Superintendent Bob Grimesey

The Moore County Board of Education has called a special meeting for Thursday morning at which it is expected either to fire Schools Superintendent Robert Grimesey or accept his resignation.

The swift-moving decision remained fluid Tuesday afternoon, and all school board members reached for comment declined to speak on the specific nature of Thursday’s 8 a.m. meeting.

An agenda for that meeting released Tuesday specifies the board will go into closed executive session to discuss a personnel matter and then reconvene in open session to take action. Two board members have said the meeting does not involve discussion about any teachers, principals or other personnel.

Grimesey, 58, declined comment when reached Tuesday.

"I can't say anything at this point. It would not be appropriate for me to say anything at this time."

Several people close to school board members and with direct knowledge of the situation say Grimesey was asked to resign during a closed session Monday evening after the board’s workshop session.

According to those people, who spoke on condition of anonymity, a split has occurred on the board between those who think Grimesey should go and those who wish to keep him on board. That split reportedly lines up with Board vice chairwoman Kathy Farren and members Laura Lang, Becky Carlson, Ben Cameron and Sue Black against Grimesey and Board chairman Bruce Cunningham and members Charles Lambert and Ed Dennison supporting Grimesey.

Those who support Grimesey’s dismissal say they have disliked his management style, especially with long-term senior staffers. Several people have said the board was similarly divided last year on hiring him.

Grimesey was hired last May to replace Aaron Spence, who left Moore County to take a job as schools superintendent in Virginia Beach, his hometown. Grimesey had been superintendent of schools in Orange County, Va., a relatively rural community in central Virginia. 

Grimesey's salary under a four-year contract, set to expire on June 30, 2018, is $128,148 per year plus an annual supplement of $3,036 for a total of $131,184. 

Grimesey's contract reads that in the event of unilateral termination, the board "shall pay to the superintendent, as severance pay, the aggregate salary he would have earned pursuant to ... this agreement for the upcoming 12 months of the agreement or the remaining time of the agreement, whichever is less."

Grimesey has spent much of his first year visiting classrooms around Moore County’s 23 schools. He also spent considerable time, as the school system’s leading “personality,” of involving himself in a number of community affairs and organizations.

As superintendent, Grimesey has continued to implement a digital learning initiative to put more computers into students’ hands. He also has worked with the Board of Commissioners on school funding issues and construction of new schools.

Those who have worked with Grimesey say he has been hands on in leading these initiatives, including plans for a new specialized high school that would be a partnership with Sandhills Community College.

College President John Dempsey said he was "shocked and angered" by what seems to be transpiring.

"I have no idea what goes on internally within the school system, nor is it my business, but I can't imagine any circumstances in which an employee is fired, short of an illegality, without giving that person a chance to be given counsel and to rectify whatever the problem is," Dempsey said. "I have worked with five school superintendents in my 20 plus years at Sandhills, and have liked them all, but I have never worked with one as well as I have with Bob Grimesey.

"I am told that the wish for his departure is not unanimous among board members, but still, if he leaves, it will be a sad day for me personally and for the advancement of educational goals in which Bob is so involved."

Dempsey said he has "no idea" if, or how, Grimesey's departure would affect the partnership between Moore County Schools and the college in advancing the concept high school.

"I hope the work will go forward and will remain on the front burner for the benefit of students and their parents," he said.

Before the executive session Monday, the school board had a regular work session to discuss several issues including a proposed new program at Robbins Elementary School that could help students, both English and Spanish native speakers, to increase their social and academic abilities.

Proponents say bilingual children excel in key areas such as higher self esteem, greater cognitive development and increased listening skills, along with achieving better results on tests than their monolingual counterparts. To that end, administrators hope to create a language program at Robbins Elementary School that will provide full bilingual immersion. The program is set to begin in the fall of 2015 pending board approval.

"Housing a language academy at Robbins Elementary School in partnership with VIF, the Visiting International Faculty of Chapel Hill, is very exciting," said Kathy Kennedy, associate superintendent for Instructional Design and Innovation.

"The development of a child's first language is critical to his or her overall development, and one belief is that students must be able to speak appropriately in their first language in order to develop that in their second language.

"By joining in the program, all participating students at Robbins Elementary will develop higher skills of proficiency in two languages, demonstrate academic proficiency at or above grade level, and demonstrate positive cross-cultural attitudes and behaviors. This will be true in English as well as in Spanish."

So far, 42 Hispanic families and 18 English speaking families have expressed interest in the language school.

Robbins Elementary School Principal Kim Bullard said the school provides a "great opportunity" for student enrichment.

"I am really excited about this because it provides a chance for our students to become globally competitive," she said. "It's a win-win for both English and Spanish speakers because both languages will be equally taught."

(113) comments

Velma McLellan

As a former educator in the Moore County Schools, I am so thankful to be gone. Does anyone else besides me think that it is strange that all of a sudden Dr. Upchurch is good enough for the job as acting superintendent when he has been passed over so many times before? And he accepted it. My heart goes out to Dr. Grimesey. I wish you well. You have nothing to drop your head for. Just remember when one door closes another one will open up in your favor.

Diane Jones

Could some one in the state or county begin an investigation on conflict of interest allegations between outside jobs and school contracts awarded for products, programs, and vendors? Also hiring practices involving friends and family members of friends? These post have hinted at these practices quiet strongly. Is there no accountability in Moore county Schools?


I think the board against Dr. Bob might be getting a taste of their own poison. As an employee of MCS, I think All staff should be able to be at this meeting to support Dr. Bob and not be scared to voice the problem we all deal with !!!


Kathy Kennedy needs to go back where she came from. (Actually that system don't want her back). The IDI teams needs a new leader and not Becky Benton. She and KK are both one of a kind. If they profess to be a Christian and are walking with Lord on a daily basis how can they sleep at night. The Lord favors a good man who cares to do the right thing for a school system.

Susan O'Connell

The board members who want to fire Dr.Bob are wronghead-I am sorry our new superintendent is being treated this poorly!


Redshesaid brings up a good point. On the surface Dr. Spence said he left because of opportunities near his family in VA Beach, but those closer to him indicated that was not the only reason he relocated his family after only 2 years. Differences of opinion were also to blame.

