Metro-East News

Lonzo Greenwood ousted as school board president in District 189

Lonzo Greenwood is out as president of the East St. Louis District 189 school board.

By a 4-3 vote, the school board decided Tuesday night to install Kinnis Williams as board president. Greenwood, who has been board president for more than 20 years, is still a member of the board.

The four votes in favor of Williams were cast by Marquitta McAfee, R.C. Clark, LaKeisha Adams and Williams. Board members Victoria Clay, Irma Golliday and Greenwood voted to retain Greenwood as president.

Greenwood congratulated Williams and said he will still be a part of the board, working with Williams in the best interest of District 189 students.

Williams, who has been on the board for two decades, thanked “Mr. Greenwood for all he’s done.”

Williams, 56, said he plans to use his technological skills to address some of the issues facing the district. “I feel I can take the district even farther,” he said.

The first thing on Williams’ plate is to “get rid of the “Memorandum of Understanding the district has with the state superintendent.”

“We would like the state to abolish it. It was put in place in case there was ever a problem between us and the local superintendent. If there was a problem the state could step in and cast the deciding vote,” Williams said.

Williams said there have not been any problems between the local board and the local superintendent and he foresees this to be the case going forward.

“We have a good relationship with the local superintendent. It’s been five years since the decree was put in place and it is set to end this year, this month,” Williams said.

Williams is proud to boast that the district has been financially sound and that District 189 test scores fare well when compared with other impoverished districts in the area.

Superintendent Arthur Culver congratulated Williams on his new role on the board.

“I congratulate Mr. Williams on his new role as board president, and I thank Mr. Greenwood for his many years of strong leadership as president. Board roles may change, but our goal of improving academic achievement and increased opportunities for all students remains the same,” Culver said.

McAfee, who was elected vice president of the board, said she cast her vote for Williams because of his genuine love for children.

“I love kids. I see Mr. Williams out a lot with kids. He is always at different schools with kids. I love a person who loves kids. It’s not always about politics; it’s about the kids,” McAfee said.

Carolyn P. Smith: 618-239-2503