Harrisburg School District renews superintendent’s contract


For months, the Harrisburg School Board has gone back and forth on whether to renew the contract of superintendent Dr. Sybil Knight-Burney or search for other candidates.

On Monday, they made the decision to renew her contract for another term.

“They get these cushy positions and, you know, don’t worry about what our kids are going through, and I think it’s time that the community and city stands up,” said Ron Johnson, a community leader on Allison Hill. 

Stand up, they did.

Hundreds of people came out to the meeting after a small group of people started a social media campaign to let their voices be heard. Despite the board’s 5-4 vote to keep the current superintendent, it’s clear the community wanted new leadership. 

“If I only completed 70 percent of what my job has asked me to do, would I be able to continue in that position, especially when there are other people willing to go 100 percent?” said Carmen Dones, a parent. 

Some called for the entire board to resign. 

“Instead of it coming down to someone having to kick you and drag you, don’t do that. Be well enough just to resign. Turn it over. Say, ‘I’ve done what I could do.’ Go on,” said Joelle Ewell, a community member and preschool teacher. 

Everyone made it clear that the fight is far from over.

“This won’t stop. The movement continues to grow. Everything you do, we will be watching,” another community member said. 

The board was scheduled to vote on a final draft of the 2018-2019 budget, but they opted to postpone the vote until next Monday.

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