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School board members resign from St. Louis, Parkway districts

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Missouri Board of Education votes to return control of the city's public schools to an elected board

Members of the St. Louis Public Schools elected board Joyce Roberts (left to right) Susan Jones, Dorothy Rohde Collins, Natalie Vowell and Donna Jones listen as members of the Missouri Board of Education discuss returning control of the city's public schools to the elected board after 12 years of state control during a meeting in St. Louis on Tuesday, April 16, 2019. Photo by David Carson, dcarson@post-dispatch.com

ST. LOUIS — Two members of the St. Louis School Board announced their resignations this week.

Board president Matt Davis announced veteran educator Joyce Roberts’ resignation at a meeting Tuesday and thanked her for “everything she’s done for this board of education and the dedication she’s shown, and beyond that, a lifetime of service to students here in the city of St. Louis.”

Roberts was elected to the board in 2018 after working as a teacher, principal and assistant superintendent in St. Louis Public Schools. For the past year, she served as the board’s president. Her term expires in November.

The district announced Wednesday that retired businesswoman Regina Fowler will also resign from the board. Fowler was appointed by Mayor Lyda Krewson in 2020 and her term expires in April 2023.

In a letter to Davis, Fowler cited politics and collusion among board members as the reason for her resignation.

Because SLPS is considered the lone metropolitan school district under Missouri law, the city’s mayor is tasked with appointing new members to fill any board vacancies. In other school districts, the board picks new members through an application process.

When Mayor Tishaura O. Jones chooses the two replacements, three of the seven board members will be mayoral appointments, including Alicia Sonnier, also appointed by Jones.

Jones released a statement Wednesday regarding the appointment to serve out Roberts’ term.

“St. Louis is grateful to Dr. Joyce Roberts for her decades of service to the SLPS community, as a teacher, as a principal, as an administrator, and as a member and president of the school board. I look forward to engaging community stakeholders to find a leader who can ensure continuity and work collaboratively to help deliver equitable educational opportunities for all St. Louis families,” reads the statement.

Davis suggested that Jones collaborate with the board in the decision process for new members.

“This is not a political thing, this is something I think would get us in line with every other school district and add a level of transparency,” Davis said.

The Parkway School District also will have a vacancy to fill on its School Board after Kristy Klein Davis leaves the board in June. Klein Davis plans to move out of the region at the end of the school year.

The Parkway board is accepting applications for the remainder of the term, which expires in April 2023.

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