Moss Point superintendent speaks out about his non-renewal

MOSS POINT, MS (WLOX) - Moss Point Superintendent Kim Staley said he is the man to still lead the school district and he will do all he can to keep his job.

"I am a military guy, and have taken on many challenges and this is just one of those things in life."

Staley said although his contract has not been not renewed, he has helped students grow in the classroom.

"Our completion rate for this year is 86.3 percent, which is comparable to any high performing district on the coast. We have 89 percent of our kindergarten students reading at or above grade level, where only 30 percent was doing that before the school year.

Staley is now fighting for a contract extension, but he knows he will face many challenges. The state ranked five schools as "at risk of failing" in 2010, but the superintendent said his recent restructuring plan will decrease those numbers.

"In the previous structure, we had eight schools and now we are down to four. It is no doubt looking at our progress monitoring that those schools will do well," Staley said. "It takes time, it takes three to five years to see progress when you have a failing school district and five to seven become high performing."

The district's accreditation is also in jeopardy, due to the state finding problems that include improper attendance reporting. Staley said if he's given the opportunity, he'll work to fill each classroom with qualified teachers, so the kids will still get the best education.

"These new teachers coming in, as well as our season teachers, are willing to step up to the plate. But what we have to do is maintain structure, continuity and move on."

Staley said he plans to remain optimistic throughout this process in hopes of getting a second chance to help improve education in Moss Point. His appeal hearing is on June 15.

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