One of the nation's most respected adolescent psychologists has labelled the current situation at Kildare Catholic College as "unfortunately timed" and potentially detrimental to students' lives.
Speaking before a forum in Wagga on Tuesday night, Dr Michael Carr-Gregg told The Daily Advertiser that he worried for the well-being of the school's community.
It follows the sudden resignation of principal Rod Whelan two weeks ago, which Dr Carr-Gregg said could create undue stress for the school's senior students as they approach the HSC.
"Ideally, you would want there to be as little change as possible in the weeks leading up to such a major life event," Dr Michael Carr-Gregg said.
Students' exposure to circulating rumours following Mr Whelan's departure on August 30, Dr Carr-Gregg said, would potentially distract from the business of matriculation.
"Clearly that's going to be playing on the school community's mind," he said.
Conversely, for some students, Dr Carr-Gregg admitted the episode may bolster resilience.
"I guess that life is not always fair and things don't always go the way you want," he said.
"I'd like young people to learn that throughout their life, but this timing is unfortunate."
Parents and staff at the school were notified of the principal's leave of absence beginning August 14.
It was later confirmed on August 30 by the director of schools at the Catholic Education Diocese of Wagga Wagga Mark MacLean that Mr Whelan had tendered his resignation "for personal reasons".
In the weeks since the shock departure, students and parents at the school have expressed their support for Mr Whelan via social media and through a student-led protest on the school grounds.
Meanwhile, the CEDWW has made efforts to squash rumours surrounding its recent advertisement of a vacant position at the college boarding house.
Appearing online and in print last week, the role is asking for a supervisor to join the boys' boarding school until the end of the year. The role is also expected to commence "as soon as possible".
But a spokesperson for the CEDWW confirmed the decision to advertise the role exists without connection to the departure of the principal.
"The boarding house supervisor role recently advertised was planned recruitment in response to an increase in the number of boarders at Kildare," the spokesperson said.
With regards to the specifics of the role's appointment and the nature of other recent appointments across the CEDWW, the spokesperson said: "The Catholic Education, Diocese of Wagga Wagga does not comment on internal staffing matters".
However, director of schools at the CEDWW, Mr MacLean has encouraged parents to seek answers.
"If members of the Kildare community would like to meet with me in person about any concerns they have, I invite them to call 02 6937 0029 to arrange a suitable time," Mr MacLean said.