former principal thanked all present and reminded students that the school belonged to them, the teachers, and the parents who volunteer a reported 3000 hours during the school year. He was also optimistic about the new administration and the potential for FACE to reach new heights.

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Montreal, Quebec — FACE School’s former principal Nick Primiano will be addressing FACE students and parents this Monday, followed by a Q&A session. The event will take place at the corner of Ste-Catherine and University streets at Christ Church Cathedral at 6PM.

Despite students’ and teachers’ requests, the Commission Scolaire de Montréal (CSDM), which administers the school, has refused to allow the popular principal to address his former students at the school.

This fall, Primiano was suspended by the CSDM under dubious and secretive circumstances, and later resigned.

A group of FACE parents and alumni, dubbed SOS F.A.C.E., is organizing the event. Created after Primiano’s suspension, SOS F.A.C.E. has been active in monitoring CSDM practices vis-à-vis FACE, as members believe that the suspension — and Primiano’s subsequent resignation — may be part of the CSDM’s larger agenda for reforms at the bilingual arts-driven school.

In its thirty year history, FACE has had only two principals, founder Philip Baugniet and Nick Primiano. After Primiano’s resignation, former vice-principal Christine Besson was appointed as the school’s principal.

For more, see F.A.C.E. School: Principal Suspended or visit SOS F.A.C.E..

Teachers, students, parents waiting for an announcement from the CSDM
Waiting for an announcement

Moments before the announcement
Moments before the announcement

Parents and students leave the auditorium
Parents and students leaving the auditorium.

Leaving the auditorium
Leaving the auditorium

Phillip Baugniet gathers students outside, moments after leaving the auditorium of Georges-Vanier High School
Phillip Baugniet gathers students outside — moments after the resignation is announced.

Photos by Alexandre Marine.

At last night’s special public meeting of the CSDM, F.A.C.E. School principal Nick Primiano, resigned his duties in a last-minute deal reached with the CSDM. Primiano admitted to “serious errors” with the budget of the school’s daycare.

Click on the play button below to listen to my report which aired today on CKUT’s Off The Hour:

[odeo=http://odeo.com/audio/2325809/view]

End of an Era at F.A.C.E.

November 1, 2006

Today, Nick Primiano resigned as Principal at F.A.C.E. School. He accepted allegations of the mismanagement of funds from the daycare program and felt it was in the best interest of the school to step down as Principal.

The decision was announced after the CSDM, the AMDES and Primiano signed an agreement. Details were not disclosed — a confidentiality clause is present.

CSDM Meeting Wednesday October 25

This weekend, I conducted an interview with two parents on the S.O.S. FACE Committee, as well as an eleventh-grader at the school. It was for a report on the suspension of F.A.C.E. School Principal Nick Primiano, which aired today on CKUT‘s show OFF THE HOUR.

For those that were not able to tune in to CKUT today (90.3 fm in Montreal), I’ve made the report available on Odeo. It is also available for download on CKUT’s website in the archives section, as is the case with all of their programming.

To listen, press play on the player below:

[odeo=http://odeo.com/audio/2279821/view]

The CSDM has published the address of its president from Wednesday’s meeting and it can be found here (PDF).

Sylvain Arsenault, a spokesman for CSDM has made clear that the speculation that F.A.C.E. School as an institution is under threat is not the reality. According to the Arsenault the issue at hand has to do with one man — Nick Primiano — and the school, a pride of the CSDM, is not under any threat.

No statements will be made in regards to Mr Primiano until next Wednesday’s meeting, when the CSDM will be ready to make more information available.