[Ben] Chavis: I orchestrated [school superintendent Tommy] Lowry firing; Two board members promise legal action

Record Number: 
SHIL056
Citation: 

Shiles, Bob. "[Ben] Chavis: I orchestrated [school superintendent Tommy] Lowry firing; Two board members promise legal action." Robesonian [Lumberton, NC] January 12, 2017.

Annotation: 

After a group of Robeson County school board members met in secret to discuss the termination of Superintendent Tommy Lowry and the decision to hire Thomas Graves, Ben Chavis has come forward and taken credit for his part in the event.

Graves, known for turning around school systems around the country, has officially taken over the position after the school board bought out Lowry’s $180,000 contract. When asked why Chavis led this charge, he said “[Lowry] should never have been hired. He wasn’t qualified and didn’t have the credentials. Just look at the numbers. In 2015, 95 percent of Robeson County high school seniors who took the ACT math section failed.”

Graves said there is great potential in Robeson County. He has been touring the county for a couple days and plans to do so more in the future. His salary will be the same as Lowry’s, and his progress will be evaluated at the end of what would have been Lowry’s term.

While some are upset about how the firing and hiring took place, school board members and school board Attorney Grady Hunt said that the entire process was legal. That said, some of those on the school board who opposed still plan to take legal action to keep Lowry in the position. 

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