SIKESTON -- Citing an event last month that has brought "embarrassing inquiries" and "unflattering public attention" to the district, an apologetic Paul H. Boyd stepped down as president of the Sikeston R-6 school board.
Boyd, who has served as a senior U.S. probation officer for the Eastern District of Missouri since 1995 and a member of the R-6 school board since 2004, was arrested early Oct. 25 in Cape Girardeau on charges of driving while intoxicated and unlawful possession of a weapon, according to the Cape Girardeau Police Department.
Boyd, 43, submitted his letter of resignation as president late Monday afternoon to Superintendent Steve Borgsmiller. On Tuesday, board members unanimously voted to accept his request during the regular school board meeting. Boyd will remain a member of the school board.
Following the vote, Boyd addressed the board and crowd of mostly district administrators at the meeting.
"I'm sure that many of you are keenly aware of recent events in my personal life, which have generated a flurry of media attention directed at me and my family and friends, co-workers at the United States Probation Office and my colleagues on the board of education and the many fine administrators and teachers, staff and even students at the Sikeston R-6 School District," Boyd said.
Boyd said many have probably noticed he hasn't commented publicly on those matters, but then again, he hasn't been asked to. He will continue to have no comment regarding the facts of the event, but given Tuesday's vote by the board to accept his resignation from office, Boyd felt some comment was appropriate, he said.
"The people that I mentioned here today -- and many of you are here today -- have been subjected to countless embarrassing inquiries from others regarding the subject and have been placed in a position-- through no fault of your own -- and have been forced to defend the district against a sad fact which was completely beyond your control," Boyd said. "For that, as well as the unflattering public attention that the district has received as a result of last month's unfortunate set of circumstances, I sincerely apologize.
He continued: "I wish I could say that last month's four-day frenzy was the end of the media attention, but I suspect that today's event, along with future matters which I have to address, are only going to serve as fuel to the fire and result in another a round of airing across the five-state area what I believe is not one of the best pictures I've ever taken."
Boyd told the crowd how earlier this year at the high school graduation he spoke about consequences of choice upon a person's life.
"I'm sitting here today as a living example of my own philosophy," Boyd said. "I'd urge everyone here to thoughtfully consider the impact of the choices they make -- not only upon themselves but upon those they care about."
Boyd apologized again for what has occurred and for any future difficulties the district and board members may encounter as result of his personal circumstances.
"I can't say how sorry I am that the people close to me, and the district especially, have had to deal with those questions when they shouldn't have to," Boyd said.
Board members then selected vice president Ann Jones as president and board member Rick Adams as vice president. They will hold office until the reorganization of the board after the April election.
Following the meeting, the newly elected board president and superintendent declined to comment further on the situation.