School board begins process to fire West Branch High School principal

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WEST BRANCH, Iowa (KCRG) - School is out for the summer, but a leadership shakeup is starting in one eastern Iowa school district.

The West Branch Community School District began the process of firing its high school principal Thursday night when its school board voted to move ahead with the contract termination process for Shannon Bucknell.

Bucknell has worked for West Branch schools since 2014.

But the school district placed him on administrative leave in May and has never said why.

The West Branch Police Department told TV9 that Bucknell was not involved in any criminal investigation.

At Thursday’s meeting, all school board members, along with superintendent Marty Jimmerson, said they couldn't comment or say why they're starting the process to fire Bucknell.

In a message to TV9, Jimmerson said this is an initial step and nothing is final.

"There will be no termination until the administrator has had the opportunity to exercise or forego rights under Chapter 279 of the Iowa Code. Under those laws, an administrator has the right to request a hearing before an Administrative Law Judge," he said.

Bucknell also declined comment Thursday.

The principal of West Branch Middle School has been serving as the interim high school principal during his leave.