FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) — Without a mask mandate to fuel passions, Northwest Allen County Schools returned to in-person board meetings with public participation.

“We were very pleasantly surprised,” said Lizette Downey, Chief Communications Officer at Northwest Allen County Schools. “They spoke respectfully. There weren’t that many speakers. So it had a different feel than what it’s been in the past.”

NACS meetings were tumultuous at times in 2021 when mask mandates were being discussed.

Four of the roughly two dozen attendees spoke at Monday night’s meeting.

The board announced Carroll High School Principal Brandon Bitting will become the district’s Chief Operating Officer in July, replacing John Miller, who is retiring.