Officer rules in New Site principal case

county_prentiss_greenBy Lena Mitchell

Daily Journal Corinth Bureau

BOONEVILLE – A hearing officer has recommended New Site Principal Ronald Clark continue in his role at the school.

Clark’s contract previously was recommended for nonrenewal and the issue was to be heard today with the Prentiss County School District, but the hearing was canceled.

Booneville attorney Ronald Michael, representing Clark, said hearing officer Daniel Tucker had issued a written recommendation based on written arguments presented by attorneys for both sides in the case.

“The statute requires that when a nonrenewal letter is given to an employee, when the individual requests a hearing to review the board’s decision, the board must provide the employee a list of witnesses and reasons for nonrenewal 14 days prior to the hearing date,” Michael said. “Failing to provide the information within the time frame makes the nonrenewal null and void and his contract is automatically renewed for a one-year period.”

Tucker determined under Mississippi Educational Employment Procedures Law that after Clark properly filed his request for a hearing, the school district had not followed proper procedure to provide Clark, at least 14 days before the hearing, “a summary of the factual basis” for his nonrenewal; “a list of witnesses;” and “a copy of documentary evidence substantiating the reasons intended to be presented at the hearing.”

Tucker said his opinion should be entered into the minutes of the Prentiss County School District.

Based on the statute, he recommended that the school board proceed with executing a new contract for Clark for the 2014-2015 school year.

The school board will take action on Clark’s employment status at its next regular meeting, school board attorney Allison Worley said.

lena.mitchell@journalinc.com