Hattiesburg teacher of the year laid off

HATTIESBURG, MS (WDAM) - A former national teacher of the year from Hattiesburg has joined the unemployment line.

Michael Marks said he was laid off from his job as principal at the new Adept School just before the Christmas holidays.

The adept school began operations in March of 2008 to help school dropouts ages 16-20 earn their high school diplomas. The school currently has 30 students and four fulltime instructors, including Superintendent Deborah Woullard.

Marks, who once served on the executive committee of the NEA, said the school receives its funding mainly from charitable donations and gifts, and that the ailing economy has affected the amount people and businesses are donating.