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Athletic accomplishments prioritized over academic achievements nagel notices no recognition for students’ educations succes

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The Booster Redux Pittsburg High School 1978 E. 4th Street Pittsburg, KS 66762 Vol. 98, Issue 2

Friday, March 31, 2017

district hires new principal Background called into question after discrepancies arise THE BOOSTER REDUX STAFF @PHSStudentPub


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ollowing the hiring of incoming Pit tsburg High School (PHS) pr incipal Dr. Amy Rober tson on March 6, discrepancies arose bet ween Rober tson’s personal accounts of her education and information provided by education institutions she said she at tended. The discrepancies cast doubt on the accreditation of a universit y she said she at tended and the degrees she listed. Rober tson said she cur rently works as the CEO of an education consulting firm known as At ticus I S Consultants in Dubai, and has resided there for over 20 years. According to a Pit tsburg Communit y Schools press release on Thursday, Rober tson “gained leadership and management experience at the inter national equivalence of a building administrator and super intendent. As CEO, she advised global companies on education projects, including wr iting and implementing cur riculum and school policies, developing and executing professional development, and advising on school constr uction and renovation projects.”

Rober tson said she will ar r ive in the US in Apr il and is eager for the new exper ience. “I’m excited about the oppor tunit y,” Rober tson said. “I could easily stay [in Dubai] for another 10 years working in schools as a pr incipal here, but I want to come home. I want to be in the US, and I want to be a par t of a communit y. Pit tsburg is the r ight communit y to put down roots in.” The Booster Redux staff t ypically introduces each new administrator at PHS with a news stor y. Dur ing the inter view process with Rober tson, the Booster staff found inconsistencies in Rober tson’s credentials. The staff presented these concer ns to Pit tsburg Communit y School super intendent Destr y Brown, who encouraged the Booster repor ters to reach out to Rober tson. On March 16, the Booster staff held a conference call with the incoming pr incipal. Booster adviser Emily Smith and Brown were also present. Dur ing the call, Rober tson presented incomplete answers, conf licting dates and inconsistencies in her responses.

After the conference call inter view, the staff conducted fur ther research online and by phone inter view to confirm her credentials. These are the findings.

Educational Background Rober tson said in the conference call inter view she ear ned a Master’s degree in Comparative Literature and a Ph.D. in English from Corllins Universit y. Corllins, however, has been under fire in the national media for its lack of legitimacy. Fur thermore, the Bet ter Business Bureau’s website said, “This business is not BBB accredited.” The posting online in 2010 also stated, “The tr ue physical address of Corllins Universit y is unknown.” Rober tson said during the conference call inter view that the majorit y of her education through this universit y was done online, but that she also occasionally traveled to the onsite campus in Stockton, Calif. “In 1994, I was living in Spain,” Rober tson said during the conference call inter view. “I kept my apar tment in New York at the time.

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new classes offered next year Page 6D

breaking records boys basketball team attends substate for first time in over twenty years

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school board renovates usd25o schools LILY BLACK @Elaine_Black557 On Tuesday, March 14 the community approved a $31 million bond issue that would renovate all six schools in the USD 250 district. This updated bond is less than half the cost of its predecessor. After community feedback on the $67 million bond issue that was rejected last January, Superintendent Destry Brown didn’t give up. “We heard that they wanted us to focus on the things we absolutely needed. We set our priorities and stepped to up them.” Doing his best efforts to avoid stopping school completely, Brown is working on a schedule for construction dates. “A lot of the remodeling will occur during the summers, such as the library,” Brown said. “The additional pieces will go on during school, but not in an area that will interrupt class. The front entry way may become the 600 hallway, because we will have to close this down in order to do the new construction.” The high school will gain four additional classrooms, in addition to renovations to the science classrooms, a new theatrical set building scene room, a new kitchen and cafeteria area, remodeling the old kitchen to be used by the culinary classes, improvements to the band room, updated administration areas, and a secure entry to the school. Walking into the cafeteria, Brown sees an array of cluttered tables and students sitting on the floor while eating. “I’d like it to be more of a cafe look and more of a place where kids enjoy going to eat,” Brown said. “I do not think that that is what we have right now. We should see a big change in the look of that and how you come up to get food and what is served.” Instead of the new culinary arts kitchen only being for PHS students, Brown feels as though it should be open to Pittsburg residents and other high school students. “We’d like to expand the

Crew installing new heating and air systems. PHOTO BY: HAZEL HARPER culinary arts a bit and tie it in with Career and Technical Education Center of Crawford County so that kids from Girard and Southeast could come for culinary classes,” Brown said. In the long run, these modernizations will be useful for years to come. “Future students will have more opportunities,” Horton said. “The culinary arts program could grow significantly with the right space

and equipment.” In the upcoming renovations, the front office will be expanded and all the administrative offices will be moved. “It will be easier to make a secure entrance and to be able to monitor in and out,” Brown said. “The new one will make it so the secretary can look down and see down the walkway so if there is something unusual she will know before it hits the door.”

In addition to these improvements, all schools in the district will be equipped with new storm shelters and safe rooms. Since he was a child, Buck had a fear of storms. With this in mind, he believes that storm shelters are best for the security of the students. “[Coming from] someone who is very afraid of storms, I think it provides a lot safer alternative. When we ran storm drills, I thought it

was insane that we all had to walk several hundred feet to get to a safe area.” Brown believes advancing education is the way to ensure future success. “We are bringing the whole building up into a new century but truly into what education is becoming. If we are serious about preparing every kid to be successful when they leave high school then we need to be working with every kid to develope

a decision turned around: freshmen prom decision reversed JOURNEY JARAMILLO @journeybutcher

A decision originally made in April of 2016 by administration restricted freshmen from attending prom this year. Freshmen were allowed to attend if asked in past years, however, according to the PHS 2016-17 Student Handbook, prom is available to PHS students 10th through 12th grade students only. Admin came to this conclusion after principal Jon Bishop expressed the concerns of past prom attendees and upperclassmen.

“It came about because a handful of kids who attended prom, seniors and juniors, were dating and they decided they would invite this freshmen and that freshman and join up at prom,” Bishop said. “Some students said they wanted to see [prom] be more of a big deal to them because if they go their freshman year, then it isn’t as special when they go as juniors and seniors.” Although the results of these concerns were already established before this school year, students, such as

freshman McKenna Shaw, brought it to administrative attention that they did not agree with the new policy. “The freshmen are part of the school as well. We’re allowed to attend classes, sporting events and be involved in extracurricular activities, but for some reason we cannot attend prom,” Shaw said. “We have a motto, “One family, one destiny,” but apparently that doesn’t apply on prom night.” Because of the voiced concern against the policy, administration de-

cided to reconsider. “The students who originally brought it up, graduated. So it didn’t affect anyone last year, but now that it is affecting people to a certain degree, they feel we should talk about it,” Bishop said. After re-examining and discussing the policy with the Student Government and school board, administration agreed to allow freshmen to attend this year and years to come, if asked by a junior or senior.

March 2017  

Pittsburg High School's The Booster Redux. March 2017

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