Jackie Drummond

You know I'm a student and I can even see that this is wrong, for all the years I have been going to school I never thought that the school board cared about us kids, but finally when Dr. Bob came in things started changing in this county for the better since it finally got a superintendent that gave a darn about the teachers, students, and our education. I can't believe the people that never really cared about the schools or staff anyways is now trying to push one of the few good things in this county out so they can stay on their little thrones, I thought our system would be better than this. Think of us for a change would ya.

Bonnie Smith

Being on the petition ridding certain board members and fire Kathy Kennedy. Ask yourself, why did the previous superintendent resign suddenly? This is bad news for Moore County. Oh how I wish Pat Caddell had won his run for board member.

Bonnie Smith

Has anyone ever asked why The previous superintendent left early in his contract ? Perhaps the same nonsense from Kathy Kennedy?


Word has it Dr. Bob didn't want to renew Dr. Kennedy's contract. Who is running this place? By no means are these actions in the best interest of families of Moore County. With money being as tight as it is we are willing to get rid of an effective leader at the expenses of what could be money that could be used for assistants. All because this effective leader disagreed with someone else's leadership style. Newsflash, Dr. Bob has much more experience and value to a school system than Dr. Kennedy. I wish MCS employees were allowed to vote who they want gone.


Just read the following post on Facebook (tried to copy/paste a screen shot of the actual post but wasn't able)
Whoever shared it said the following, "sent to me by an undisclosed source, so sharing. In picture I see two current board members, former superintendent, secretary to superintendent, all who are allegedly supporting Dr. Grimesey's firing and all who allegedly support Dr. Kathy Kennedy, a senior staff member...visiting on Sunday."
It appears as though the picture was posted on Kathy Farren's FB page this past Sunday. Tagged in the post/picture are Laura Kelly Lang and Catherine B. McRae. Her posts reads, "Fun with friends in Greensboro! Thanks Susan for the great hospitality." "#neededbreak #keepingthefriendshipalive"

Mike Miller

How do we fire the school board????? The recall vote process needs to be initiated for all of the Board members voting against Dr. Bob, and this needs to happen immediately following Thursdays meeting.
Tax payer money will not be used to buy out a contract of this man for what is clearly a vendetta.
What sort of precedence does this set for the children we are trying to educate?

Deanna Drummond

It is time that the climate of MCS changed. Teachers and school staff are fed up with working in a county where our voices are not only not listened to, but are silenced with threats of repercussions. Inept senior staffers get away with doing whatever they want and make decisions regarding how we teach and how our students learn based on their own personal agendas and the companies they are in bed with. How many precious funds have been wasted paying for useless and extremely expensive programs that are forgotten about in a couple years? Why aren't teachers making methodology decisions? They are the pros. It is like having hospital board members decide how surgeons perform their surgeries. Would people stand for that?
MCS should have teachers working on curriculum committees and let go of senior staffers who are not needed nor liked by the teachers. Also, teachers should sit on hiring committees to choose necessary senior staffers and those senior staffers should be evaluated by the teachers in the county. If the teachers had this responsibility, Dr. Kennedy would have been fired long ago and all of the damage she has caused would have never happened.


So sad to read that Dr. Bob is having to deal with this. MCS FINALLY gets a superintendent that is not corrupt or using us as a stepping stone to further their career, but who truly cares about our kids and wants to improve education in Moore County. Because he does not agree with "the powers that be", the BOE is trying to force his resignation. I applaud him for having his eyes open and seeing what has been going on here for too long- KK's tyranny, the demoralizing of our great educators (seemingly encouraged by senior staff), and the mass exodus of many wonderful teachers. It is about time that a red flag was thrown up around here. The IDI team needs to go. Our kids deserve better, our teachers deserve respect, and so does Dr. Bob!


Of those who are for Dr. Bob's removal, 2 are rumored to be having a relationship. This is clearly against board policy, their votes shouldn't count. We need WRAL down here ASAP.

Mary Greene

We MUST remember, come election time, to re-elect Cunningham, Dennison, & Lambert and replace the others. In the meantime, Kennedy & her cohorts need to be fired. Dr. Bob, PLEASE hang in there. We need you.

Estelle Makie

Make sure they know how we as parents, teachers and staff feel. Support Dr. Bob and tell the Board to not let him go. They may not provide us an opportunity to speak at the meeting, but it does not mean we should stay home and wait and see what happens. E-mail them and show up for the meeting. Fight for our children

Bruce Cunningham Chair, District V 910.315.9315
Kathy Farren Vice-Chair, District II, 910.295.4656
Ben Cameron, District I, 910.245.3071
Charles Lambert, District III, , 910.948.3695
Laura Lang, District IV, 910.692.4975
Ed Dennison At-Large Member, Chair, , 910.295.5570
Susan Black, , 910.295.6575
Becky Carlson, 910.295.9667
Catherine McRae Executive Assistant/Clerk to School Board

jason Coleman

I will be there!

Tessie Taylor

Kathy Kennedy is the misfit that needs to go. And those Board members who are supporting her. She could not hold a dim light to the outstanding classroom teachers that are dedicated to giving the children they teach their very best. If she had any competence, where has it been hidden during her tenure in the Admin Office...Absent because it doesn't exist. Shame on whoever has allowed this fiasco to take place.

Teach for growth

We finally had an advocate for teachers and students, and the politico game players are denying us that. It's hard to see the "senior staff" members and a few board members pulling strings and destroying an educational system that is finally working and taking the spirit of the teacher with it. One of those against worked at the board a long time and was not cooperative with teachers on too many occasions. It's hard to believe these "senior staffers" care about the student. They care about their careers. Your children are collateral damage


Since the reasons are clothed in secrecy, I can only make a guess as to the nature of the disagreement between “the senior staff” and Dr. Bob.  There is a top-down structure in Moore County Schools that tells teachers every day that the staff knows more about good instruction than we do.  There is no value put on our expertise as educators.
During one of the “walk-thrus” by senior staff this year, we were told that they were specifically going to look in each classroom for evidence that teachers were following the pacing guide-I challenge anyone to find evidence that “following the pacing guide” is best practice!  Engagement?  Cooperative learning?  Formative assessment?  Wait time?  No-“following the pacing guide.”
Dr. Bob seems to know that our students should come first.  This means trusting teachers to do their jobs.  Is this ever going to happen in Moore County?

