WJTV News Channel 12 - Brookhaven Superintendent to Step Down Friday

Brookhaven Superintendent to Step Down Friday

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Brookhaven, MS -

The Superintendent of the Brookhaven School District will step down at the end of this week.

The decision comes after hundreds of community members called for the resignation of Dr. Lisa Karmacharya, who has been with the district since 2011.

It is not something people in the community are celebrating per se. The feeling coming from people close to the district is more like relief that the administration will be able to move forward.

The auditorium of Brookhaven High School was packed Monday of last week during a school board meeting.

It was then that parents and other supporters wearing red shirts spoke out about their problems with Dr. Karmacharya.
Susanne Britt helped get those shirt printed.

"We originally ordered 380 and we have about 12 left," Britt said.

Britt is also the Brookhaven School District's Parent of the Year. She said she learned about the issues with the superintendent through teachers during her involvement.

"They were constantly being criticized. And the situation was they were being told 'I know that you're going to fail' instead of 'I know that we'll all succeed'," Britt said.

"I see the frustration of the teachers. You know, long time teachers. 15, 20, 25 year teachers who just say 'Enough'. I'm calling it a day. I can't take it anymore," Britt said.

"And we thought it was just us. And then we come to find out that felt the same things we did," Britt said.

The Reverend Larry Jointer is Pastor at St. James Missionary Baptist Church. He says the concerns of black community members and staff were also ignored.

"When the environment is hostile, children pick up on this too. When the environment is not conducive to learning, they pick up on that too," Jointer said.

It is unclear exactly what issues motivated the plan for Dr. Karmacharya to step down, but she will do so this Friday.

One distinction the Brookhaven School District's attorney is making is that this is not a 'buy-out' but a settlement.

That said, the Dr. Karmacharya will receive $125,000 as a part of the deal."

As it stands, community members seem accepting of those terms.

"Brookhaven turned out. It wasn't a black Brookhaven or a white Brookhaven. It was the community of Brookhaven and we're panther proud. We support this school," Jointer said.

"I think," Britt adds, "[that] we just have to move forward. I think we just need to get everything settled and move forward."

Karmacharya's contract had another two years on it.

The school board has not yet made a decision who will fill-in that position until a permanent replacement can be found.

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