Board accepts principal's resignation -, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Board accepts principal's resignation

May 31, 2006

Albany--  The Dougherty County School Board accepts the resignation of alternative school principal Norman Simms.

Now, school board members are speaking out about allegations of wrong-doing against Simms, including that he allowed someone to forge signatures on teacher evaluations-- or did it himself.

Norman Simms wasn't at today's school board meeting when board members voted unanimously to accept his resignation as principal of the South Georgia Regional Achievement Center.

"The easiest thing to do for Mr.Simms-- and the system-- is for him to resign, rather than face a potential termination. It think that's where it would have lead, based on the information we received," said School Board Chairman Willie Weaver. 

Weaver says an investigation of complaints against Simms found that he was not properly managing the alternative school.  "As the manager of school if he was lacking something, or didn't understand something, he had a responsibility to ask his boss, the superintendent, for help. It's my understanding that never happened. So no, I would not say he was thrown in over his head, or there was too much for one person to do, I won't accept that."

Weaver says allegation Simms roughed up students proved false. But, there was proof someone forged teacher's signatures on several job evaluations. "So is Norman Simms forging people's signatures on their evaluations? I'm not in a position to say that. I'm in a position to say teachers indicated certain signatures on evaluations were not their signatures. As to who signed them, I have no idea. That was not revealed to us during the investigation."

The investigation also revealed Simms didn't perform required annual staff evaluations one year.

Weaver says with Simms gone, major changes will now be made at the alternative school before the next school year.  "There have to been some changes with respect to administration, maybe having two administrators. We need more law enforcement there. The way the school is set up-- or designed-- with older kids and younger kids in the same school, they need to be separate. So absolutely, next year you won't see the same school."

Norman Simms was the principal at the alternative school for three years. He's the husband of State Representative Freddie Powell Simms.