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Former PTC Administrator Placed On Leave Following Investigation


A former Pioneer Technology Center Superintendent is being placed on administrative leave at an Arizona school pending a state investigation.

According to Ponca City News, Dr. Sally Downey was hired as an assistant superintendent at PTC in 1993. where she was later named superintendent in 1997. Downey quit her post in 2000 following a dispute with the school’s board of directors over the firing of her assistant. In June 2000, the same month where Downey’s retirement from PTC took effect, she accepted the superintendent position at East Valley Institute of Technology in Mesa, Arizona, a suburb of Phoenix.

In January, Downey and two other administrators at the Arizona vo-tech were placed on administrative leave by the school’s board of directors. The  board placed the leave during an executive session and didn’t say what the allegations were levied against the administrators. In a statement made to news outlets in Arizona, legal counsel for the district said that the investigation involves complaints, concerns and issues that have been raised about district operations. The school has also initiated a private investigation, but made no further comments about the nature of complaints.

A teacher at the same school was indicted for fraud in November, after an audit revealed he had diverted nearly $4,000 of school funds to a personal account. It is unknown if that incident is related to the one with Downey. Downey had just signed a three-year extension with PTC when she quit as their superintendent following a 3-2 vote to fire Assistant Superintendent Janet Cox.

According to media reports from April 2000, PTC staff had sent an anonymous letter to the board alleging that Downey and Cox were intimidating school employees. Downey at that time said that she believed Cox did nothing wrong and decided to quit in support of her. Downey has received numerous awards in her field while in Oklahoma and Arizona. A week before being placed on leave at EVIT, she was recpgnized by Arizona’s Governor Doug Ducey with a handful of other educators for their work. Downey was also named Outstanding Career and Technical School Superintendent in Oklahoma, and Superintendent of the Year in Arizona.