Mead High principal resigns in wake of photo showing students reenacting George Floyd murder

Rachael Ayers(SVVSD photo)

Mead High Principal Rachael Ayers is resigning after a photo of three of the school’s students reenacting George Floyd’s murder was shared last month on social media.

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Her resignation was announced Monday in a letter to Mead High families from St. Vrain Valley School District Superintendent Don Haddad, who wrote that the school has experienced several successes and “significant challenges” in the past year.

He went on to thank Ayers for her service at Mead, where she worked for 12 years as a teacher, assistant principal and principal. He also announced that Frederick High Principal Brian Young was appointed to take over as Mead High’s principal. Replacing Young as the principal at Frederick will be Russell Fox, the school’s assistant principal.

Young will host Mead student and community meetings to “discuss advancing student success and achievement with a focus on a safe and inclusive school environment and culture for every student, teacher, staff, and community member,” Haddad wrote.

More information on the upcoming Mead meetings is expected by the end of the month.

The photo shared on social media last month showed a student in blackface on the ground as a teen kneeled on his neck and another kneeled on his back, a replica of Floyd’s murder a year ago in Minneapolis.

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In response to the photo incident, the NAACP Boulder County Chapter and other local organizations have asked the district to take several steps to address the Mead incident and systemic racism in schools. Those groups also are organizing a virtual town hall and panel discussion later this week.

The “Solidarity to Safety: Race and Belonging in SVVSD” town hall is from 6 to 7:30 p.m. Thursday. To create a safe space, the first hour is reserved for families only. For the last 30 minutes, staff members are invited to join and participants may ask Haddad questions. Advance registration is required at

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