MAPLEWOOD, NJ - Seth Boyden Elementary School principal Damion Frye has returned to duty as the school’s top administrator this week, but with no more explanation as to why he was removed in the first place.

A note to parents Wednesday evening indicated he had resumed his principal post this week after the nearly three-week absence and thanked acting principal Raquel Horn for taking the temporary duty that she began on Feb. 3.

The email states:

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Dear Seth Boyden Community,

Principal Damion Frye has returned to the helm of Seth Boyden Elementary School.

I hope you will join me in thanking Ms. Raquel Horn for her work as Acting Principal these past few weeks, and for her ongoing dedication and leadership in her role of Assistant Principal.  


Dr. Thomas Ficarra

Interim Superintendent

When the South Orange Maplewood School District (SOMSD) Board voted to appoint Horn as acting principal, no explanation was given amid rumors that Frye had been reprimanded for his treatment of a school employee. 

Asked at the time to comment on why the change was made, SOMSD Board President Elizabeth Baker and the board attorney indicated they could not comment, citing personnel reasons.

SOMSD Interim Superintendent Thomas Ficarra sent an email to Seth Boyden parents Feb. 3 that also offered no specific reasons.

During Tuesday night’s meeting, the school board approved a resolution that ended Horn’s acting principal appointment on Feb. 20, and also ended an unnamed employee’s suspension the same day. 

That employee, whose suspension had begun on Feb. 5 -- the same day that Horn’s appointment took effect -- is believed to have been Frye. 

Frye has not responded to phone calls seeking comment and no further explanation appears to be forthcoming.

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