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Crystal City School District superintendent placed on paid leave

CRYSTAL CITY, MO – The Crystal City 47 School District has scheduled a special closed meeting Thursday night (Aug. 30) to discuss the future employment of its superintendent.

School Board President Ken Holdinghausen confirmed Superintendent Philip Harrison was placed on paid administrative leave. Holdinghausen said he could not specify a reason for the move citing “a personnel matter,” but he did say there was no connection to a student in the district. When asked if the situation involved another staff member in the district, Holdinghausen said, “I’m not going to go there.”

Fox 2 spoke with Superintendent Philip Harrison Wednesday evening (Aug. 29) who said he does not know why he was placed on leave. He said he was notified of the decision Tuesday afternoon (Aug. 28). When asked if he believed the reason had anything to do with a situation involving a student, he said, “Absolutely not,” adding he always conducted himself in the “highest level of decorum” when interacting with his students.

The closed meeting of the school board is scheduled to begin at 6 p.m. The meeting agenda says members will discuss “action relating to the hiring, firing, disciplining and promotion of employees,” as well as “legal and personnel matters.”

The board will also consider “approval of agreement to hire Ms. Susan Hladky for investigation.” Hladky is an Assistant Professor of Education at Missouri Baptist University. Her LinkedIn profile says she is a “School Leadership and Human Resources executive that specialized in recruiting, hiring, and maintaining a highly qualified educational staff.”

The agenda then states the board will discuss an interim superintendent.

The Crystal City 47 School District has an elementary school and a high school.