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Loud protests at Bourisaw's first School Board meeting

By Matt Sepic, KWMU

St. Louis, MO – The new interim superintendent of the St. Louis public schools faced an angry audience last night (Tuesday) at her first school board meeting.

The board named Diana Bourisaw to the top post Friday, just after Superintendent Creg Williams abruptly resigned.

A few audience members welcomed her. But most including St. Louis real estate developer Mary Johnson called for Williams' reinstatement. "How do you get rid of a person - Dr. Williams - who had a plan implemented a plan in the short time he was here, and replace him with a person who has proven that she cannot run the Fox School District?" asked Johnson, alluding to Bourisaw's last job as superintendent of the Jefferson County district.

But parent Susan Turk was one of just a few in the crowd who welcomed Bourisaw. Turk also spoke out against a possible state takeover of the district.

After the public comment period, the board passed a $385 million operating budget. But three of the seven board members voted against it (Bob Archibald, Ron Jackson, Flint Fowler), claiming the plan does not deal adequately with the district's debt.

School Board President Veronica O'Brien was greeted with loud boos when entering the meeting.