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Swinney named temporary interim Prentiss superintendent
by Kenny Goode
Feb 12, 2010 | 1538 views | 1 1 comments | 8 8 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Prentiss County School Board trustees held a special-called meeting Thursday at noon in the wake of Superintendent Matt Smith resigning his elective office to take on a new job as principal of Kossuth High School.

Smith was hired Wednesday afteroon by the Alcorn County School Board with three voting aye, one abstaining and one absent.

Smith had cited district financial and proposed school restructuring woes, inability to work with some school board members and personal family harrassment and intimidation as some of his reasons for seeking another job. He removed his child from Prentiss County schools at the beginning of this school term due to alleged harrassment. He said he now plans to relocate with his family to the Theo area of Alcorn County.

The Prentiss board met in executive session Wednesday for about 30 minutes before announcing they had taken action. Board trustee Steve Taylor was not present. Those in attendance were trustees Rickie Davis, Ronny Kesler, Lisa Slack and Perry Walden, along with their board attorney.

Action included accepting the resignation of Smith, who was not present at the meeting and had apparently already vacated the premises, according to staff members at the Central Office in Booneville.

Also at Wednesday's meeting, the board named Todd Swinney, principal at Wheeler School, to assume interim superintendent duties on a strictly temporary basis. The board said they will be making a later appointment for an interim superintendent, who will serve until the general election in November, when another superintendent will be elected to complete Smith's term.

According to Board Chairman Rickie Davis, the post pays $81,000 annually.

Whomever is elected in November will serve until December, 2011, as the countywide elections will be held in 2011.

Attorney Richard Bowen said the third action at Wednesday's meeting included alerting the Prentiss County Circuit Clerk's office and county election commission that the office of superintendent is now vacant and open.

Smith is believed to be the first county superintendent in history to resign from office before his term ended.

Alcorn County Superintendent Stacey Suggs said Smith took a $4,000 pay cut by taking the post at Kossuth.

The next regularly-scheduled meeting of the Prentiss County School Board will be Monday, Feb. 15 at 5:30 p.m. Location is upstairs at the county courthouse.

At that meeting, those opposing restructuring changes at Jumpertown are expected to present grievances to the board.

The restructuring plan, to begin with the 2011-2012 session, will eliminate grades 9-12 at Jumpertown High School, with the facility becoming a K-8 school.

Other restructuring plans would begin with the 2012-2013 school term.
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concerned citizen
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February 12, 2010
This is a sad loss for Prentiss County. Mr. Smith had the interest of the students at heart. Certain school board members are only concerned about the politics, not the academics.