Jason Joyce

This is a travesty and if allowed to continue will be a major part of the downfall of our school system. Speaking as a parent and an educator in MCS, Dr Grimesey is an asset that should be treasured. He has a common sense approach to move our schools forward with the best interest of the students at heart and not lining the pockets of all of those associate and assistant superintendents up there in Carthage. We have students in classes now that will be without aides to the teachers that desperately need them. Our kids deserve better than what the cowards on the board who want to do their dirty work for Kathy Kennedy in private closed sessions. Be men and women of honor and stand up in front of everyone and state your case. Moore County needs Bob Grimesey and I say that as a parent and a teacher. Dr Bob is what we need, as well as less "Senior" staff in Carthage. 1 less "senior staffer" equals approx 4 aides in classrooms. Where do you think your tax dollars are better spent, on desinger clothes or teachers and aides helping OUR KIDS!


I find it no coincidence that the boards split is primarily down gender lines considering the real person behind this ousting.

Tessie Taylor

Kennedy needs to go and Becky Carlson, I am ashamed to have supported you.


Speaking from a department of MCS, Dr. Bob has always acknowledged and thanked us every time he is around us. As others have posted, the problem(s) have been exposed. Thank you Dr. Bob for All you do !!!!

Walter B Bull

Can we look at this as an opportunity to cut out the cancers so that the patient can live? Those on the School Board who initiated this ego driven effort should explain their reason to the public. Quite clearly the public and school employees rank and file support Dr. Grimesey.
The Moore County Commissioners, whose job is to fund capital spending and a portion of the operating budget, have a dog in this fight. They need to take temporary control of the dysfunctional school board, using the Courts if necessary, and then approach the problem with clear thinking after all sides including the public has an opportunity to have their say.

David Lambert

UPDATE TO THE PILOT ARTICLE: "According to those people, who spoke on condition of anonymity, a split has occurred on the board between those who think Grimesey should go and those who wish to keep him on board. That split reportedly lines up with Board vice chairwoman Kathy Farren and members Laura Lang, Becky Carlson, Ben Cameron and Sue Black against Grimesey and Board chairman Bruce Cunningham and members Charles Richard Lambert and Ed Dennison supporting Grimesey"

Dan Lovett

Hmmm, three of those five allegedly lined up against the superintendent (Cameron, Ferren, Lang) are up for re-election next year.

Mike Miller

What about getting a petition going with signatures for a voter recall in the upcoming November elections? This is a travesty at best at the expense of the tax payers!

Emily Davis

I knew it was just a matter of time for the critics (you know who you are) of Dr. Bob to show their true selves. We all know that a critic is nothing more than a spectator and not a real team player. A critic is one who has failed to reach a desired goal, for example, let's say, of becoming the superintendent. If this is the case, this critic would disappointed at the loss of power was held or at the prospect of not having gained the power sought. A critic such as this would most likely be hurting inside and as a result, would mostly likely continue the routine of trying to build a life by destroying others. Dr. Bob presented the public and teachers with facts based on data, and was willing and open to exchanging ideas and information based on the facts to improve learning for "all" students, build teacher moral and set MCS on a course of "true greatness." Dr. Bob is a true education "champion" and has demonstrated his willingness to pursue constructive suggestions and make positive changes were and needed. This is the role of the superintendent and should be supported by IDI team, senior staff, and the BOE. (It is obvious that the community supports this notion) It is a sad day for MCS and the BOE when it is obvious that this is an entrapment and some members of the board have been lured into nonsensical trap at the expense and well being of the students and teachers of MCS. Dr. Bob presents himself with grace and dignity and its a shame that he has been put into a situation in which he now has to answer to his critics. Dr. Bob has a servants heart and it is obvious to those of us who know something about this leadership style that it is in direct opposition to the authoritarian/bullying leadership style in which the teachers of MCS have been subjected to in the past few years. One thing I can say with assurance is that Dr. Bob has responded to the needs of students and teachers with enthusiasm and passion in his role as superintendent. This should be admired and does not make a case for dismissal or anything else that would cause to good work that he has started to be aborted. Dr. Bob, you owe nothing to a critic. "Speak not in the ears of a fool: for he will despise the wisdom of thy words." (Proverbs 23.9)


Dr. Grimesey has been cordial, approachable and eager to engage every time I have seen him. Among the many ways he has demonstrated his commitment to the community, he has been a stable fixture throughout Moore County over the past year. Both professionally and socially. His judgement and integrity appear to have been in line with those of someone I'd like to see leading the MC Board of Education. Let's hope that cooler heads prevail. Quite frankly this comes as a bit of a surprise.

Tessie Taylor

I want to thank each of you and so many more for the expressed support of Dr. Bob. After posting here yesterday, I sent a letter to each of the MCBoard members and copied others who have a vested interest in the education of all our children. To the poster who has a problem with our latino children, I would say to you that a child is not responsible for actions of adults. But I would not want to jeopardize the education of even one child for the sake of political expediency. I like to think I work for the good of all children in Moore County to the exclusion of none. That has been the visible intent of our current Superintendent. And he has done an awesome job. Our system has lost some awesome teachers for lack of support. Let's not lose more because of the need to demote an incapable assistant who hasn't a clue what she's supposed to be doing.

Susanne Cooper

I think the public has spoken! The creation of a hostile work environment by key Central Office staffers has come to light.The policies behind teacher resignations (including my own) and inappropriate instruction for too many students (which has lead to an increasing exodus of those very families who provide the most support for our schools) are finally coming full circle. Dr. Grimesey's attempt to make much needed and over due changes to hold those in power accountable for their actions and/or to remove unnecessary staff should be supported by the board.
Board members who feel otherwise clearly have their own agenda and are putting their own best interests ahead of our families, children and teachers. I hope the BOE realizes that the public is smarter than they think and quite capable of seeing through their actions.


In the handful of times I have spoken with Dr Bob and heard him in meetings, I was impressed by his positive outlook and his dedication to making MCS great not only for students, but for staff as well. Dr Bob is down to Earth and approachable, which is something I can't say is true for many of the folks over in the county office. There is a need for changes to be made, but I don't think that getting rid of a new superintendent who truly wants to help our children is the best decision. Get rid of some of the power-hungry top dogs who just want to further their careers, not that my opinion matters.


