District stays silent as Southwest Portland high school community wonders over absence.

TRIBUNE PHOTO: SHASTA KEARNS MOORE - Wilson High School in Southwest Portland on Friday, Aug. 31. This story has been updated.

Brian Chatard, the longtime principal of Wilson High School in Southwest Portland, is no longer working in the building, the Tribune has confirmed through multiple sources.

The district did not supply information after multiple requests for comment, deferring a statement for 48 hours at the time of this writing. A spokesman did confirm Friday that Chatard was on leave. COURTESY: PORTLAND PUBLIC SCHOOLS - Brian Chatard

Asked to see the principal, the front office staff at Wilson High School Friday afternoon directed questions to Wilson High Business Manager Erica Meyers, who declined comment until "we have information from the district that says it's OK."

Teachers who spoke on condition of anonymity confirmed that Chatard was no longer working at the school.

Chatard had been Wilson's principal since 2012. After coming to Portland from California, he was vice principal at Grant High School from 2003 to 2012.

With deep ties in the community, Chatard's sudden departure is a big mystery.

In a Friday email, Assistant Superintendent Joe LaFountaine notified the school community that Chatard was "out of the office."

LaFountaine identified Vice Principal Maude Lamont as the new interim leader.

"PPS has been lending additional resources to ensure a smooth start to the school year at Wilson," reads the email.

TRIBUNE PHOTO: SHASTA KEARNS MOORE - The principal parking spot at Wilson High School was empty Friday afternoon.

UPDATE (9/1/18): Updated with information from LaFountaine email.

Shasta Kearns Moore
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