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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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