I have been with the Moore County school system for over 11 years and Dr. Grimesey has been the first Superintendent that is approachable, down to earth, and who I feel truly has the best interest of both students AND staff at heart! It would be a shame to push someone out simply because of a disagreement in management styles. In my humble opinion, he has made some long over due changes in the Central office and quite possibly put some people in their place, who were long over due for it!!
As an educator, I am appalled that the BOE would choose to use the most stressful week of the school year to conduct their shady business; especially holding a meeting during a time they know teachers and staff will not be able to attend. For years, teachers have been afraid to speak out against any decision made by the Senior Staff because of ramifications, short of bullying, would be the response from the "powers or really power to be". Finally, we as professionals felt as if we had an advocate, a listening ear, someone who truly cared about what we thought and how we felt things could be improved. Today is the first day in my career with Moore County Schools that I can honestly say I am ashamed to be affiliated with them.
As a parent of MCS students, I am outraged that my children, as well as all the other children in the system, and their teachers are not the most important thing on our BOE's agenda. My boys are not just another number on a spreadsheet. They are living, breathing, thinking, creating, innovating, feeling, beings; who deserve the very best this school system has to offer. So BOE, how dare you take that from my sons! How dare you take that from the thousands of children in the MCS! How dare you allow selfish, politically minded, self advancing people to sway your decision! How dare you loose sight of the bigger picture; the picture beyond your board room, beyond Central office, beyond Moore County; the dreams of every little girl and little boy who still believe they can be whatever they want to be! How dare you risk taking that from them!
And finally, as a veteran teacher I will not be returning to the classroom next year. This decision was made prior to these events; however, the ever increasing political agenda of the IDI team was part of this decision. I am a professional, and in my subject area, I'm actually considered highly qualified by the State of NC; as is the case of most teachers in MCS. However, we are no longer treated as professionals by the IDI team and it's "fearless" leader.
At one time MCS was the envy of all the surrounding areas and a much sought after place to live, specifically for the schools. This will no longer be the case if Dr Bob is ousted from his position and his vision killed.
I pray for all involved that the Lord may guide their decisions to what is just and true.

jason Coleman

Very well stated, I am glad to see lots of educators speaking out on this. I have heard what you are saying in this post said many times by many teachers in MCS. But, just as you stated; teachers have had no advocate and have no trust that the powers that be will not make ramifications severe. Time for some changes in the central office and it appears the BOE... Entitlement, cronyism and intimidation are no way to do business. Sorry to see another highly qualified veteran teacher leave MCS, but I don't blame you one bit. I know my children's education is going to suffer at the hands of Kathy Kennedy and the IDI team. While I may not know you; You are a professional and should be treated like one. Best wishes on you new ventures.

Deanna Drummond

MCS has far too many senior staff members who act and make decisions without any care about the impact on students and staff. One of the senior staff named in a few of the posts already is the reason for the mass exodus of great staff from our system. As a veteran teacher who has been in this county for a long time, I have yet to come across a single employee who doesn't despise her. If the board wants morale to go up and teachers to stay, they should be firing her not Dr. Bob.

Derek Miller

What skullduggery is afoot here? What reason could the Board possibly have for removing such a revered leader other than a vindictive political agenda? From the posts on this site, this is clearly not an agenda supported by your constituency. This has the feel of a secretive power grab by disgruntled subalterns displeased with the Superintendent's vision, popularity, and demands on his immediate staff for improvement in our schools. As a taxpayer and grandparent of children in the Moore County school system, I demand full transparency and disclosure of the Board's intentions and reasoning. Under what circumstances would you remove such a popular leader at such a substantial cost to the taxpayer? Lay out your case. Give us your justification. It's our money and we deserve to know why you would terminate a popular Superintendent at a cost to taxpayers equal to the annual salary of 3-4 classroom teachers, not including the cost to search for his replacement - what infraction could possibly justify such an action? You are public officials spending public funds - if your actions are truly above board, then hold an open session and let us hear your justification. Let us know how each member votes. If the Board goes through with this action in a closed session, I will be the first voice calling for local and State level investigations into this despicable action, followed shortly thereafter by a demand for recall elections for any member of the Board who supported it. You work for the taxpayers of Moore County - we expect you to represent our interests and will hold you accountable if you do not.

Mike Miller

Skullduggery...that is an excellent term sir!!!! What process has to be enacted to start a voter recall for these board members??

Heather Lewis

This is disheartening and embarrassing. As an educator with MCS and a parent of a child attending MCS, I have had nothing but positive interactions with Dr. Bob. He is approachable, smart, dedicated, humble, and student-centered. The upper level MCS employees that appear to be creating the controversy are universally disliked and disrespected by MCS educators, and will never be accepted as interim or permanent replacements to Dr. Bob. Also, I have serious concerns about this meeting being so sudden, so under the radar, and happening at a time when students, teachers, and parents are all swamped with testing and dropping children off at school. It might be coincidence, but it sure feels like a strategic choice to keep concerned parties away from the meeting.

If Dr. Bob is forced out...
- Students and teachers will suffer his loss
- MCS will lose and scare away dedicated teachers
- MCS will have a very hard time finding anyone willing to apply for the Superintendents' position
- Moore County will lose morale as a community
- Senior Staff at MCS will lose all respect from the community and educators

If you are concerned with this situation, please write the school board ASAP.

John Cashion

I agree with Dr Dempsey.

Gayge Fritz

After visits to my classroom from Dr. Grimesey, aka, Dr. Bob, I received a thoughtful and inspiring email from him...not once, but after each visit! I was amazed and astounded and so moved that I felt I had to reply. I am posting this here because I want our Board members to know how much the teachers of Moore County Schools love Dr. Grimesey. Please do not let this happen to our children. The loss will be too great!

Dear Dr. Bob,
I wanted to take a moment and thank you for coming again to our school this week. It's always a pleasure to see you on campus and I was especially delighted to see the children's excitement in greeting you as they walked up the sidewalk during our afternoon dismissal. It is uplifting to me to have the opportunity to work for a superintendent of schools who takes the time, not only to visit each school in the district, but to do so many times. To find that superintendent spending time in classrooms interacting with students and teachers for an entire lesson is quite remarkable. For the teachers and students to then receive a thoughtful email of thanks from the superintendent with detailed descriptions of the experience, names of students and teachers, and genuine appreciation expressed is unheard of, extraordinary, heart-warming and profoundly uplifting to the weary heart of this teacher. To simply say thank you does not seem sufficient. You have made a mark on the hearts and in the minds of your teachers, staff and students and for that I am deeply grateful. Thank you again for all that you are doing for Moore County Schools. We are fortunate and blessed to have you as our superintendent and leader.


