The principal of St. Regis schools has been placed on administrative leave pending an investigation by the Montana School Boards Association.

Superintendent Janet Hanson said Wednesday that Tammy Demien, who’s in her third year as principal, will remain on the payroll during the district-imposed leave.

Hanson would not specify the reason for the investigation, citing personnel privacy restrictions.

“This is a process that is used by an employer to temporarily separate an employee from the workplace during situations that may require sensitive handling, or investigations into allegations that may or may not be true,” Hanson said. “It’s for the protection of all involved.”

The St. Regis School Board called a special meeting for Wednesday evening in which aspects of the case were bound to come up.

Hanson said it was a meeting to address the budget. One of the old-business agenda items was a “request for expansion of teacher duties to cover behavior management and administrative duties subject to union approval.”

The line item said the discussion was due to the administrative leave of the principal and posed the question: “What model and how to fund?”

Under new business, the agenda made time to discuss the need for a part-time, long-term substitute in the office to “help with tech transition, reorganize office, admin support.”

Hanson was hired as superintendent in April to replace Patrick Lowe after two years as principal at Turning Winds Academic Institute, a troubled teen boarding school in the Yaak Valley near Troy. She said the term of Demien’s administrative leave was indefinite.

“That is something we wait for advisement (on),” she said.

Hanson stressed that there have been no allegations of misconduct on Demien’s part and no judgments have been made.

“The employee continues with full pay and benefits, and then a third party determines an evaluation and makes a recommendation to us,” she said.

Attempts to reach Demien and school board chairwoman Shelly Dunlap were unsuccessful.

Reporter Kim Briggeman can be reached at 523-5266 or at

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Just a note for you Tammy if you read this, the whole community loves you and supports you, sorry you have to go through this process.

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