Arroyo Grande elementary school principal resigns suddenly

March 2, 2021

Peter Ponomaroff


The principal of Harloe Elementary School in Arroyo Grande resigned abruptly last week. And the Lucia Mar Unified School District is not disclosing the reason for Principal Peter Ponomaroff’s sudden departure.

District officials notified Harloe Elementary parents of Ponomaroff’s resignation in a message from Superintendent Paul Fawcett sent on Monday.

“This year has been with lots of change and its own unique challenges,” Fawcett stated in the message. “We wanted to let you know that Mr. Ponomaroff will not be finishing out the rest of the year as principal of Harloe. Mr. Ponomaroff has decided to resign, effective immediately. We know this is a surprise, but we want you to know that we have administrators covering the school.”

Fawcett also thanked Ponomaroff for his work and for making a difference in the lives of many students.

Lucia Mar Curriculum Director Brett Gimlin will take over as temporary principal for Harloe Elementary.

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If I were Principal Ponomaroff, I would have expeditiously left the education world at least 10-15 years ago. How can one effectively educate children in a culture where words have feelings instead of meanings.

Can you imagine little Adam Trask running home crying to mommy because his teacher used the word “abruptly,” or “sudden?” I’m sure the aforementioned instructor would have been immediately suspended and an investigation launched to explore why a teacher (or news reporter) would dare describe someone who did something abruptly, suddenly, unexpectedly, briskly, hastily, and/or unanticipatedly using words that properly describe the actions. Not long afterward schools will be pulling more pages out of the dictionary and burning them in the courtyard.

Mr. Trask, Mr. Yan: You cannot deny that this story was conveyed to us using all appropriate words in complete sentences. I know, I know, you are accusing Josh of exploiting this situation and insinuating that Principal Ponomaroff quit before he got fired. I agree that the story could be construed as “sensationalism,” or a witch hunt. Well duh, show me a news source that doesn’t sensationalize stories before all the facts are presented.

Now that I think about it Mr. Trask and Mr. Yan: By lashing out at Josh before all the facts are known makes you guilty of the same offense: making assumptions without knowing the facts. Josh Friedman should also be considered innocent until proven guilty.

I guess I am not OK with… Everybody_lying for sensationalism. As you have acknowledged he did.

Standards should matter. Just cause everyone else does it –makes OK to lower your standards I guess. Or maybe it is easier not to have any at all would be your argument?

Myself and Mr. Trask do not work as journalists, but Josh does. This article did not meet minimum journalistic standards. Constructive criticism is not “lashing out” by any means, and poor journalism is not a crime.

Looks like he’s at least late 50’s. At 61 most administrators are fully vested if they also have 30 years of service, so maybe he thought he’d go one or two more years, but then sat down with his financial analyst and said, what the hell, see ya.

The fact that he was ever an elementary school principal probably means he was a good educator and well thought of by not only the public but also teachers. I doubt there is any controversy here, despite loaded terminology such as “abruptly”.

Is this news….yet? School Districts can’t disclose why people leave a job voluntarily, neither can CCN, or they will get sued. They would refrain as well from characterizing it with terms like; abruptly and sudden. I am pretty sure those are your words Josh. Absent of any hard facts you should not be reporting this. Low on information value, and high on speculation it seems.

He could have done something bad, if so reporter’s will hopefully find details to share. None here.

He could have also resigned for benign, un-newsworthy, reasons such as; a better job, poor health, sick relative, Covid concerns, a quiet Lotto winner.

Who knows? I sincerely doubt the district would thank someone for their years of service if “there was something there-there.”

So, Can CCN say Morro Bay High has “allegedly” been covering up the ex-principal & auto shop teacher scandal that saw resignations because “allegedly” they were caught in an embezzling scheme? Or that Morro Bay High “allegedly” drug their heels on the swim coach sexual predator investigation because his father is the current athletic director at MBHS and that is why it was reported directly to the police, not the school that seems to protect their staff above students? {allegedly} Morro Bay High {allegedly} has serious staff issues.

Yes. You can say that about MB. Those were verifiable allegations. That should be reported directly to the police. I don’t believe we have any allegations on record here about this man,do we? ….some scuttlebutt perhaps? Nope. CCN can come back when they’ve done some “legwork” on this guy.

Sounds about right…. Josh, CCN star reporter who actually is just a guy who lives in Bulgaria

People work remotely, what’s your real beef?

Please tell us how CCN did anything here except report the facts? Show one instance of prejudicial or slanted reporting that was made about the principal in this article that has your dander up. A principal suddenly resigning is news. Maybe try eating a snickers.