I honestly think any move to dismiss Dr. Bob (yes, he is THAT accessible and human) as a leader for Moore County Schools is irrational and frivolous at best. He has been, for my boys and for many others, nothing short of wonderful, personable and hands-on in his approach to setting the examples of what I want my sons' teachers to utilize and demonstrate when teaching our communities children. By releasing him, you school board members would not be listening to the community as a whole, which is at the core of what you should be doing. Kids, teachers, staff and parents have overwhelmingly agreed with my sentiments already. It's time that you realized that your future is also in YOUR hands, should you choose to raise them up for removing Dr. Bob from a position we currently see that he deserves and excels at this far.

Jason Hilyard

Gayge Fritz

Awilson26 , I had the same experience. Does anyone outside of the classroom realize how rare it is for the Superintendent of Schools to come into a classroom (for more than a brief annual walk-through) and then to actually sit down and participate in the lesson, interacting with students of every age and engaging them in conversation, asking them for their thoughts and giving them his undivided attention?! In close to 30 years of experience in the classroom and many superintendents, it is a first for me. To amaze you even further, Dr. Bob follows up his visits with a heartfelt email of thanks detailing his experience and including the names of students and the actual content learned during the lesson. Amazing and truly inspiring!!! What a gift to our school system. What a loss we will suffer if this man is allowed to leave.

Leeann Stivers

This article reveals 3 management failures on the part of the MCS BOE:
1. It's launching an executive coup during the most stressful time of the school year for students, teachers, and principals. BOE members and Senior Staff should proctor on Thursday morning for district-wide EOGs and pursue ways to mitigate disruption, not compound it.
2. The BOE are elected representatives of our community, and yet they have chosen to conduct business in secret sessions and at a time when parents and district personnel most affected by their decision cannot attend and voice dissent.
3. The BOE is squandering its credibility within our community by defying the terms of its own contract, ignoring the respect and rapport that Dr. Grimesey has already earned among MCS's most experienced educators, and it is choosing instead to cater to a power grab by 1 or 2 Senior Staff.
On behalf of the parents and children of Moore County, the BOE must maintain credibility with taxpayers and county commissioners. I hope The Pilot investigates and publishes the process of this unnecessary, ill-timed decision. Hundreds of thousands of education dollars are being wasted on this personality conflict.

Julie Willis

I hope you emailed this to the board!!!

Gayge Fritz

As a veteran teacher who has taught in many school systems throughout the state of NC and for more than 15 years in Moore County, I can say that I am truly dismayed and disheartened by this news. Dr. Grimesey, fondly known to us and our students as Dr. Bob, is a rare and talented leader of our school system. I am so sorry that I will be unable to leave my classroom to come out in support of this fine and caring man. Because it is a crucial week in the life of school students with exams and testing going on in every school across our county I am sure my colleagues are as frustrated by this as I am. I only hope that Dr. Bob is reading these comments and that the Board members are reading them as well. We support you, Dr. Bob!!!! Board members, please listen to your constituents. Do not let this fine leader be lost to the children for whom he is working so very hard!


Sosadwearehere you hit the nail on the head! I have been racking my brain to figure this out. Maybe he wants to get RID of the IDI team and all of those elite positions that keep miraculously being created.

Diane Allen

Sosadwearehere.....truer words were never spoken. I sent my emails to the board and am just sad I can't participate Thursday. Like there isn't enough stress right now at the end of the year. Just goes to show you where the IDI teams focus usual, not in the best interest of Moore County children and staff....better to push their agenda when other staff cannot possibly voice their opinions! Correct me if I am wrong, but I don't believe I have seen anyone, anywhere supporting this decision.


I've had the opportunity to hear senior staffers dress down an administrator, to the point of tears. Moments later walk out of the room like nothing had happened. Intimidation is used to push their agenda.

Ashley Wilson

I'm not sure what this is all about but...I will say that any encounter my students, my own children, and myself have had with Dr. Bob have been nothing but positive, encouraging, & motivating! In my 14 years of experience as a teacher (two different counties & many superintendents later) this is the first superintendent that has visited not only our staff on several occasions but our classrooms as well!!! (The best part about it was that he made us feel like he was there bc he wanted to be there! There weren't any photographers snapping pictures for a photo op or a large group of adults entering the classrooms with him...which in most situations is the case!)
When he came into my classroom we were learning about intonation and using our voices as we of course I had him model the activity...he picked out a few sentences from a stack and read them in various voices (yes, an alien & even a princess)! My students loved that experience and still talk about Dr. Bob!
As a teacher, I immediately felt comfortable in front of him and not intimidated at all (which usually is not the case when we have visits from others in these higher positions!) This makes me sad!


Is the Board serious?! Have you read the man’s resume? “Senior Staff” take note- this is a man who walks his talk, who in his short tenure has bridged a gap between the CO, teachers and community by approaching those with whom he works with enthusiasm and care rather than bullying those that “work for him.” Unfortunately, MCS's Instructional Design and Innovation Department has, since its inception, all but eliminated teacher autonomy, killed morale, and made teaching in Moore County borderline unbearable (ask a teacher). At this point, given all that we have been through the last 6 or so years since IDI’s inception, we teachers are truly here for our students; we deserve a leader we stand behind.


Thank you tmat35-I was just going to post that.

Brent Matthews

This is a list of our Board of education email addresses. I think we should email them all. Not just our local representative.
Bruce Cunningham Chair, District V 910.315.9315
Kathy Farren Vice-Chair, District II, 910.295.4656
Ben Cameron, District I, 910.245.3071
Charles Lambert, District III, , 910.948.3695
Laura Lang, District IV, 910.692.4975
Ed Dennison At-Large Member, Chair, , 910.295.5570
Susan Black, , 910.295.6575
Becky Carlson, 910.295.9667
Catherine McRae Executive Assistant/Clerk to School Board


Dr. Bob was in the schools on a regular basis. He made those in the school feel like he really cared which is more than I can say for some of the other "senior staffers". A person does not forget how someone makes them feel. Everything points to personal agendas in this situation. What an example these actions set for the students of MCS.....

