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Saginaw school superintendent leaving, school board dysfunction continues

Jun 30, 2015

The Saginaw School Board may pick a new superintendent next month.

The district’s interim superintendent is retiring, in part, because of frustration with the board.    

Saginaw School Board president Ruth Ann Knapp listens during a school board meeting
Credit Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

Kelley Peatross came out of retirement 8 months ago to lead the district.  But she says the “antics” of some individuals have made it difficult for her to continue in the position. 

Dysfunction among Saginaw School Board members was on display again at Monday’s special meeting. 

It began when two board members walked out after a controversial vote over whether to allow a third  board member, who's home recovering from a medical procedure, participate in the meeting over the telephone.  One of the two later returned.

The board then elected Ruth Ann Knapp as its new president. The position has been vacant for months since the sudden resignation of the old president.

Knapp admits divisions on the Saginaw school board must be resolved.

“We really need to talk together and not talk at each other,” says Knapp.  

The next big decision the board must make is filling the district’s soon to be vacant superintendent’s post.   Kelley Peatross is leaving July 17th. 

The board plans to meet on July 15th. At that time, it is expected to review the resume of the district’s current assistant superintendent. It’s not clear if it will be another interim appointment or a permanent one.

Peatross wishes her successor more success dealing with the district’s critics.

“Time will tell as to whether or not what currently occurs continues,’ says Peatross.