As he headed toward the fieldhouse front doors for Friday’s home basketball season finales, Joe Sindelar was nearly past the cluster of mingling students when a question was directed at Pawhuska High School’s fourth-year principal.


“Is it true you’re going to be leaving us?” the voice inquired.


After a brief hesitation, Sindelar pushed forward a smile and replied: “I don’t want to,” he said, as he continued toward the entrance. “I really don’t want to.”


Sindelar, the principal at PHS since July 2013, said the decision had been made to resign — effective at the end of the current school year — approximately two weeks earlier.


“I think the cat sort of came out of the bag about it yesterday,” the former football coach said. “That’s when people everywhere started asking me about if it was true.”


With items regarding the re-employment of other building principals and assistants were listed further down on the agenda, Pawhuska School Board members voted Monday evening to accept the resignation of Sindelar. The action was taken shortly after the board concluded an executive session.


Sindelar had been middle school principal at Woodland for seven years prior to being hired here. He coached football for 24 seasons at Morrison (where he led the Wildcats to three state titles) and Woodland (where he added two more championships). Sindelar served as Pawhuska’s head coach in the fall 2015, but stepped down from that position in January 2016.


Monday’s board meeting included a Spotlight on Building Honor Teachers: Sarah Clement at Indian Camp, Jan Yang at Pawhuska Elementary School, Carol Kelley (also known as Coach G) at the high school.