A student journalist from the student newspaper wanted to write an article about the new principal that came to Pittsburgh High School.
But the more that the journalists looked into the principal’s past, the darker it became. Nobody was trying to unveil Dr. Amy Robertson’s concerning past.
Pittsburgh High School
Pittsburgh High was established in 1887. In southern Kansas, the school has grown to be the biggest high school in the area.
The school has over 860 students and 65 staff. The high school also proudly displays its alumni like Shad Meier and Kerry Meier and Bill Russel, former Dodgers manager.
The Booster Redux
The high school has a student newspaper called The Booster Redux. It’s not just for fun, it’s received several awards and the students really do practice proper journalism.
But maybe the students took their journalism a little too seriously when they uncovered a secret so surprising, the principal had to resign. This scandal brought The Booster Redux onto a new level of journalism.
The Right Fit
Dr. Amy Robertson left quite an impression on all the people on the school board including the administrators and the pupils.
Destry Brown stated that Roberston was the right fit among all the other candidates. On March 6, 2017, she was chosen for the role as principal. But soon the journalists would uncover something they could never put back.
More Than Meets The Eye
CBS“Robertson comes to Pittsburg with decades of experience in education.” Spokesperson for the school district, Zach Flether, optimistically stated.
Robertson was the CEO of Atticus I.S Consultants and the press release informing people of her new role said: “an education consulting firm [at which she] gained management experience at the equivalence of a building administrator and superintendent.” Robertson’s first day as principal was scheduled for July 1, 2017. But what nobody knew was that Robertson was hiding more from them than they knew.
Destry Brown was excited and originally stated that Robertson’s skills were going to help the school a great deal.
“I felt like she is very knowledgeable about what is going on in education today. And she knows about how a building works and about maintaining a safe environment,” he told reporters at The Kansas City Star. He didn’t know just how wrong he was.
The Student journalists at The Booster Redux felt that there was something strange about Robertson just a month after she arrived. They wanted to find out what.
Maddie Baden, a member of The Booster Redux, wanted to introduce the new principal to the school by interviewing her. But she said something that made Baden suspicious.
Before she came to the school, no one had heard about Robertson. The Booster Redux decided they’d start some investigative work on her so they to find enough about her to release a welcoming editorial.
The journalists kept peering deeper into the principal’s past until they found something that made them have their doubts about her. While they were digging up dirt on her, she had her own agenda – shut down The Booster Redux.
Digging Up Dirt
Baden heard from on of his sources that the newspaper was in danger so she told her team to double their efforts. They found some articles from 2012 that were interesting.
The information they found made alarm bells sound in their heads. They had found evidence that Robertson had ties to the Dubai American Scientific School. The newspaper had a difficult decision to make.
The evidence also clearly stated that she was never fit to be a principal at the Dubai American Scientific School.
Soon they also found out that the school’s license was suspended for unknown reasons. Baden told reporters at The Kansa Star, “If students could uncover all of this, I want to know why the adults couldn’t.”
More Information Surfaces
Unsurprisingly, the entire workforce at the student paper got to work trying to uncover more about Robertson. They spent three weeks digging into her background, and what they found left them all dumbfounded.
They didn’t know what else she was hiding, but they did know that they couldn’t let her take her position as principal of their school.
After weeks of intensive investigation, the team was able to scrutinize Robertson’s qualifications.
She claimed to have obtained a master’s degree from Corlin’s University by studying online and, occasionally, visiting the university’s campus — situated in Stockton, California. But when the students visited the college’s website, they uncovered a different story.
The students couldn’t find any evidence that the college even existed. And even more incriminating, the Better Business Bureau stated that Corlins was not an accredited business.
To boot, the institution had no known physical address. They also found reports that accused the college of being a complete scam that offers degrees to the highest bidder!
Brushing Them Off
What’s more, the pictures on Corlins’ website were taken at an entirely different university’s graduation ceremony. But Robertson was quick to brush off the allegations from her soon-to-be students, saying they were “not based on facts.”
In an interview with The Kansas City Star, she said: “The current status of Corlins University is not relevant. When I received my MA in 1994 and my Ph.D. in 2010, there was no issue. All of my degrees have been authenticated by the U.S. government.”
On The Front Page
But, the editor of The Booster Redux was determined to expose the truth about the new principal. And she couldn’t ignore the glaring inconsistencies in Robertson’s story.
The publication ran the article on March 31, 2017, and published their findings on the front page of the school’s newspaper. But how would Robertson react when she saw it?
The Real Story
“She was going to be the head of our school, and we wanted to be assured that she was qualified and had the proper credentials,” Trina Paul later explained to The Kansas City Star.
“We stumbled on to some things that most might not consider [to be] legitimate credentials.” Then, just a few days later, the board made an announcement.
Robertson had decided to decline the job offer. “In light of the issues that arose, Amy Robertson felt [that] it was in the best interest of the district to resign her position,” Brown said in a statement.
Then, in July, Phil Bressler accepted the position as Robertson’s replacement. But why hadn’t the board vetted Robertson before hiring her?
Who Is At Fault?
Brown believes that he made a mistake and admits that he was at fault. “I do feel it is my responsibility,” he told The Kansas City Star.
“As superintendent, I feel like I let the teachers and the students down. I publicly admit that.”
After the incident, the board is considering making a big change with regards to the hiring process.
Student advisor Emily Smith declared the tenacious young journalist heroes. She said that she is “very proud” of what they had achieved with their student paper. She also clarified the students’ intentions.
“[The team was] not out to get anyone to resign or to get anyone fired,” she said. “They worked very hard to uncover the truth.” But what happened to Robertson?
In light of the exposure in The Booster Redux, another intriguing detail came to light. A woman named Paula Schneider claimed that she had attended the University of Tulsa with Robertson.
Schneider also claimed that Robertson had often obtained fraudulent credit cards by using different people’s social security numbers. Schneider saw the piece in The Booster Redux and took to Facebook.
“The Most Evil Woman”
“One of the most evil women I have ever known has been humiliated by a team of high school journalists.” Schneider wrote. The post continued, “I just hope the next time she’s in the news, it’s with the phrase ‘has been charged with…’ following her name.”
Since then, the young journalists appeared on Good Morning America and Inside Edition. Boston Globe reporter Todd Wallack tweeted; the American Press Institute also said that “journalistic investigations can come from anywhere.”