Ames Middle School appoints new principal

Talon Delaney

The Ames School Board approved former Director of Student Services Yonas Michael as the new principal of Ames Middle School on Monday. Michael will assume the role starting June 30.

The board also accepted the resignation of former Principal Dan Fox, who was pulled from his leadership position in November 2018 amid accusations of bullying at the school.

The Des Moines Register reported parental concerns about a pattern of demeaning behavior, particularly directed towards the LGBTQIA+ community. The report also mentioned a petition started by students which detailed how homophobic language is pervasive amongst the student body.

Eric Smidt, the school’s director of media relations, told the Register that Fox’s resignation isn’t directly related to the petition but is the result of a culmination of incidents which led the board to make its decision.

Michael previously worked with the Ames Community School District for 10 years. He served as director of student services until 2017 and previously as a family counselor. He worked as a behavior specialist and grade level administrator in Maryland for the past two years.

The Daily reached out to Smidt for a comment on Thursday, but he was unavailable for a phone call at the time.