Moss Point School Board Votes To Fire Superintendent - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

06/16/05

Moss Point School Board Votes To Fire Superintendent

In four years on the job, Moss Point Schools Superintendent Dr. Tressie Harper has faced her share of controversy.

Rumors that Harper was threatening to fire a popular high school football coach in December brought protests from parents and students.

Harper has also been criticized for low test scores, low morale and the departure of teachers and staff.

"I've watched dozens of highly qualified teachers leave and go right down the road in either direction," Parent Rita Goff says.

In January, a group of parents petitioned the school board to fire Harper.

Tuesday night, after a lengthy board meeting and two executive session, the school board voted to ask Dr. Harper to resign or be terminated.

Board member Clarence Dubois was one of two votes supporting Dr. Harper.

"They did not give a valid, educational reason for the termination."

Dubois says when Dr. Harper was hired in 2001, she was expected to tackle two things: the district's financial woes and the decreasing test scores. He says she's done the job she was hired to do.

"I look at those parameters. Our district is financially sound, our students have been offered greater opportunities than ever offered in the history of this school district. Our curriculum has expanded. The performance of the students has measurably increased."

Dr. Harper says she has no intention of resigning and plans to stay with the school district until the end of her contract.

By Jaimee Goad

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