Moore County school board votes to fire superintendent

Posted June 4, 2015
Updated June 10, 2015

— The Moore County School Board on Thursday voted 5-3 to fire Superintendent Robert Grimesey during a closed-door session.

Hundreds of concerned parents came to Thursday morning's meeting, with many expressing support for Grimesey prior to the board's vote.

The Pilot News reported Wednesday that the board asked Grimesey to resign after holding a performance review. No school board members have publicly commented on the decision to fire the superintendent or what may have led to his negative review.

"I had been tipped off that maybe there was a majority that was seeking my dismissal, but it was my hope that they'd at least go through the evaluation process," Grimesey said. "I was advised by my counsel by phone that the school board counsel was talking to her and that they wanted me out."

Resident Pam Reed said Grimesey –who was affectionately known as Dr. Bob – has done a good job as the county's superintendent.

"Dr. Bob is awesome because he's about relationships with the kids. Not even focusing so much on teachers and parents, but the kids in our schools, for the first time in over 11 years, know who the superintendent is," Reed said. "They identify a name and a persona with him because he cares about the kids. We've never had that."

John Dempsey, president of Sandhills Community College, also supported Grimesey and was shocked by his dismissal.

"This is some sort of a personality cabal that is absolutely not going to benefit the kids of Moore County, and it's going to set Moore County education back a decade," he said.

Supporters gave Grimesey a standing ovation following the board's vote. He then thanked them in a short and tearful speech.

"I hope that my family and I added value," he said to the crowd. "You were among the chief reasons for coming to Moore County."

Grimesey said he plans to stay in Moore County and continue his calling to "improve the lives of children" in the county.

Grimesey became the county's superintendent on July 1, 2014, after serving as a superintendent of Orange County (Va.) Public Schools from 2009-2014.

Former deputy Superintendent Larry Upchurch will serve as interim superintendent until a permanent replacement is found.


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  • Rebekah Harper Jun 4, 2015
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    so disappointing that the people we voted to put in those seats thank us this way, do this to our school system, our teachers and staff and our children...i wish i felt qualified enough to run for a seat on that board and go up against those who are in favor of today's decision. they are a team, a team that we voted to put together...they should have worked together, we trusted that they would do that. so what if he ruffled some feathers, stepped on some toes?... he was hired to improve and make a change, even if it meant hurting some feelings. it takes a brave individual to stand alone and make tough decisions when you don't have full support. i truly feel that grimesey was working towards the vision of our county's school system through the quality of his actions and integrity of his intentions.

  • Angela Garner Jun 4, 2015
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    All across the county people are in a uproar about this terrible unfair dismissal of Dr. Bob. We feel jilted by the people we elected to be our voice. they had an agenda of their own and it did not include the the best interest for the students of Moore County. It was their own pride and greed that has lead to this and they will hear us either now or at the polls at the next election.

  • Tessie Taylor Jun 4, 2015
    user avatar

    This is absolutely the worst thing to happen. When the Board Chair is moved to tears because he knows it is the wrong thing to do, while 5 self-centered people support a personal agenda is callous disregard for the will of the people. Over 500 people attended todays meeting such that the venue had to be moved. No one person spoke negatively about this man. Attendees included teachers, students, parents, business community, county commissioners. You name it, they were there. There is coming a push for those inept people to resign. If not, election time is going to be a blast.

  • Sara Hauser Jun 4, 2015
    user avatar

    I had the exact same thought,Frank Smith.

  • Tom Boswell Jun 4, 2015
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    I sure hope politicians are not making children pawns in their political battles like the Democrats did in Wake County firing Tata as soon as they gained control.

  • Martha Grant Jun 4, 2015
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    Biggest mistake the board ever made. They might as well enjoy their time this year because no one will vote for them to be re-elected because Mr. Bob was the best thing this school system has ever seen and was making Moore County Schools a better place but the board just screwed that up as usual. They are a bunch of petty high & mighty selfish know it all's They don't care one bit about the kids of Moore County.