NEW HANOVER COUNTY -- After nine years as the New Hanover County Schools Superintendent Dr. John Morris is resigning. The announcement came after a good review Tuesday night by the school board. Dr. Morris says the decision is for personal reasons and no one pressured him to resign. "It's time to move on, it's time to do something else," said Morris. Dr. Morris says he's not retiring, he's just looking for something less stressful. "I think about my father who died when he was 59, he always said, I'm going to stop working Saturdays next year. Then he got cancer and he never got to do the things he wanted to do." Morris's decision to resign comes after more than 30 years working in public school systems. "In fairness to the system, it might be time to bring in someone with fresh ideas and a fresh set of eyes and fresh set of ideas." Morris says his decision is his alone, and he was not forced out by the school board. Board chairman Don Hayes agrees. "It was really a surprise and a shock as it was to everyone," said Hayes. Morris said, "I think the board has been very happy with my performance, you can certainly ask them." But some board members don't seem so enthusiastic about Morris's performance. "I think he did an adequate, good job," said board member George Cox. Cox would not go into detail about why he calls Morris's performance quote adequate, but says the change will be for the better. "I think it will probably be in the best interest of John and the school board because he wanted to explore other avenues and so we have to get a new superintendent." Members of the New Hanover County school board say they have not started looking for Morris's replacement yet. Morris says his last day will be August 31st or the starting date of new employment, whichever comes first.
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