East Lansing High School Principal Shannon Mayfield has resigned just months after taking over the job.
The afternoon of Monday, March 13, East Lansing Public Schools (ELPS) Superintendent Dori Leyko sent an email to staff, students and families alerting them Mayfield submitted his resignation. Leyko said ELPS received Mayfield’s resignation Friday, March 10, and it is effective immediately.
Leyko cites “privacy and confidentiality reasons” for providing little further information. Mayfield has been off since Jan. 25 for personal reasons.
This was Mayfield’s first year as ELHS principal. As reported in a profile on Mayfield published in ELi last September, Mayfield officially took over the role July 1, 2022. Mayfield had previously worked in law enforcement and other school administration roles.
The resignation comes during ongoing concerns about school safety in East Lansing. Following a string of fights at the school, a teacher saw a student involved in a large fight with a gun on school grounds after a basketball game. After parent and student outcry, the school released a new safety plan, Board of Education member Debbie Walton resigned and former board President Kath Edsall stepped down from the presidency, although soon after Edsall was reelected to the Treasurer position.
Notably, most of the criticism directed towards the school at public meetings was about board leadership or school policies, not Mayfield’s performance.
Still, whoever takes over the full-time role will need to address school safety. Most recently, East Lansing schools were closed Wednesday, March 8, over a threat that was ultimately traced back to a student.
Overseeing the school’s new safety plan that aims to increase student accountability while working towards equity will undoubtedly be a top priority for the next ELHS principal.
Leyko’s email said Ashley Schwarzbeck will serve as Interim Principal and Jeff Lampi as Interim Associate Principal. Schwarzbeck has been serving as acting principal during Mayfield’s absence. The school’s long term plans for leadership will be communicated this spring.