Meridian Superintendent Fired

The Meridian School Board announced Friday that superintendent Charlie Kent has been fired.

The school district had come under fire in recent months for a series of high-profile problems, including violent incidents and a scandal with standardized tests that caused the district's accreditation rating to be dropped.

The decision to fire Kent was made Thursday night in an executive session of a special called meeting.

School board vice-president Don Evans said he is limited in what he can say about the decision.

"The board conducted an evaluation of superintendent Charlie Kent. After the evaluation, the board voted to terminate Mr. Kent's contract and appointed Dr. Terry Larabee as acting interim superintendent, until an interim superintendent can be hired."

"My appointment is not really to make a lot of changes," said Larabee. "My position is to deal with budget issues that we will have to deal with before next year, and deal with day-to-day operations until an interim is hired."

Evans stressed that Dr. Larabee is only serving in an acting interim position until a more long-term interim superintendent can be hired. As for the search for a permanent replacement, he says that search is yet to start.

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  • by agree with improve our district now Location: Meridian on Mar 9, 2010 at 03:42 PM
    Like you I hope Dr. Larabee starts now turning this district around to a positive direction. And I hope the board moves quickly to hire someone who can begin to overcome the damage of the last 1.5 years. You are 100% correct about the students and their disrespectful attitudes and disruptive behavior. Before we entered the "politically correct" era, an inappropriate attitude or bad behavior would have been met with punishment that would have been duplicated many times over at home. Parents have got to get their children under control from birth--teach and DEMAND respect for the parents, their teachers, and their peers.
  • by Improve our district now Location: Meridian on Mar 8, 2010 at 05:31 PM
    I certainly hope the new adminstration starts this month bringing about positive change in the district; rather than marking time until a new interim is found and then a new superintendent is found. THE BEHAVIOR of students needs to be addressed immediately so our children who go to school to learn can have a safe and orderly learning environment. Our teachers need your help now! The disrespect and disruptions by misbehaving students they have to deal with everyday is cutting into valuable class instruction. Administrators need to do their job and deal with the behavior. Teachers need your help! The 9th grade principals have set into place a system that supports their teachers and our children that go there are following the rules and showing signs of getting an education and learning to show respect to teachers and peers. ALL of our schools need to have this type system where teachers are valued and students who want to learn can without student disruptions.
  • by Teacher Location: Meridian on Mar 7, 2010 at 08:31 AM
    to I'mJustSayin: you are absolutely correct and on target when you say Mr. Kent has done more than the last superintendent. He has almost single-handedly destroyed MPSD. His unwillingness to step-up and handle discipline problems from PreK-12th grade has done a great deal of damage. His negative attitude toward his teachers has also done damage. Parents who can are trying hard to get their kids out to the county. Teachers are trying to get out as well. You're right, he has done more than our last superintendent. Unfortunately his actions and attitudes have resulted in very negative consequences.
  • by Leadership and Integrity needed to lead our district to success! Location: Meridian on Mar 6, 2010 at 12:43 PM
    All three of the middle schools need to be on the same page as Mr. Hubbard and Mr. Hagwood! TEAMWORK is the key. Consistency in feeder schools needs to be a top priority. Elementary schools, also needs to help get children ready for Middle School by enforcing dress code and how to follow basic rules. The entire district needs to set the tone that they are going to create a consistent environment and not tolerate students out of dress code, being disrespectful to any of their teachers, interupting class instruction and breaking rules set by the district, school and classroom teachers. It is obvious that the leaders of the 9th grade academy are supporting their teachers and helping them by showing their outstanding leadership and integrity. Students will benefit greatly by this type of environment. I believe other administrators should be racing to find out what these gentlemen are doing and step up to the plate and develop the same no tolerance policies in their schools.
  • by TeacherTeacher Location: MPSD on Mar 6, 2010 at 08:07 AM
    I just want to be able to do my job to the best of my ability and I believe that is what most good teachers want. I want a Superintendent that lets me do just that. Harris building shows what just 2 good administrators can do to a school. Mr. Hubbard wasn't allowed to do what he is doing at Harris at his last job(Assist. @ Carver) because it wasn't allowed by the principal, but when she was gone the teachers said they had school and could teach. Zero tolerance on disruptions. Some teachers didn't like him because they couldn't do what they wanted and they were made to follow the rules just like the students. I want my instuctional time to be protected because every moment I lose, students lose. But when test scores come out I get looked at and judged not the kids that disrupt. I lose whole periods of instructional time dealing with disruptive students, not to mention 30 minutes or more of announcments a day. Come listen one day you'll see what I mean. Teachers at Carver already know.
  • by Parent Location: Meridian on Mar 5, 2010 at 06:15 AM
    If we would show up in numbers at our children's school for PTO, PTA, School functions, and Parent Teacher conferences like we are clearly present here commenting, things would definetely improve. You can not walk the walk if you haven't been active in your childs education. I, as a parent, have to constantly stay on top of my children's education. I am at the school so much volunteering and participating in my kids education that people think I am one of the staff. I don't have much time with working and everyday activity but I make time. I don't proclaim to be a superparent but maybe kids need a hero. I see things and I speak on them going through the proper channels. If enough of us come together and push education, maybe we will encourage our kids to want a better education and find someone who is willing to make needed changes that will work toward our children recieving the best and being successful. We have to lead by example. Stop the negative and push the positive.
  • by Concerned Parent Location: Meridian on Mar 4, 2010 at 08:00 PM
    "I'mJustSayin" you are right about how the firing of Mr. Kent brought out a lot of the issues within the MPSD. I hope we can all work together to resolve the issues instead of arguing about who's the blame.
  • by I'mJustSayin Location: Meridian MS on Mar 4, 2010 at 11:37 AM
    (PART3) Dr. Kent, in his short stint as superintendent, almost certainly did more than our last superintendent accomplished throughout her entire term. Think about it; his hiring and subsequent firing has exposed the leaders of MPSD of its mounting failures, of which they can no longer hide.
  • by ImJustSayin Location: Meridian Ms on Mar 4, 2010 at 11:34 AM
    (PART2)People need to unmask their eyes and open their minds. This country has changed, and along with that change, so has its needs. If we are unable to collectively rise and meet these challenges, then we will continue to suffer as a whole. Educating its citizens is the fundamental key for growth, development and survival of any flourishing nation. In my opinion, MSPD serves as an example of how America Schools rank among the rest of the industrialize nations. Statically speaking, the education system in the US, is and has been for quite some time, significantly underperforming on the global scale. US scores on average ranked below standards when compared to those of our international equals. Bickering amongst each other merely mask the deeper issues in dire need of correcting.
  • by ImJustSayin Location: Meridian MS on Mar 4, 2010 at 11:27 AM
    SMH… This is just another example of one of the MANY issues plaguing the City of Meridian, State of Mississippi, as well as the entire US, and that is our polarized view of society. It sickens me to know that Americans haven’t evolved enough to put aside ignorance long enough to focus on the issues at hand. Name calling, finger pointing, bickering and constant disagreeing does not remedy the problem. Dr Kent wasn’t solely responsible for the current circumstances of MPSD. It’s no big secret that MPSD has been in a downward spiral for years. Rather than pointing fingers, why not establish effective communication methods of implementing successful programs suited to MPSD needs. With any luck, our district can set into motion positive changes that will allow progression towards a foreseeable end to this crisis. I also have a child at Popular Springs, therefore I want to see the MPSD excel PT
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