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Fruitland School District rehires superintendent amid police investigation into high school principal

Fruitland head coach Mike Fitch talks to his players during the second half of the 3A state championship against Parma in Nampa, Idaho, on Saturday, March 5, 2016. Parma won 56-47.
Fruitland head coach Mike Fitch talks to his players during the second half of the 3A state championship against Parma in Nampa, Idaho, on Saturday, March 5, 2016. Parma won 56-47. AP

The Fruitland School District Board of Trustees voted unanimously Monday to rehire the district superintendent, but no new light was shed on the situation at Fruitland High, where the principal remains on leave.

Superintendent Teresa Fabricius had her contract approved for the 2019-20 school year. Right now she is also the acting top administrator at the high school because its principal, Mike Fitch, is the subject of a police investigation.

Fitch has been on leave since late November amid a criminal investigation by the Idaho State Police, which has repeatedly declined to discus what the inquiry entails. ISP spokesman Tim Marsano confirmed Monday only that the investigation is ongoing.

Once it’s complete, it will be passed on to a prosecutor for review.

Fabricius has remained largely silent on the topic, saying only that Fitch, who also had been the school’s boys basketball coach, is “out of the building.”

After the meeting Monday evening, Fabricius would not comment on whether Fitch was out on paid leave; she told the Statesman that she is still serving as acting principal at the high school. She first made the announcement on Nov. 20 after ISP confirmed its investigation.

Fitch’s 2018-19 contract is valid through June 30, said Board Chair Kelly Henggeler after the meeting. It lists his contract at about $77,600.

Fabricius makes about $99,900 a year.

This school year would have marked Fitch’s 20th season as Fruitland’s boys basketball coach, but Fabricius verified Monday that he is not coaching the team. It is being led by the coaching staff, she said.

The Idaho Statesman reached out to Fitch for comment through his school email account on Monday, but the message was not delivered because his email address had been disabled.

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