Dwight Kidd

Maybe recalls are in order.

Mike Miller

The recall vote process needs to be initiated for all of the Board members voting against Dr. Bob, and this needs to happen immediately following Thursdays meeting. Tax payer money will not be used to buy out a contract of this man for what is clearly a vendetta.
What sort of precedence does this set for the children we are trying to educate?


Kathy Kennedy has done nothing but caused problems! She runs her mouth about teachers and administrators and has gotten away with it! She needs to go! I feel sorry for the next school system that gets her!


I agree with many of the comments concerning the possible dismissal of Dr. Bob. He has always been a down to earth type guy and extremely approachable. Each time I have had the opportunity to speak with him, he has always be sincere and excited about making our schools better. He has taken tremendous strides in a positive direction in leadership and supporting MCS 'teachers and students. Unless there something major that the public is unaware of, I think this will definitely lower the morale of our teachers,and would be extremely a disservice to our children. I am also very disappointed in the way the School Board decided to publicly announce the possible forced resignation of Dr.Bob as well as the breech in confidentially. If we are here to set examples for our students, how can the school board be so hypercritical? Can anyone tell me if MCS' board has the authority to fire him without the public's inputs? We are the tax payers and we pay their salaries. How can they be allowed to blindside us without giving the public an opportunity to voice their concerns? If this is allowed, I question if the board is really making the best decision for our students. As a parent and a teacher, this will truly be disheartening to our school system if the board's proposal is approved.


Senior staff= Deputy and associate superintendents


I wholeheartedly agree with Dr. Dempsey. Just maybe that the real reason is that this gentlemen (Dr. Grimesey) is holding true to his commitment to the students in our county. He has done more to bring teachers and parents together. Dr. Grimesey is holding people accountable on all sides of the table for the improvement of our system. I am retired and I think this is a senior staff issue. Someone that was interviewed and did not make the criteria last year for supt., how can they make it this year. Is this about pleasing senior staff? My last year at MCS was not a happy one. I had a meeting with one of the senior staff members and caught this person in an error and this person closed the meeting. This is a lot of money to be used for satisfying a senior staff member and making this person happy. I am disappointed in the board members, of course they are not all voting for this to happen. I don't believe the commissioners need to put an allotment for money in their budget for MCS.


I'm disgusted! Kathy Kennedy is nothing more than a PROBLEM! This is first hand experience! The fact that she is still employed by MCS is a disgrace!

Vickie Odom

Don't blame the whole Board if it wasn't a unanamious decision. We should find out who presented this to have him removed and how each Board member voted! This should be in the minutes. Then we will see how our Board members voted. They represent our districts n we voted them in. We should know how they voted to represent us! They tell us one thing n then behind closed doors vote another way. If you are man or woman enough to present this in closed session, then you should be man or woman enough to do your individual vote to the public so we can see who it is that wants to remove him from office n state your reason why!! This needs to be done before Thursday mornings meeting in case they change their mind about removing him because of all this objection to their decision. If they do that and change their vote then we won't know who voted to fire him the first time.

Dan Lovett

Comments here are nice, but if you want to support Dr. Grimesey you need to e-mail the board members, and encourage everyone else you know to do that as well. Just a quick check on a couple of website told me that (1) four (half) of the board's members are up for reelection next year (the MCS website tells you that) and (2) in contested BOE elections, the winner averages around 13,000-14,000 votes (per the Moore County Board of Elections page). In order to get the right attention, and bring the right pressure to bear, those members will have to hear from several thousand people in the next 36 hours.


Dare I ask who are considered "senior staff"? Also are we ALLOWED to discuss which board members are for this ridiculous decision? It seems everyone is tip toeing around the issue. I sure would like to be able to attend the meeting or even stand outside the building to show my support of Dr. Bob. But darn, I will be subjecting poor children to another EOG while those persecuting our leader will be able to do so without a witness from the classroom. Shouldn't these folks involved in this meeting be doing something more productive like proctoring or being helpful in some other way? Everyone is stressed enough without having this thrown at us, too. Let the man do his job. If he is a criminal, get rid of him. If you don't like him-go somewhere else.

jason Coleman

What is in the best interest of the students and the faculty at our schools? I will tell you now the central office could be empty for a week before anyone noticed. But the mass exodus of veteran teachers that will occur if the BOE lets Dr. Grimesey go and puts Kathy Kennedy in that office will be felt immediately and echo for years. Empower and uplift our teachers and let them teach our children!

Julie Willis

This is really sad news! I felt like he was a true advocate for the teachers and students in our District. Who knows what goes on behind closed doors, but I truly hope it wasn't over board members split decision of not wanting him here! I feel like he wasn't afraid to challenge old rules to push forward with newer, more progressive ideas that benefited all of MCS.


Seriously? Ridiculous! BTW... Someone please name the MCS employees who are considered 'senior staff' .

jason Coleman

What is in the best interest of the students and the faculty at our schools? I will tell you now the central office could be empty for a week before anyone noticed. But the mass exodus of veteran teachers that will occur if the BOE lets Dr. Grimesey go and puts Kathy Kennedy in that office will be felt immediately and echo for years. Empower and uplift our teachers and let them teach our children!

Stefan Augustin

After reading my post I made a slight error I meant Dr. Grimesey and not Dr. Dempsey but still Dr. Bob is the man for the job board take heed election time is coming and you will be gone.


The sad thing about this move is it's being driven by non-elected central office staff who have too much influence with certain members of the board. Personal agendas are getting in the way of what's best for kids. There's more than 1 reason Dr. Spence left after just 2 years.

Karl Williams

I'm surprised and sad to read this news, but I'm pleased to hear Dr. Dempsey's support for Dr. Grimesey. I'm a former MC teacher who saw the fulfillment and enjoyment of teaching nearly sucked completely dry by certain members of senior staff. From all accounts by my former colleagues, Dr. Grimesey is a breath of fresh (and humble) air. I hope more influential support for this man will occur.

Amy Sehi

As a MCS employee I have had the opportunity work with Dr. Bob on several instances. He is an exceptional leader and has the best interest of students and teachers at heart. He has gone into classrooms and joined into activities. I have not witnessed other "senior staff" doing such hands on activities. This is definitely not something he has to but something he wants to do. He truly wants to make improvements and growth in MCS and it is disappointing that he has already faces such roadblocks. I believe Dr. Bob is what MCS needs to become a strong and progressive school district. I, personally, would be very disappointed if Dr. Bob were not maintained as our Superintendent of Schools. Moore County Schools has improvements to make and he is here to help us get the job done.


