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Superintendent’s Firing Puts St. Louis in Turmoil

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A divided St. Louis school board has ousted its superintendent and several of his top deputies, thrusting the 34,000-student district into upheaval less than six weeks before the new school year is scheduled to begin.

Creg Williams, who was just 15 months into a four-year contract, has been replaced by Diana M. Bourisaw, a former superintendent in a suburban St. Louis district. Ms. Bourisaw had recently been hired as an auditor for the district.

The forced departure of Mr. Williams prompted calls for state education officials to intervene and sparked a public outcry last week. Board members also fired a popular high school basketball coach recently, a move that Mr. Williams had publicly denounced.

Ms. Bourisaw, who was named interim superintendent, is the district’s sixth schools chief in three years.

D. Kent King, Missouri’s education commissioner, said a review of St. Louis’ latest student-achievement data in September could determine if the state must step in. Gov. Matt Blunt, a Republican, also weighed in on the disarray, saying in a written statement that he was “extremely disappointed” by the school board’s decision to get rid of Mr. Williams.

PHOTO: St. Louis school board President Veronica O'Brien, center, leaves a July 14 meeting.
—David Carson/St. Louis Post-Dispatch/AP

Vol. 25, Issue 43, Page 6

Published in Print: July 26, 2006, as Superintendent’s Firing Puts St. Louis in Turmoil

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