School board conflicts lead to exits of 2 more well-known superintendents

A school board relationship described as hostile—but in this case, with just one specific member—has led to the resignation of yet another well-known superintendent.

Matt Miller (Photo: Lakota Local School District)

Matt Miller stepped down this week after nearly six years as superintendent of Lakota Local School District in Ohio, accusing a board member of retaliating against him for his “efforts to protect Lakota students of all genders and races from her destructive efforts,” according to a letter obtained by the Cincinnati Enquirer. 

Miller accused the member of lying about him at school board meetings and in her interactions with the public, which led to death threats being made against him and an attempted break-in at his home, the Enquirer reported. In his letter, Miller acknowledged that the other members of the school board did not share that member’s views but he also expressed frustration that they “did not protect me and my family.”

“WE understand that diversity means accepting that every person is different and celebrating our differences,” Miller wrote in a message to the community posted to the Cincinnati-area district’s website. “WE understand that equity means ensuring that our students are on a level playing field; that each of our students has the tools they need to succeed. WE understand that inclusion means making sure that each and every one of our 17,500 students feels welcome in our classrooms.”

Miller also noted that he has already accepted a new position that offers “a very unique opportunity.” The day after Miller resigned, the school board named assistant superintendent and longtime employee Robb Vogelmann as Lakota Local School District’s interim superintendent.

Baron Davis (Twitter)

In another high-profile departure connected to school board relationships, Baron Davis resigned as superintendent of Richland School District Two, one of South Carolina’s largest school districts.

Davis, who was hired in 2017, was the district’s first Black leader and received a contract extension in September but had fallen out of favor with a majority of the school board’s membersThe State reported.

Richland Two’s school board elevated the district’s chief instructional officer, Nancy Gregory, to interim superintendent on Thursday. Gregory joined the district as a science teacher in 1980.

When it comes to new hires, the Keokuk Community School District’s board unanimously appointed Kathy Dinger as its new superintendent. Dinger had served as superintendent of the Bushnell-Prairie City School District in Illinois for about 10 years. Near Boston, Nan Murphy has been named the next superintendent of Dedham Public Schools. Murphy is currently the assistant superintendent of teaching and learning at Marblehead Public Schools.

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And in Colorado, Pueblo County School District 70 has hired its first-ever female superintendent, Ronda Rein, who had been the system’s assistant superintendent, KRDO reported.

More superintendent shifts

  • Mehlville School District Superintendent Chris Gaines will retire in August to become the CEO of the nonprofit EducationPlus. Gaines has been a superintendent for 22 years.
  • Clovis USD Superintendent Eimear O’Brien has announced she will retire in June.
  • Ridgefield Park Public Schools in New Jersey reinstated Superintendent Dr. Angela Bender, who has been suspended since June 2021, reported.
Matt Zalaznick
Matt Zalaznick
Matt Zalaznick is a life-long journalist. Prior to writing for District Administration he worked in daily news all over the country, from the NYC suburbs to the Rocky Mountains, Silicon Valley and the U.S. Virgin Islands. He's also in a band.

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