At our inception 20 years ago, we chose to be different. Unlike other news organizations, we made the decision to provide in-depth, regional reporting free to anyone who wanted access to it. We don’t plan to change that model. Support from our readers will help us maintain and strengthen the editorial independence that is crucial to our mission to help make Western North Carolina a better place to call home. If you are able, please support The Smoky Mountain News.

The Smoky Mountain News is a wholly private corporation. Reader contributions support the journalistic mission of SMN to remain independent. Your support of SMN does not constitute a charitable donation. If you have a question about contributing to SMN, please contact us.

Pisgah teacher under investigation resigns

A Pisgah High School teacher who had been under investigation by Haywood County Schools since late last year is no longer with HCS, according to Superintendent Dr. Bill Nolte. 

“He resigned,” Nolte said of Stephen Parris, former band director at Pisgah. 

Privacy laws governing personnel records prevent school officials in North Carolina from going into detail about investigations, resignations or dismissals. 

Nolte did, however, confirm that Parris was the subject of an HCS investigation into allegations of inappropriate communication with students that began back on Nov. 22, 2019.

Parris had been suspended with pay during the investigation until he resigned on Jan. 7, 2020. 

As of Jan. 13, no criminal charges had been filed in Haywood County against Parris, who was named HCS teacher of the year in 2011. Parris did not respond to a request for comment. 

Go to top