School board to reinstate fired principal on July 1st

Poughkeepsie High School. MHNN file photo.

POUGHKEEPSIE – After being ordered by the State Appellate Court to reinstate former Poughkeepsie High School Principal Phee Simpson, fired in 2019, the school board intends to restore Simpson to her title at its July 1 meeting.

In a statement issued by the Poughkeepsie City School District (PCSD) on Tuesday, spokesman Irwin Goldberg said “After an extensive legal review of the determination by the district’s law firm, it has been established that the ruling does not provide the district the authority and/or autonomy to deviate from reinstating Dr. Simpson as the executive principal of Poughkeepsie High School (PHS),” as ordered by the court.

When asked earlier this month how much back pay, if any, was owed to Simpson, PCSD Superintendent Dr. Eric Rosser said “There is case law that is being reviewed to determine the legalities associated with backpay in these situations,” and indicated that he would release the information when a decision has been made.

The status of current PHS Principal Kelleyann Royce-Giron has not been clarified by the district.  “Given the value-added and unmatchable commitment that Ms. Royce-Giron brings to positive youth development to PCSD students, the district is currently in conversation with Ms. Royce-Giron on how she will continue to support PCSD youth,” Goldberg said.

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