After almost three years of litigation, the New York State Appellate Division, Second Department has overturned the termination of Poughkeepsie High School Executive Principal Dr. Phee Simpson and granted the requested relief of the immediate return to her position with back pay since August 2019 and benefits for the period that she was wrongly terminated. In its decision the court agreed with the point raised by Dr. Simpson’s counsel, Jennifer Carlson, Deputy Executive Director of SAANYS, that the original hearing officer held that there was insufficient evidence to support the charges that Dr. Simpson knowingly and intentionally conspired to improperly give credits to students in order to artificially inflate the graduation rate, yet decided to recommend the Poughkeepsie City School District fire her even though the charges were not proven. In the unanimous decision the court stated, “This decision was not rational and did not have a plausible basis.”
Dr. Simpson notes, “While it has been a difficult road, I am beyond pleased with this result and look forward to getting back to what I love to do and in the city that I was born and raised, which is helping the children of Poughkeepsie. As a Poughkeepsie graduate, I look forward to working with district leadership, teachers, and staff to provide high-quality education and services to our most precious gift. We are working with a new generation of students that require our attention and expertise to give them a fighting chance to be successful at the collegiate level and their future endeavors. I plan to put this horrible time of my life behind me of being wrongfully accused and will work with all city stakeholders to deliver on our promises.”
Dr. Simpson and the district are currently collaborating to facilitate a seamless return that will best utilize her skills to the benefit of the district and its students.