Nash-Rocky Mount schools superintendent resigns due to 'will of the board'

Posted June 29, 2015 10:46 p.m. EDT
Updated October 26, 2015 10:34 p.m. EDT

— Anthony D. Jackson, superintendent of Nash-Rocky Mount Public Schools, resigned Monday evening after a lengthy closed door meeting with school board members.

Jackson, in comments following the board's 6-5 vote accepting his resignation, alluded to being forced out of his job.

"Tonight's decision, while bittersweet, is reflective of the will of the majority of the board," he said. "I accept it and I am now focused on pursuing the next chapter of my professional journey. I leave here with my integrity in tact and a firm resolve to continue keeping the interest of all students."

Board member Wayne Doll says several board member thought the school system could be doing better. Doll says members had concerns about teach turnover and test scores.

Monday's vote was similar to one in Moore County where Robert Grimesey was fired, then reinstated, as school superintendent. Grimesey's firing led to a large community outcry, which resulted in the resignations of all but one of the five school board members who voted to fire him. His reinstatement was met with standing applause inside a packed high school auditorium.

Jackson's resignation, effective mid-July, followed pleas from residents to keep him during a special school board meeting called to discuss “a personnel matter.” Some residents believe board members were looking to fire Jackson, who came to the district in 2011.

“The progress I have seen in the last five years is almost unbelievable,” resident John Avent said. “You have a jewel in the superintendent.”

A number of residents believe Jackson’s removal is related to calls to split the district along county lines. The district comprises of Nash County, Edgecombe County and Rocky Mount.

"Please don't split our school system,” said Andre Knight, a Rocky Mount city council member. “Please don't let our superintendent go. he has done a fine job. We want to say keep our system intact and keep our superintendent."