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BURGAW, NC (WWAY)– Parents of Topsail High School students came before the Pender County Board of Education Monday night begging for answers about the school’s former leader.

Back in June, Marcus Skipper was reassigned to Cape Fear Middle School. The Pender County Board of Education then reversed that decision and brought him back to Topsail High. Now he is no longer there and parents want to know why.

“Our board of education doesn’t know what’s going on with our principal,” said Rhonda Schwarz, a Topsail parent. “We were coming here tonight to try and find out. We went into the room and were told we could not speak about a position, a person, a specific incident, nothing. I had signed up to speak on behalf of our children and was refused to be allowed to speak and I really don’t think it’s fair.”

Skipper was suspended in late October with pay. When WWAY tried to find out why we did not get much of an answer. Temporary Superintendent Rachel Manning had no comment, others had similar reaction.

“The only thing I can say at this point is that it’s a personnel issue and we cannot discuss it,” said Katherine Herring, Pender County Board of Education Chair.”That’s all I can say. Sorry.”

Topsail High School is a North Carolina School of Excellence. Many parents believe Skipper is the reason why. The students are supporting their principal as well with over 400 likes on the “Keep Mr. Skipper” Facebook page.

“I do think that there are some issues with the front office and I’m hoping that the new superintendent, when he comes in, will clean house and start over because I do think there are some issues there,” said Laurie Peregoy, another Topsail parent.

At the end of Monday’s meeting the board discussed personnel issues including the filling of a music position at Topsail High. Parents say that the vacancy has caused a few days where students were in the class without any supervision at all. The situation surrounding Mr. Skipper was not touched on.

“Any child, high school student, freshman to senior, they look up to this man and he’s not there,” said Schwarz. “They don’t know where to go.”

The board told parents Monday that they will get a written response at an appropriate time about the issue.


Comment on this Story

  • Jsan

    This guy shouldn’t be back. Get him back out then deal with the trickle effect which has already damaged things. Currently, south elementary has drug charges against a second grade teacher, north elementary staff doesn’t know the difference between up and down. I have personally been able to access both schools without any intervention from anyone. As for the middle school: I have been dealing with an intern for 2 days instead of someone with any experience (even yesterday I was in and out, wrote in a log book, whatever I wanted, and NOONE took any notice; This is AFTER I took my child off the property with no checks made upon me, and no documentation of the pickup). I personally have 8 years experience in this system, which is more than a lot of the employees I come across; especially vice principals. Just get these people out of here. I have no support for this man, or this school system.

  • ANNONGuest

    To to previous comment… ARE YOU DELUSIONAL????… WHAT PLANET DO YOU LIVE ON???

  • Arthur Itis

    What would happen to a student at THS if they were insubordinate to their teacher? Disobeyed a superior? Did not follow protocols? They would immediately be suspended. There would be consequences!!Skipper got what he deserved. He is unaccountable and arrogant! He is NOT a positive role model for our kids, he does NOT provide strong, clear leadership for our school, he does not communicate and uphold an expectation for excellence for our teachers and students, he does not model excellence, Skipper does not hold teachers accountable to high standards of rigor and best practices. It is time to leave all the Skipper drama behind and bring in a real leader that will take our school to greatness. THS can be so much better. Skipper is NOT the person that can take us to that greatness.

  • Disgusted with Skipper

    We moved to Hampstead because we had heard how good the schools were. Now that we are here, we hear about how good the schools used to be. Skipper and the Pender County BOE have failed us. Skipper is a spineless fool, is NOT a leader at all, and needs to get his backside out of a chair and into classrooms……….monitoring instruction and holding teachers to a higher standard. The education our students are getting is a joke! This failure by the THS staff is on his shoulders. Test scores mean nothing and to compare our scores with others in NC is NOT the standard. Best practices are not embraced, laziness and lack of accountability reign. There are significant problems at THS and Skipper turns a blind eye, does not return emails, and clearly does not want to step up and be a real leaders. Loser. Skipper needs to go. Bring us a real leader who is a person of character, who has a strong work ethic, and who knows what success looks like and wants to get us there.

  • The Truth

    The truth is, Top Sail High School is a shadow of what it used to be. There is clearly a lack of accountability at the school. Rigor has decreased, teachers are unaccountable, Skipper is useless. Bring us someone who is a genuine leader, instructional leaders, and person of deep character……………….all qualities Mr. Skipper does not have. He is useless. Mr. Skipper must go!!!!

  • Holly

    Mr. Skipper should stay at THS! Is it true there’s going to be a protest at THS today @ 12:30pm? I want to know, as a parent, if this is true, I plan on being there!

  • guest………

    I think that maybe our BOE should open their eyes and their ears and remember what they promised the taxpayers when they were elected…. To listen to the community and have a more open policy to come to them and voice their ideas and concerns. Karen Gonzales you are our only voice from Hampstead and you ran on this platform and that commitment should be in the best interest of all of our board members. It is your responsibility Karen Gonzales, Kenneth Lanier, Tom Roper, Karen Rouse and Catherine Herring to come to Topsail High School and speak to the staff, to the students and to the parents and make decisions of your own. Please do not let one person, an interim employee make such decisions without speaking to all who are truly involved. IT IS YOUR RESPONSIBILITY TO OUR CHILDREN TO HEAR THE VOICES OF TOPSAIL HIGH. PLEASE LISTEN. And, one more thing to put some icing on the cake, if Mr Skipper is so bad as the leader of our school then why have some of your children gone to our high school instead of the district that you live in? I, as well as others would love to hear your response.

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