The Seattle School Board unanimously voted to dismiss Superintendent Maria Goodloe-Johnson on Wednesday night, amid a financial scandal that left the board scrambling to repair the damage.
The board appointed Susan Enfield, the district's chief academic officer, as interim superintendent. Betty Patu was the only "no" vote, saying she wanted a candidate that wasn't tainted by being part of Goodloe-Johnson's staff.
Goodloe-Johnson ousted as Seattle schools chief, Seattle PI
Also shown the door Wednesday was Don Kennedy, the district's Chief Financial and Operations Officer. Like Goodloe-Johnson, Kennedy, who came from South Carolina, was fired without cause, meaning he must be paid a severance of $87,000 -- half of his annual salary -- under the terms of his contract.
School board members described the decision as a difficult one, yet necessary to restore the public and the board's trust in the school system and to change a management culture that bred an "atmosphere of fear and intimidation." Board members said it was important to act decisively and to refocus on the mission of serving children.
Seattle Public Schools name interim financial officer, Seattle Times
Robert Boesche, a school-finance consultant and former finance chief in the Northshore School District, will be the interim chief financial officer in Seattle Public Schools.
Seattle's ousted schools superintendent apologizes for financial scandal, Seattle Times
Maria Goodloe-Johnson has issued a public statement about the financial scandal that cost her her job as superintendent of Seattle Public Schools, saying she had no part in the misuse of taxpayer dollars but that the wrongdoing was on her watch "and for that, I am deeply sorry."
Rewind | Seattle Times Editorial Board interviews school officials, Seattle Times
What comes next for a school district rocked by financial scandal? The Seattle Times Editorial Board met for an interview with Interim Superintendent Susan Enfield and Seattle School Board President Steve Sundquist. Watch the interview below.
Interim superintendent described as 'driven’, Seattle PI
"I know the community's faith has been shaken by recent events," she said. "But its commitment to its students remains strong. I share and I will honor that commitment by serving this community, especially its students, to the very best of my ability."
She said her immediate priority is to restore trust in Seattle Public School and to address questions about fiscal stewardship. She pledged to keep an "open-door" policy and to be out in the community listening to questions and concerns. She pledged to provide strong leadership and to support teachers and principals.
Interim Seattle schools chief says she's here 'as long as I'm needed', Seattle Times
Susan Enfield's contract as interim superintendent of Seattle Public Schools runs through June 2012, but it was clear from her first day on the job that she hopes to stay longer.
"I want to do the very, very best job I can for as long as I'm needed," she said, when asked if she wants the job permanently. "I'm committed to this community for as long as I can be there and help them."
New Seattle Schools Superintendent Susan Enfield must restore trust and order, Seattle Times
IF Susan Enfield would like her job as interim superintendent of Seattle Public Schools to become permanent, the route is straightforward: restore public confidence and trust.
No major changes or new efforts come close to the need to end the chaos and distrust permeating the district.