BRATTLEBORO, Vt. (AP) — The executive director of a Vermont circus school has stepped down after an outcry over the firings of the school's founders last week.

The board of the New England Center for Circus Arts said Michael Helmstadter resigned as executive director and board president Friday. Vermont Public Radio reports (http://bit.ly/2u1HihN ) the firings of founders Serenity Smith Forchion and Elsie Smith led to outcry from parents involved with the school and several staff resignations, leading to Helmstadter's resignation.

Helmstadter will work until July 28 while the board of directors searches for an interim director.

According to a press release, NECCA says it is now on the verge of closing because many patrons have demanded refunds.

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Information from: WVPS-FM, http://www.vpr.net