Archived Story

S.P. Morton Elementary principal resigns

Published 11:43am Thursday, July 18, 2013

FRANKLIN—Dr. Debbie Harris Rollins, principal of S.P. Morton Elementary School in Franklin, has resigned. Dr. Michelle Belle, superintendent of Franklin City Public Schools, said she received a letter from Rollins on Tuesday, and that her last day will be Wednesday, July 31.

Rollins
Rollins

“It all happened so quickly and unexpected,” Belle said.

She did not know at this time whether or not Assistant Principal Jametha Ruffin would succeed Rollins, who is expected to return Monday. Belle added that she would discuss the matter with the Franklin School Board at its 7 o’clock meeting tonight about what to do next.

Calling the announcement shocking, Belle also said she’s been in administration for a long time and, “These things happen. We have to keep moving forward so our kids can get the best education.”

  • employee2

    Just wondering…did she get a pay increase by resigning?

    Suggest Removal

  • Dakota01

    The school system is going to h— because most parents just don’t care, but one thing is for sure unless we as a nation get control of this. I will always have job security.

    Suggest Removal

  • Sedley Sam

    resignation…then changing her mind? she’s not showing much loyalty to the kids or school by resisgning and then even less for coming back. Coming back proves she doesn’t care about education or kids, only that she “saves face” and keeps a job until the next offer comes along.
    But hey the entire FCPS and city is run by people like this. Franklin is on the exact same path that Detroit took 10-15yrs ago. take a look at that city now….complete poverty and despair, with crime nearing the highest in the country and buildings being burned just to keep “squatters”/crackheads out
    No future for Franklin in sight on its current path

    Suggest Removal

    • JustWondering

      Sedley Sam, how is rescinding a resignation “saving face” and what face would she need to save? Ever think that maybe it wasn’t her face that she was saving but someone elses or, imagine this, might she really care about her staff and students and when she heard what was in the works she came back? And Dakota, some parents do care and showed that by joining with the teachers to ask her not to go. I’m thinking someone needs to shift the focus from SPM to a little higher up the foodchain.

      Suggest Removal

  • shocked

    @skooch- what an insult to the determined individuals who have completed their Doctorate degrees! I applaud all who choose to pursue this venture.

    Suggest Removal

  • jcshayes

    Yeah! The Response at the School Board Meeting was defiantly Uplifting and Happy. And I have to say the comments made during “Citizen Time” by a FCPS mother, were Spot on. I am Very Happy to hear Dr. Harris Rollins will be continuing with SP Morton. She is Great for the Student’s and Staff.

    Suggest Removal

    • SandMan

      “defiantly”…or “definitely”? You must be a graduate of FCPS.

      Suggest Removal

  • SandMan

    I’m hearing from several teachers that she isn’t leaving. Which is it, TN?

    Suggest Removal

    • VAmom

      Dr. Rollins pulled her resignation this evening and will continue as Principal at SPM! Wonderful applause at the School Board meeting this evening when it was announced. Pressing on, moving forward, SPM is going to the top!

      Suggest Removal

      • DBenton

        School Board should accept her original letter of resignation, and move forward with a search for her replacement. This situation sounds very fishy to me. Why in the world would she have submitted her resignation, and then changed her mind?
        Does this sound like something a stable professional would do? I think not. School Board needs to exhibit leadership in such a situation. Accept her resignation and move on.
        How about Dr. Belle’s remarks as printed in the article? Duh?!!!

        We need LOTS of new leadership in our schools. Is anyone paying attention to how our school division’s test scores have been trending since Dr. Belle took over as Superintendent? Hello, School Board members… are any of you awake?

        Suggest Removal

  • JustWondering

    Franklin only offers people one year contracts. Is that motivation for anyone to stay? Salaries are lower than anywhere. Is that motivation for anyone to stay? But the big thing is the poor leadership above her. That must have been frustrating for a person with her talent, skills, education, experience, and background. To the person that never saw her, where were you? She was always in the halls talking with children, hugging children, high-fiving children and giving staff encouragement. She has an open door policy like you’ve never seen! You must be at the wrong school. We love Dr. Harris Rollins and are heart broken about this loss! She fights for her staff and for her students and makes the tough calls. I’ll bet FCPS was not used to that and that is why she left. God bless and good luck!

    Suggest Removal

    • DBenton

      One year contracts are standard practice across the entire state for all teachers. Complain about something that you understand, please.

      Suggest Removal

      • JustWondering

        That explains this state! Several states offer multiple-year contracts. If we are going to complain about what we know, then probably the only one who could comment on this matter would be Dr. Harris Rollins and her staff and her staff made clear their wishes through Facebook, Twitter, petitions, phone calls, email messages and presence at the school board meeting. Like someone else said, let’s just move forward. There are more ways to improve than test scores and ways that you have to improve BEFORE test scores can improve and that’s what Dr. Harris Rollins is doing for us at SP Morton – improving morale, improving professionalism, improving spirits and attitudes, improving confidence, improving teacher leadership, improving respect, improving faculty and staff ownership of their school, improving children’s lives, improving everybody’s learning including the grownups, improving communication with parents, improving relationships… So, Benton, talk about what you know.

        Suggest Removal

      • DBenton

        JustWondering – you suggest I should talk about what I know. Well, okay… I know test scores are trending downward in our school division (year over year comparison). Is this what you would suggest represents forward progress in FCPS? Let’s not kid ourselves here.

        Suggest Removal

  • skooch

    I have never seen so many people with Dr. Degrees as there is in the schools in this area. They must have handed them out as door prizes somewhere.

    Suggest Removal

  • Mr. M

    I’m not surprised at all. Franklin School System has been jacked up for years!! Franklin schools can’t even begin to compete with other school districts. Academics are way to low. I have never seen so many principals and teachers come and go.

    Suggest Removal

  • jw

    Wonder what caused it to happen. She seemed to be a ‘witness protection principal’ as I rarely saw her at school functions or even around the building when I was there with my children. Please consider bringing over
    Lisa Francis.

    Suggest Removal

Editor's Picks