PITTSBURG — Anonymous letters questioning the credentials of the recently-hired Pittsburg High School principal are circulating throughout the community.
The letters, including one delivered by hand to The Morning Sun and signed Pittsburg Citizen “X”, claim Dr. Amy Robertson received both her master’s and doctorate degrees from an unaccredited university.
The letter also claims that negative references were added to competing applications in an effort to sabotage some candidates.
Robertson’s employment was approved by the USD 250 Board of Education at its meeting March 6.
Pittsburg Superintendent of Schools Destry Brown dismissed the claims as spurious.
He said the letters were distributed to board members and other entities — including The Morning Sun — out of anger owing to Robertson’s appointment over other candidates.
“We had an internal candidate and some people wanted him to get the job,” Brown said. “But after the process was all said and done, he was not the top candidate.
“Some people got upset and sent those letters to try to discredit or raise concerns about Dr. Robertson.”
Brown said Robertson’s credentials were evaluated by officials with the Kansas State Department of Education and verified.
Robertson still needs to take few classes and acquire a Kansas administrator’s license, and according to Brown, has been approved to do so through Pittsburg State University.
Brown sad this is a common practice with out-of-state hires.
“She has been vetted through the same process we do for every hire in every position,” Brown said. “There was no sabotage of any kind.”
The anonymous letter claims Robertson received her degrees from Corllins University. A Google search reveals several articles and websites warning about scams involving Corllins.
Brown said Robertson received her degree before the university lost accreditation, and her credentials have been proven valid.
Robertson is currently working in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, where she has been for nearly 20 years.
Brown said Robertson worked as an educator, administrator and currently runs her own educational consultant firm. She plans to move back to this area to be closer to family.
“Before she started working in Dubai, her credentials were evaluated by the Federal Department of Education and then again by the government of Dubai to make sure everything was valid,” Brown said.
Robertson is moving to Pittsburg in April. She will replace current PHS Principal Jon Bishop who is slated to become principal of SEK Interlocal 637.
Brown said he is confident Robertson is the most qualified candidate.
“I wouldn’t risk my reputation to sabotage candidates and set up a position,” Brown said. “I can’t do that, and it would not be smart if I did.”
— Chance Hoener is a staff writer for the Morning Sun. He can be emailed at firstname.lastname@example.org or follow him on Twitter @ReporterChance.