More then 150 students, parents and community leaders gathered in downtown Barbourville on Friday afternoon to show their support for the Knox County public schools superintendent.
School board members voted 3-2 in a special meeting Tuesday not to renew the contract of Superintendent Kelly Sprinkles. His contract expires June 30.
The rally was the third show of support from Knox County students who skipped the first part of the school days Wednesday and Thursday to protest, Mountain Advocate Editor Bobbie Poynter said.
Protesters said they are angered by the fact the decision was made at a special meeting and that two of the board members who voted not to renew the contract have been under investigation, Poynter said.
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A Kentucky Office of Education Accountability investigation last year reported that Dexter Smith and Merrill Smith had had improper involvement in personnel matters and day-to-day school operations. Both voted against renewing Sprinkles’ contract.
The agency also said it found Sprinkles to be in violation of state law for requesting emergency certifications for two teachers when there were other qualified applicants.
Supporters say Sprinkles elevated the school district from one of the lowest-scoring districts in the state to one of the highest-scoring, Poynter said. Some parents are working to see what it would take to keep him in the position.
Friday’s rally started with a parade that ran from Knox County Middle School to the school board annex.