Moss Point Superintendent appeals for his job next school year

Superintendent Kim Staley
Superintendent Kim Staley

MOSS POINT, MS (WLOX) - Why the Moss Point Schools Superintendent's contract was not renewed was revealed during an appeal hearing Monday. Superintendent Kim Staley requested the hearing after the board voted three to two in favor of a non-extension. His lawyers say the board made a premature decision.

Staley sat quietly as the Moss Point School Board's Vice President expressed why many on her team didn't want him to lead the district anymore.

"Failure to adequately guide and supervise employees for maximum student achievement," Dr. Auwilda Polk said at the appeal hearing.

Dr. Auwilda Polk was the first to testify at the hearing. She said complaints would come in that Staley was not properly preparing staffers for things like academic scheduling for the kids. Low test scores and five schools on the "At Risk of Failing" list in 2010 also played a part in the non-renewal.

"We always want our students to perform at higher levels, and the data indicated that we were not performing as well as we should be."

Reporting information in a timely manner was another problem. Polk said the board voted to close two schools, but Staley allowed the alternative school group to re-locate in one of the buildings.

"They had already moved their stuff in at the end of the previous school year, and all that was moved in without our knowledge."

School Board Member Dixie McCormack also attempted to chip away at Staley's leadership skills.

"In talking to teachers, they were not 100 percent on what they should be teaching and when they should be teaching it," McCormack said.

Staley's lawyers fired back, saying the board fell short of its job. They said the superintendent only received one performance evaluation and no written reprimands in all his years as head of schools.

"By failing to evaluate, the board was letting him go about his job blindly," attorney Rajita Moss said.

His lawyers also argued that despite the district's lack of funds and budget battles, Staley still helped raise the graduation rate last year above the state average.

The appeal hearing will continue on June 15, and Staley's lawyers said he will be testifying on that day.

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