The Herald Bulletin

Evening Update

Local Education

June 13, 2013

Frankton fires high school principal

Decision met with angry yells from large crowd

FRANKTON, Ind. — The Frankton-Lapel school board made an unpopular decision to a standing-room only crowd Thursday night at a meeting. And many of their constituents let them know.

Jerry Hoss Jr., principal of Frankton Jr.-Sr. High school, had his contract terminated by the seven-member board, a decision met with instant anger.

"This is a difficult decision, and none of us take it lightly," said board member Alan Bays as he moved for the termination.

The board unanimously voted in agreement. Hoss walked out of the room immediately after the decision, but roughly 50 people, many students, filling the typically empty room in the Frankton-Lapel administrative building spoke for him as he left. 

Parents screamed their disapproval. A row of students started crying as the decision was handed down. People threatened to vote out the entire board in the next election. Nearly half of the crowd stormed out of the room after saying their peace.

"This is wrong!" yelled one parent.

The board declined to discuss the specifics of why Hoss was fired, but open comments from those in attendance made it clear there was an investigation of text messages Hoss had sent to a student earlier this year. 

Hoss' wife Jenny, who stayed behind briefly to defend her husband, said she was with him when he sent the messages in question and she read them. She and a group of friends and family vociferously attacked the board members before leaving.

"Shame on all of you. If you can go back to your lives and sleep at night after making a decision like this, you're not good enough for Jerry Hoss," the former principal's wife said.

The content of the messages is unclear and wasn't discussed in any way by the board members, who said they can't discuss personnel decisions, but Jenny Hoss voiced her concern that record of "inappropriate contact with a student" would impact Hoss' ability to get another job in education.

Superintendent Robert Fields assured her the reason for the termination was not made public, and won't be.

"The next time you hear from us will be from our lawyer," Jenny Hoss said before leaving.

The bitter tone of the meeting didn't abate as people left. Several parents called Fields' dedication into question, saying he and the other board members never came to the school. Fields said he regularly visits all the schools in the corporation.

"You're absolutely wrong about that. And I care about this school system," Fields said.

The decision was admittedly a difficult one, several board members said, and it weighed heavily on their minds leading up to the vote. Brian Gill, a friend of Hoss, said the decision was particularly tormenting for him, but he couldn't let his personal feelings interfere with the right decision for the school corporation.

"This was very difficult for all of us,” Gill said. “It will be hard for some of us to sleep knowing we had to do this, but we have to think about what's best for the schools here."

John Delph, a parent and Frankton assistant football coach, said his biggest concern is about where the high school goes from here, and that any new principal would need time to build what Hoss already had. Because the school district is charged with fulfilling its contracts, Hoss will be paid for the rest of the year. Essentially, the principal position will be paid twice. According to Fields, assistant principal Jim Morehead will take over as interim principal until the position can be evaluated.

Like Jack Molitor on Facebook and follow him @aggiejack4 on Twitter, or call 640-4883.

1
Text Only
Local Education
  • Ritz, Glenda Ritz to speak at APA's Senior Girls Luncheon Indiana Superintendent of Public Instruction Glenda Ritz will be the guest speaker at Anderson Preparatory Academy's Senior Girls Luncheon on April 29.

    April 24, 2014 1 Photo

  • FEA HB0424 Frankton Prom Court 2014 Frankton prom court named The Frankton High School Prom Court has been selected for Saturday‚Äôs prom at The Factory, a community building owned and renovated by the First United Methodist Church of Frankton.

    April 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • Spotlight on the kids When pianist Nathan Cook started volunteering for the special education program at Anderson High School, he started mulling over ideas how he could do more to help.

    April 23, 2014

  • NWS - HB0423 - Symphony for Kids - JC 31a.jpg Symphony for Kids draws Anderson-area students

    Nearly 1,000 fifth- and sixth-grade students attended the Anderson Symphony Orchestra's performance Tuesday during the annual Symphony for Kids concert at the Paramount Theatre.

    April 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • Frankton school evacuated, no bomb found

    Students were back in classes at Frankton Jr./Sr. High School after a bomb threat forced an evacuation Tuesday morning. No explosive device was found.

    April 22, 2014

  • Students to get introduction to symphony Nearly 1,000 fifth- and sixth-grade Madison County students will be going to the Paramount Theatre Tuesday for the annual Symphony for Kids concert.

    April 22, 2014

  • Ellspermann, Susan Ellspermann to deliver AU commencement address Indiana Lt. Gov. Susan Ellspermann will address the Anderson University Class of 2014 during commencement exercises on Saturday, May 10.

    April 20, 2014 1 Photo

  • FEA HB0421 Silent Movie 2 Acting without words

    Nineteen area students will take a walk down the red carpet Tuesday evening as their film projects premiere at the Paramount Theatre during the WRC Silent Film Festival.

    April 20, 2014 2 Photos

  • 2014 Debutante Cotillion participants

    The 11 participants in this year’s Debutante Cotillion Beautillion Militaire were asked a variety of questions, including their influences, words that describe themselves and favorite “words to live by.” The event begins at 4 p.m. Saturday, April 26, at Madison Park Church of God, 6607 Providence Drive. Call Antoinette Davis at 620-2229 for tickets, which are $270 per table or $30 each.

    April 19, 2014

  • NWS-HB0419-IvyTech-JC2.JPG Work begins on new Ivy Tech facility

    Motorists driving on East 60th Street near Columbus Avenue will notice heavy machinery working in preparation for a new educational facility in Anderson.

    April 18, 2014 2 Photos

Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide