Morris forgoes appeal, takes new job

Published 12:06 am Tuesday, September 13, 2011

NATCHEZ — Former Natchez-Adams School District Superintendent Anthony Morris has bypassed an opportunity to make a second appeal to the school board’s decision not to renew his contract with the district.

NASD Board Attorney Bruce Kuehnle said Thursday was Morris’ last day to file an appeal in chancery court, and Morris took no action.

The board initially voted Jan. 20 not to renew Morris’ contract, which expired June 30.

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Seven months following the initial vote, board members unanimously voted Aug. 12 to deny Morris’ appeal of their initial decision and uphold nonrenewal of his contract.

Morris had the option of filing an appeal in chancery court to the board’s decision deny his initial appeal, Kuehnle said.

The board voted to uphold its original decision following a hearing Morris requested that lasted six days and spanned four months.

Thursday’s deadline marked approximately 20 days since Morris received written notice of the board’s final decision — the legal time allotted for Morris to respond by filing an appeal.

The Atmore Advance, a newspaper in Altmore, Ala., reported last week Morris was hired as assistant principal at Escambia County Middle School.

Morris told reporters he was recruited for the job.

“I was eligible for retirement in Mississippi, so I just thought I would do something different,” Morris told the newspaper.

Morris has worked for the Mississippi Department of Education for 27 years.

Kuehnle said he was not sure if Morris has filed for retirement through the state’s Public Employees’ Retirement System, but that public employees in Mississippi are eligible for retirement after serving 25 years.

Morris served eight years as the superintendent in Natchez. Before taking the Natchez job, Morris was director of personnel at South Panola High School. He was principal of Natchez High from 1994 to 1997.

During his tenure, Morris has led the district in a grade-level reorganization after a 15-year-old desegregation court order was lifted. He was named the 2009 Mississippi Superintendent of the Year.