TIPP CITY — At a special meeting Wednesday, the Tipp City school board voted to accept the resignation of a high school teacher who had been placed on leave following multiple unexcused absences.
The board and administrators declined to comment on the resignation of Garrett Morris, who taught courses in the Tippecanoe High School Social Studies Department.
Superintendent Gretta Kumpf said it is the district’s policy not to comment on specific personnel issues.
The board voted 4-0 to accept the resignation and did not discuss their vote. Board member Corine Doll was absent from the meeting.
According to letters from Tippecanoe High School Principal Steve Verhoff in Morris’ personnel file, he had been reprimanded for excessive use of leave and failure to properly report absences. Since joining the district in 2016, Morris had used approximately 34 days of personal and sick leave, and failed to notify school personnel of unplanned absences six times since last school year.
On Sept. 7, the administration conducted a pre-disciplinary meeting following an “unexcused and unreported” absence on Sept. 6, when Morris failed to report for school and did not answer multiple calls from high school staff. He contacted the school around noon and said that he overslept after a late night out. He was docked for that day and issued a written reprimand.
On Oct. 22, Morris again failed to report for work without notification and a pre-disciplinary meeting was scheduled for the next day. On both Sept. 6 and Oct. 22, a substitute could not be secured and his classes were covered by other teachers.
At their regular meeting Oct. 22, the school board went into executive session to “consider the investigation of charges or complaints against a public employee or official and to consider the discipline of a public employee.”
Morris submitted a letter of resignation on Oct. 23.
“I am proud to have worked for Tipp City Schools and I appreciate the time and patience you have shown with me,” he wrote.
In the statement from the district, Verhoff said the schedules have been adjusted within the Social Studies Department to divide some of Morris’ classes between teachers Mike Maley and Joe Bellas.
“Mr. Morris taught AP Human Geography, a course that should not be taught by a long- term substitute. Beginning Monday, we have adjusted schedules within the THS Social Studies Department to make certain qualified and experienced AP teachers provide instruction to students enrolled in AP Human Geography,” he said.
Substitutes will fill in for Morris’ World Studies classes until a long-term substitute for the remainder of the school year can be hired.
Morris’ profile on the district website said that he was in his third year teaching at the high school. Morris is from Kettering and a graduate of Miami University. He taught in Cincinnati and Baton Rouge, La., before coming to Tipp City.
Reach Cecilia Fox at email@example.com.