What a shame.

Diane Jones

Dr. Grimesey has always been supportive, open, and knowledgeable. Shouldn't a move this drastic deserve input from all involved? Why is senior staff the focus? I have met and had dealings with most of the senior staff. All but one has appeared sincere and truly caring about the students in their care. More information is certainly needed before this type of action is carried out. Thank you to whoever chose to share this information with the public. We are in your debt.

Kasi Caddell

This certainly sounds like an inside job based on a Superintenedent that is doing their job and not bowing down to the higher ups in the school system. The school board better think long and hard before they hire 'one said higher up' that has been vying for the position for the last few years. If she becomes the superintendent, at least half of the Moore County schools will be packing their bags!

Walter B Bull

And where are you going to find a qualified replacement if the logic of the dismissal is not presented to the public and defended in public by those who are supporting a change after the Superintendent's short time on the job?
My one on one meetings with Dr Grimesey have been professional and his vision is sound in a difficult situation where the state controls financial policy. If the School Board is responding to petty matters or if the rub is pure Board politics then shame on them.
I repeat the reasons had better be sound and our community might be better off if the whole Board resigns in order to let the public speak through a special election.

Greg R

"Several people close to school board members and with direct knowledge of the situation say Grimesey was asked to resign during a closed session Monday evening after the board’s workshop session."

Really?? Isn't the whole point of a closed session to be confidential? Why are our elected board members sharing personell information?

Jamie Roseberry

It would be nice to have these comments stated to the Board during the meeting. From the article it appears that the Board is divided so perhaps if they heard how the community feels then they could be forced to keep him.

Suzy Carlton

To me, as a volunteer within Moore County Schools for more than 12 years, Dr. Grimesey has been the most welcoming and sincere Superintendent that I have encountered during this time. He seeks and welcomes the input from the community and has championed students from all backgrounds, local, military, immigrants and others seeking to assist with their special needs and foster their strengths. He has created and supported with his participation some great outreach Advisory groups who are helping to enhance the school system in many ways, e.g., external communication advisory group, advisory group to programs such as STEM, and the Concept School, and has participated in collaboration with other School Districts in our region to resolve common challenges. These advisory groups are well led and efficiently managed, and are a great use of free community intellectual capital and experience. Recent open house visits to some of the robotic and other STEM demonstrations by elementary and middle school students, reflected happy and excited young boys and girls. It also seems that the collaboration between MCS and SCC has never been better, resulting in greater access to college education all the while saving resources. I don't think this is the teachers speaking, but it seems some members of the School Board has taken some unnecessary actions toward a new leader. I pray this is a mistake and not too late to turn the decision around.

Concerned Taxpayer59

It's all politics, people. Don't you know that? It doesn't matter that the teachers and kids like him. The senior staff members are what count. Gotta keep them happy! That's what counts. Not my grandkids or your kids, right?

Vickie Odom

Agree Embarrassed!

Vickie Odom

I thought things that were discussed in closed session were suppose to be private until voted on in regular meeting! Sounds like someone wanted to leak this really fast to the news, but then wouldn't admit who they were. Sounds like a snake in the works somewhere!!

Diane Allen

I would like to know exactly which board members are supporting this expensive, unnecessary move? I truly believe if they have good reason to fire someone, then they should be willing to publicly announce their belief that this is in the best interest of the county. They don't have to give their reasons, just stand up and let us know where they stand. They spend thousands of dollars to search for a superintendent and when he moves on without a single care about this county, they actually hire a man who is interested in improving morale and focusing on the students, their families and the teachers. Now, half the board members seem to think they have all the answers....let's buy out this contract and hire someone who will do our bidding. If these board members are brazen enough to waste this kind of money, it should be a matter of public knowledge so we can vote accordingly. If the board is split on this decision, how can it be published that they want his resignation or to fire him? I guess you can do anything behind closed doors.

Deanna Drummond

Finally we have a superintendent who supports teachers and doesn't play politics and they want to fire him. The focus should be on students and teachers and not on senior staff getting offended by someone who tells it like it is.

Lori Holland



Dr Bob believes in the integrity of children and dedicated teachers. He has been a sincere supporter of the children and their parents. I have seen him at my child's school and his genuine enthusiasm is highly evident. This whole situation just sounds fishy to me. Why get rid of a man who was doing his job? Did he make someone mad at the central office? Is there a power struggle going on here in the school system? If so we have hit a new low, Moore County Schools.

Barbara Brady

All I can say is they better have a good reason for firing him if it's going to cost me as a taxpayer. If it's a matter of someone's ego getting bruised then that is not an excuse. If it is a political reason then we need to fire the board members. We put them in we can take them out. It would be nice if someone had the courage to tell the public why this is being considered. Maybe they have a legitimate reason. We just need to know what it is.

stacey caldwell

I do agree with you!! Let us know what is up---

Lori Holland

This news is so disheartening. 'Doctor Bob" has been a champion for the teachers of Moore County, and boy do we need a champion right now. We are struggling to keep our heads above water and now someone has gone and poked a hole in the right arm floatie!

Dale Frye

A shameful, shameful action on the part of some of the board members to do such a deed to such a good, decent , and Godly man. Remember, "whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap."

David Lambert

Yes! Care to run again?

Chris Williams

All politicians, even the most well meaning of the lot, eventually tilt the balance of their concern and actions from doing what is best for the people to doing what keeps them comfortable and in power. As the above posters have said, it looks like a classic case of the old guard being threatened by new ideas and maybe in this case somebody who does not bow and fawn over the "senior" members of the board. How easily they forget that they are there to serve, not for a cushy job that lasts forever.

David Lambert

This could be a good example of why we need equal school board elections.... Doesn't sound like all opinions are heard.

Andy Fidandis

Dumbing down to the illegals that are here in the USA is a travesty. I personally saw it destroy school systems in the Central Coast of California to the point that US Citizens dare not send their kids to the dumbed down Public School Systems. Why do we have Spanish Emersion programs when a Chinese Emersion Program would benefit our children in the world economy so much better? I prefer my children become business leaders, not laborers.
Spanish? No way Jose.


