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Award-winning teacher terminated

By Greg Gelpi

A Clayton County teacher recognized nationally for his contributions in the classroom has been recommended for termination by a disciplinary tribunal.

Mundy's Mill High School band director Vincent Rosse was brought before the tribunal when the truthfulness of his application for employment with the school system was questioned.

Rosse was one of five teachers nationally to receive the John Phillip Sousa Legion of Honor Award in 2004, but Clayton County school system attorney Gary Sams told the tribunal that his job performance isn't an issue.

"This is not whether he is a good music director or a good teacher or competent," Sams told the tribunal. "You'll hear nothing in this case about what he does in a classroom or about what an outstanding teacher he may or may not be."

James David Dunham, a Griffin attorney representing Rosse, said that the point of contention is Rosse's 2002 application with the school system.

What tribunal testimony referred to as "a poison pen letter" was sent to the school system earlier this year, which prompted an investigation into whether Rosse lied on his application.

On the application, he indicated that he had not been fired or asked to resign from any previous employment, but school officials learned that in 1990 he was asked to resign from the Dougherty County school system where he had taught.

Dunham said that he and his client have 30 days in which to appeal the decision of the tribunal and that they are considering doing so.