The Poughkeepsie City School District fired high school principal Phee Simpson for allegedly graduating nearly two dozen students under “questionable circumstances.”
The district announced that Simpson was out of a job following a special meeting on Monday, Aug. 19. She was suspended with pay by the School Board in January last year.
The termination was official as of Tuesday, Aug. 6.
Before the suspension, the Board launched an investigation into allegations that Simpson allowed students to graduate in 2017 by awarding them additional credits in 41 courses. In total, 22 students graduated improperly. She had been the principal since 2013 and previously served in the same position at Poughkeepsie Middle School.
In a release, an arbitrator who oversaw the investigation said that Simpson’s "failure to understand the regulations governing online courses taken for acquisition and her improper conferral of credit to students also affects the reputation of the district, which struggles with student achievement and graduation rates.”
“Though I do not find enough evidence to support a finding that she acted intentionally, with the district ascribed motive to artificially increase graduation rates, never-the-less, her errors were serious ones that cannot be shifted to others regardless of their own alleged culpability. Given the seriousness of her mistakes, it is not feasible to return her to the district.”
A search for Simpson’s replacement is expected to begin immediately. Check Daily Voice for updates.
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