High school principal resigns after students expose her credentials
Kansas City high school journalists dug into the past of their new principal, causing her to resign.
The Kansas City Star reports that students at Pittsburg High School researched Amy Robertson's background -- and days later, she left her $93,000-a-year job.
"She was going to be the head of our school, and we wanted be assured that she was qualified and had the proper credentials," Trina Paul, a senior and an editor of the Pittsburg High School's newspaper, Booster Redux, told The Kansas City Star. "We stumbled on some things that most might not consider legitimate credentials."
After a search online, the students found articles that the Dubai's education authority suspended Robertson's clearance to teach at Dubai American Scientific School; they accused her of not being authorized to be a principal. Robertson had lived in Dubai on and off for 19 years.
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On Friday, the Booster Redux published a story that questioned the legitimacy of Robertson's degrees. She had apparently received her masters and doctorate from Corllins University -- but the students could not find evidence the university exists.
Instead, both the reporters and The Star found articles that said Corllins was a diploma mill, where one is able to merely buy a degree. Furthermore, its website does not have any actual information.
Robertson denies that her degrees are illegitimate. In an email to The Star, she said, "The current status of Corllins University is not relevant because when I received my MA in 1994 and my PhD in 2010, there was no issue ... All three of my degrees have been authenticated by the US government."
On Tuesday, Pittsburg Community Schools Board of Education President Al Mendez announced Robertson's resignation.
The board previously approved of Robertson's hiring on March 6. At the time, Superintendent Destry Brown approved, and according to The Star he felt responsible for what happened. "As superintendent, I feel like I let the teachers and the students down. I publicly admit that," he said.
Emily Smith, the high school's journalism adviser, said she was proud of the students. She told The Star, "They were not out to get anyone to resign or to get anyone fired. They worked very hard to uncover the truth."