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After year of controversy, Topsail principal Skipper quits, says time for change

READ MORE: After year of controversy, Topsail principal Skipper quits, says time for change
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PENDER COUNTY, NC (WWAY) -- Topsail High School's principal is leaving his job after a year of controversy. Marcus Skipper has resigned effective June 30.

The principal, who had issues with the Pender County School Board earlier this school year, says he is planning to continue a career in education elsewhere.

Parents we spoke with were surprised by the move.

"As far as I know, I would be very surprised if there was an issue with a student or a teacher there at the high school. I'm willing to bet hands down that this is a problem with the school board or the superintendent," parent Mark Flora said.

Although Skipper says that is not the case, something is a little strange about his recent announcement.

Skipper has been at the center of some controversy for the last year. Last summer, the district reassigned him to serve as principal at Cape Fear Middle School. Days later, the school board reinstated Skipper to Topsail after he made a request.

Then in October the school district suspended Skipper, though it initially would not say why, causing many parents and students to speak out in support of the principal. Weeks later, Skipper and then-interim superintendent Rachel Manning issued a statement explaining the suspension came after "he acted in an inappropriate and insubordinate manner" in a meeting with Manning.

We spoke to Skipper by phone Wednesday, where he gave us this statement: "I have thoroughly enjoyed my time here at Topsail High School, and I want to thank teachers, students and staff for their hard work. I look forward to opening a new chapter and a new challenge in education."

Neither Pender County Schools nor Skipper himself would give a specific reason for the move.

Parents and grandparents say he will be sorely missed.

"Skipper's a person I like," grandparent Leroy Johnson said. "Every time I go up to Topsail High School, when I see him, he greets me very well, talks to me. I never had any problem with him."

Skipper maintains there are no bad feelings between himself and the school board. He says it was time for a change.

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It is shameful that the

It is shameful that the public has no idea how the system is designed, and how the system fuctions, for one to think that a single person on a school board has that much power is truly crazy. Take a look at Mr. Skipper's track record anyone that was in the click, or spoke out is no longer there. I know several teachers, staff, and students had a big relief when this was announced. Not everyone is jumping up and down demanding he come back, it is always the same few out of 1300 students, why are there always only a small number,and it is always the ones with the biggest mouths. They will just have to find someone else to party with.

A Good Start But

The damage has been done. Some really good teachers are gone. There are evidently some pretty poor role models left in the school. My friend's son graduated four years ago and was there with McManus and Hudspeth. Coach Gibson worked hard to keep pride in facilities, and their son played three sports for some great coaches. That pride is gone. Whats left is craziness and foulness from the good old boy club. The stories I heare from there now are shameful, and not how we all left it. This was a good start but hopefully it's not over.

Naive

Come on people. First it the former boys basketball coach's fault (won 22 games that season). Then it was the girls soccer coach's fault (state coach of the year). Then it was both of the cheer coaches' fault (just won the state championship). Then it was the baseball coach's fault (had gone to 2 straight state championships and winningest coach in this part of state). Then it was school board member Rouse's fault (he blamed her to save face for getting rid of the baseball coach). Then it was superintendent Sholar's fault (she tried to help the man). Then it was the softball coach's fault (built the program and made it what it is now). Then it was acting superintendent Manning's fault (she knew that the man had problems). Now it's the entire school board's and the new superintendent's fault. When will the pity party stop? The school and the community deserve better, but please start to recognize what the real problem is/was. There is only one common variable. Topsail was an awesome honest place void of backstabbing and immaturity, and it is our hope that it will be again.

Not all parents are disappointed with this announcement

Not everyone supports Mr. Skipper. If you don't support Mr. Skipper you keep quite so your child is not retaliated against. I know this first hand. I am not a front line parent that is going to stop at nothing to have him removed. I have actually never voiced my feelings until now. Before this is over there will be many comments from his supporters, but not every parent has had a positive experience with him. My child has never been in trouble and is an honor roll student who is known throughout the Hampstead community. Only a few parents know of our situation and can't understand why we haven't made more of an issue over it. We chose to move forward in a positive way and used the situation as an example to our children as how NOT to treat others. If Mr. Skipper is not being treated failrly by the school board than he knows exactly how our family has felt for the past year. I hope Mr. Skipper will find a school where he can do his job without all the drama that has followed him for so long. I wish only the best for him and his family. I have done what is best for my family and stayed out of the drama. We are ready to move forward in a positive way.

I agree, glad to see I'm not the only one.

Thank you for speaking out! I have a child who is also in the top of her class. I have had several occasions that were not the best experience with Mr. Skipper, and everyone always asks how I can not love the man! I am glad to know I am not the only one. I too wish the best to him, and hope this will be a positive change for Topsail High!

Pender Public Education

Is full of those that use their positions of authority as weapons in their personal vendettas. Any administrator or School Board member can blacklist, and destroy, anyone they dislike with nothing more than rumor and innuendo. Every person in Pender Country should find it disgraceful.

MR. Marcus Skipper

The BOE needs to be investigated by the state board of education for how they have treated this man. The Vendetta against MR. Skipper has been relentless. Karen Rouse and the rest of the PBOE need to go. They are and have been on there own agenda. MR Skipper has our full support. THE PBOE needs to go! Then we need to work on getting him reinstated. He is a good and moral man. His #1 objective is the education of our students. He has been forced by the School board to relieve coaches of their duties because they did not play a particular player as much as a PBOE member felt her son should be played and when he stood up the board and said that is not a fair way to treat people they took the low road and suspended him until he was forced to apologize. They are out of line , out of control and out of office. The support for Mr. S if solid. Please pass the word VOTE THEM OUT

Marcus Skipper

The Pender County BOE has been unsuccessful in trying to remove Mr. Skipper over the past year. It is common knowledge in Hampstead that certain members of the Board have personal agendas and are using their position on the board to advance these agendas. The issue with Mr. Skipper is clear - he has the support of the teachers, staff, parents and community of Hampstead. He has done nothing but stand up for what is right. He will be truly missed. Let's remember this on election day and vote out the members who are not looking out for the best interest of the students of Pender County but rather looking out for their own interests. Best of luck Mr. Skipper in the future. You deserve better than how you've been treated.

Naive

Come on people. First it the former boys basketball coach's fault. Then it was the girls soccer coach's fault (a man who had just won 22 games). Then it was both of the cheer coaches' fault (just won the state championship). Then it was the baseball coach's fault (had gone to 2 straight state championships and winningest coach in this part of state). Then it was school board member Rouse's fault. Then it was superintendent Sholar's fault (who obviously was trying to help the man). Then it was the softball coach's fault (built the program and made it what it is now). Then it was acting superintendent Manning's fault (who new the man had problems). Now it's the entire school board and the new superintendent's fault. When will the pity party stop? The school and the community deserve better, but please start to recognize what the real problem is/was. Topsail was an awesome honest place void of politics and backstabbing with McManus, and it is our hope that it will be again soon.