I'll bet these newly enlightened students will also know it's spelled "immersion".

Spelling errors in posts mouthing off against foreign language education is a level of irony that doesn't get old.

Andy Fidandis

Typical liberal pointing out spelling errors. Fact remains Spanish IMMERSION does NO good for the Mexicans that have invaded our nation (they will not assimilate) nor the CITIZENS that live here teaching them a language that is best for yard maintenance and crop picking.
If the school system and liberals really cared about US CITIZENS we would have IMMERSION programs that feature languages the benefit US CITIZENS like Chinese.

I personally witnessed what Spanish Immersion programs did to the public schools in California..... it ruined them and dumbed down the entire curriculum for the migrant ILLEGAL farm workers children who did not stay in the school district long because...they were migrant.

The Schools are supposed to benefit the children of US CITIZENS. Immigrants are also welcome to improve OUR society. Not to improve the poor of the world and make our culture suffer. If you want the Central American culture and all that ails it...move to Mexico.

Hari Dizzle

I would love to see an article or a study to back up what you say. My wife's cousin teaches a Spanish immersion class in Texas and his kids have had improved test scores and behavior issues have declined. I think you are just repeating the fear mongering rhetoric the anti immigrant party has been spewing for decades. In the early 20th century, we were anti Irish, Italian, polish etc, the 1920's we were anti Chinese. Now its an anti Latino agenda. When are people going to learn that we are a nation of immigrants. It benefits everyone to be bi-lingual. Also,why would we have a Mandarin immersion class when China is 10,000 miles away?

Bridget Gulka

I could not agree more hd ! Well stated ![thumbup]

David Lambert

This is absolutely crazy. I have had alot of respect for our board members for some time but that has deteriorated greatly over the last few years. Its tragic and I call shenanigans. I think it is time that everyone put there cards on the table instead of pushing their private agendas.

Dr. Grimesey is a class act. He actually came to our schools, talked to the teachers as equals and empowered them to do their job. He was the first Superintendent I felt cared about improving the system and not playing politics with a few of Moore County's elite. At least he can hold his head up high and know that he did what was right and while he may have lost this political battle...he will win in the end.

He was like a breath of fresh air. I agree with Dr. Dempsey. I agree with those school board members who did not vote to remove him.

This is an expensive decision. You know these superintendents have contracts. Who knows what they will have to pay him to buy him off. And then to hire his replacement...and then to find a new Super and pay both those salaries? Interesting that we are complaining that we don't have money but then we have money in our fund balance to buy out a qualified leader.

Not only that, Will there be a lawsuit? Apparently some of these board members were all too eager to brag about their political maneuvering... I hope they expressed these concerns to the Super and gave him an opportunity to correct. If not this could cost taxpayers even more.

How much should taxpayers pay for some peoples greed and ambition?

Jorge Castillo

Who ever bring new good work, and is positive for the wealth, Health and knowledge in our county, let him work. The weight of God is Mercy to others.

George DeLisle

Seems like "the good ol' boys (& girls)" don't like to have to earn their pay. The new sheriff in town had made changes (for the good I might add), so they got rid of him. Its no wonder why all our teachers are leaving Moore County Schools....The school board has a bunch of clowns running it. I am sorry Dr. Bob, you did your job and did it well.

Jorge Castillo

Have you notice Pope, the Minister of Catholic Church; How many languages does he Speak? Did it make him less to learn to understand other and improve better learning and understanding how to handle life in better options? Just come out of the shell, and do not fear, be accessible to changes that will bring new ideas how to be a Great County in the area learn to value the skills of others and do not let go easy, even Jesus said: For their fruits you will know the good tree that makes good fruits; Value him. I do not have the pleasure to know this gentleman, but I have read enough about his achievements, let the Lord God Almighty guide you. And as he said; Love your neighbor as we love us. We are in the digital times, and if our county does not grow at the accelerate rhythm of this era of escalating knowledge internet technological, we will fall as left behind like cave men with out knowledge. Be mature, and let him stay; just be aware of his movements if they are for the best of the community.


This is insanity. Dr. Bob has done a wonderful job leading our school district. He has given his ear to the most important part of this district, the teachers and students. This action by the board and senior management is shameful.

Stefan Augustin

From reading this article it appears to me to be one where the "OLD" establishment doesn't like someone coming into "THEIR" system and upsetting the apple cart. But from what I can tell, if Moore County is going to produce "21st century world class leaders", Dr. Dempsey is exactly what the Moore County School System needs! Board members remember YOU do come up for re-election and this will not be forgotten!

George DeLisle

They already have their replacement...and if from what I's going to get worse before it gets better. Dr Bob was doing a great job, a sad day for Moore County Children. Time to vote in a new school board.

stacey caldwell

This just makes me sad -- I am thinking we need to SERIOUSLY look at our board members and write letters.... I just wrote a REALLY LONG ONE TO ALL OF THEM!! Rob has my up most respect and I truly love what he is doing for our schools. I love how involved he is!! Maybe the Older Board of Ed members are not happy because they have been sitting doing nothing for some many years and now are probably getting questioned! for instance.... I did not vote for Susan Black.... everyone teacher I talk to said they did not vote for her... but yet how the heck is she still on the board....she is one we really need to let go... We need change and a fresh perspective.... i hate that it is just all political and not what it should be for---the kids!!!!

Ron Rhody

Couldn't believe the report. This man is a rate talent and a remarkable get for Moore County. If the problem is hurt feelings on the part of long term staffers or board members maybe those concerned should just sit down and talk things though and not loose this valuable asset.

Dot Brower

How can we fire the Board?

George DeLisle

That is a great idea. Our children suffer because of their "agenda"

David Lambert

Yes! Those who are advocating need to answer up or GO.

Bridget Gulka

I agree !

Tessie Taylor

I wholeheartedly agree with Dr. Dempsey. This would be a travesty. Just may be that the real reason is that this gentleman is holding true to his commitment to the students in our County. He has done more to bring teachers and parents together as well as stimulate a partnership with the community than either of the last four superintendents we have had. Dr. Grimsey is holding people accountable on all sides of the table for the improvement of our system. He has established an expectation of trust, which is rare in most of our county. If our Board does this, their credibility or lack there of will be solidified. This Should Not Happen!

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