School District Appealing Simpson Decision


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POUGHKEEPSIE – The Appellate Court decision requiring the Poughkeepsie City School District to reinstate former Poughkeepsie High School principal Dr. Phee Simpson to her job is being appealed by the school board.

Simpson returned to her position on July 1, 2022, after the court ordered the district to bring her back. The principal had been terminated by the district in 2019 after being accused of changing the grades of students to inflate the school’s graduation rate.

On Wednesday night, school board members Fatimah Martinez-Santiago, Andrew Rieser, and Tom O’Neill voted to authorize the district’s Syracuse-based attorneys to file a motion seeking the court’s permission to appeal the court’s June 8, 2022 decision from the Appellate Division that reinstated Simpson.

If the motion is denied the matter will be terminated. In the event the Court of Appeals grants the motion for leave to appeal then the board would then further discuss and vote on whether to file a formal appeal.

The motion to seek the appeal will be made to the New York Court of Appeals.

Board members Bob Creedon and Felicia Watson abstained from voting.

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