JAMESTOWN — Parents and students packed the Greeneview Local School District board meeting Monday pleading with board members to remove the interim tag from middle school Principal Denny Morrison.
Morrison, who was hired in July 2017 to replace Mary Beth Minear, is at the end of his assignment as interim principal which began as a one-year deal and was extended to two after mutual agreement. The board told Morrison it no longer wished to consider the position on a year-to-year basis and while it would consider Morrison if he applies (which he has), the board said “long-term administrative contracts should not be issued without a thorough interview process.”
Those in the standing-room only crowd felt Morrison had already done enough to earn the job.
“In my opinion we should be begging Mr. Morrison to stay,” said Angie Farris, who added that one of her grand-kids said Morrison was “the best thing that ever happened to us.”
Angie Lowe, a former teacher, said Morrison has accomplished a lot in two years, including the Fun Run, Father-Daughter Dance, and secured an invitation for the fifth-grade kids to attend STARBASE at Wright-Patt. Lowe said she doesn’t have any kids in the district but “it’s enough to make me go get one and put him there.”
Kristine Erwin admitted she was worried Morrison would just be a place-holder while the district found a permanent principal.
“Boy was I wrong,” she said. “The man’s energy and passion for the job is phenomenal.”
Students Chris Hess, Andrew Burkett, and Bronson Bocook all spoke and echoed the same sentiments, using the words “amazing” and “awesome.”
“He just wants us students to be happy,” Hess said. “He isn’t wanting anything in return.”
Added Bocook, “I haven’t talked to a person yet in the middle school who doesn’t want to keep him.”
Burkett seemed to speak directly to Morrison when he addressed the board. “I just want to say thank you, Mr. Morrison. I hope we keep you,” he said.
Parent Ryan Bush, fighting back tears, indicated it would be a mistake to let Morrison leave.
“We are exhibiting extreme ignorance,” she said.
After the public comment period board President Suzanne Arthur read a statement explaining Morrison’s interim assignment and publicly thanked Morrison for his leadership the past two years. She said the decision to move forward with a long-term replacement “is not based on Mr. Morrison’s performance.”
“Our district has begun a search for a principal to implement and oversee our curriculum and instruction initiatives over the period of the next few years,” Arthur said. “A leadership change at this time allows the new principal to establish a vision for the building and lead these initiatives from the beginning of this process. Improvement initiatives take time and long-term consistency in the principal position is our priority as we move forward.”
Morrison, who was Xenia superintendent from February 2014 to May 2017, was not in attendance.
“I don’t want to cause a fuss,” Morrison said via text. “Everyone here has been great. We are like a family. I love the kids, the staff, the parents and the community. I am applying for the permanent principal position and hope to spend many more years here serving kids.”
Jamestown residents packed the Greeneview school district office Monday to show support for middle school Principal Denny Morrison.
Contact Scott Halasz at 937-502-4507.