DESE names interim superintendents at Missouri School for the Deaf

Administrators want to keep things 'running smoothly' for next leader

The Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education has named two interim superintendents for the Missouri School for the Deaf.

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Margilee LaBoarde

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Harold Siebert

Assistant Superintendent Margilee LaBoarde and Business Manager Harold Siebert will be in charge of day-to-day operations at the school while DESE continues its search for a replacement for the recently-retired Barbara Garrison.

“Both of them have been at the school for some time and they’re already in management positions,”said Stephen Barr, assistant commissioner for special education. “I needed someone with experience in business and in the school side. I have a lot of respect for both of them — (the decision) wasn’t that difficult.”

LaBoarde has been at MSD for 31 years, first as a teacher before moving on to serve as a school supervisor and then curriculum coordinator before being named assistant superintendent.

She said she first became interested in deaf education when the public school she was working in started a deaf classroom with a deaf teacher.

“Several of us teachers took sign language, and I was good at it, and that was the start of my interest,” LaBoarde said, noting her grandfather had taught her sign language as a small child when she couldn’t speak.

Siebert started at MSD as the assistant business manager 13 years ago.

Although Siebert said deaf education was not his primary concern when he first started at the school,”I’ve since run into that aspect of it.”

The school’s new leaders said they have no special plans for MSD over the next months beyond overseeing everyday operations.

“We’re just caretakers who are going to keep programs moving in the direction we’re going,” Siebert said. “Hopefully we’ll have some idea of the background (of the new superintendent) and may get some guidance from them.”

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