School board fires interim Prentiss County superintendent, renews search

BOONEVILLE – The Prentiss County School District is again searching for a temporary superintendent after firing the interim superintendent it hired just four months ago.
Billy D. Stroupe, 62, of Pisgah was fired during an executive session at the end of Monday’s regular school board meeting.
Board members voted 3-2 for the action, but in a formal statement from board attorney Richard Bowen declined to say how individual board members voted.
The board also offered no basis for the action, but Stroupe was not so restrained.
“I just got dismissed 3-2,” Stroupe announced after leaving the executive session to about four dozen people who attended the board meeting. “I’m not doing what three board members want me to do.”
Stroupe said those board members wanted him to act against his best judgement, and said he was acting as state law allows a superintendent to act.
Stroupe further said he plans to run for superintendent in November’s regular election and “will be your superintendent if you want me to be.”
Special education director Luke Ledbetter, who also previously served as a principal in the district, was appointed acting superintendent effective today. A special board meeting in executive session is scheduled for 5:30 p.m. Thursday to select a new interim superintendent.
Stroupe was appointed in March after a three-week search for an interim superintendent, during which Wheeler Principal Todd Swinney served as acting superintendent. Stroupe was chosen from among four people who applied for the interim post.
The elective position became vacant after Matt Smith resigned the office in early February to accept a principal’s position in the Alcorn County School District.
Contact Lena Mitchell at (662) 287-9822 or lena.mitchell@djournal.com.

Lena Mitchell/NEMS Daily Journal