It was recently brought to my attention, through a letter to the editor, that a recent story regarding the recently-hired Pittsburg High School principal may have led to more confusion than closure.
I want to first say that my intentions as a journalist are never to create gossip and fuel rumors, but to bring closure to those rumors via the facts, and I wholeheartedly apologize that I failed to do that.
The article I wrote was in reference to a letter circulated by a person calling themselves “Pittsburg Citizen X,” which questioned the credentials of Dr. Amy Robertson, who was hired as PHS principal following the resignation of current principal, Jon Bishop.
My intent with the article was not to push these rumors, but to give USD 250 Superintendent Destry Brown the opportunity to tell his side of the story and to put the public at ease.
Brown stated Robertson had been through the same vetting process as any person hired by the district. He stated Robertson needed to finish some classes in order to attain licensure before taking over — which is not uncommon for administrators coming from out of state — and that her credentials would be validated by the Kansas Department of Education.
KSDE Communications and Recognition Programs Director Denise Kahler said KSDE does not “verify or validate credentials,” but Robertson will have to meet the criteria established by the state in order to receive her Kansas license.
In other words, if Robertson does not meet the requirements to serve as a principal in Kansas, she will not be able to attain a license and will not be able to take over at PHS.
This is the vetting process I believe Brown was referring to, along with internal vetting done by the USD 250 Board of Education.
What it all comes down to is the fact that if Robertson is issued a license from KSDE, she will take over as principal at PHS, and it will be legal and valid. Whether the university she attended lost accreditation at some point is irrelevant. Whether she is finishing classes at Pittsburg State University is irrelevant. She must be issued a license, and if she is, she will be principal. If she is not she cannot be principal.
I hope this can help to dispel any rumors about her qualifications. If she is not qualified, she will not be allowed to serve as principal, and the search will have to start over.
I respect Superintendent Destry Brown and I did not intend my earlier news article to drag him through the mud. We looked into his claims and they appear to be accurate. If we missed something and his claims are not, again, Robertson will not be able to attain a license.
I think the educators, administrators and board members at USD 250 want what is best for students, and have chosen who they believe to be the most qualified, and best candidate for the PHS principal position.
My job here at the Morning Sun is to report what is told to me and what I can uncover. Brown said Robertson is working to earn her license and will before she takes over, and evidence shows that to be true.
If new information proves that to be untrue, I will cover it, but at this moment in time, Robertson is who USD 250 has chosen as a qualified candidate, and the evidence shows that to be true.
I apologize that this was not made clearer in my original article.
— Chance Hoener is a staff writer for the Morning Sun. He can be emailed at email@example.com or follow him on Twitter @ReporterChance.