"Crisis" at Lucy Addison middle motivates parents, students and NAACP

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ROANOKE, Va. (WDBJ7) In Roanoke, parents, students and even the NAACP are raising concerns after yet another change of leadership at one local school. Five principals have now come and gone from Lucy Addison Middle in just the last 18 months.

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For Brenda Hale, President of the local branch of the NAACP, the situation at Lucy Addison Middle is nothing short of "a crisis." Speaking to a crowd in the school atrium Monday, she pointed to the decline in student performance and the high turnover among teachers and principals.

Addison's last principal, Anna Unversaw, left Friday, after just four weeks on the job. According to a letter sent to parents by the school district, Unversaw left because of a family crisis.

But that doesn't make the loss of yet another principal any less concerning, says Hale.

"We cannot keep doing this," she said.

Other speakers, including Parent-Teacher-Student Alliance President Kevin McNeil, said the school's failures rest with the entire community.
"not just of a school system, but of clergy, community leaders, parents."

The solution McNeil and others argued: active support for teachers, students and the newest principal, Jonathan Rosser.

"We just need a lot of positivity. That's what I got out of the whole thing," said Rosser.

Monday was Rosser's first day in the principal's chair, after nearly two decades spent in and around Roanoke City schools

"I'm just ready to go, ready to get to work," he said.

After Monday's meeting, Rosser addressed the Lucy Addison PTSA, where he pledged not to leave before the end of the school year.

"So I'm here. I'm here. The only thing I need is your support," he said to applause. Rosser said he'll be facing an evaluation by the district at the end of this semester. That will determine if he stays on past June.

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