Childs OK’d to lead McCormick at-risk youth school

07/09/2014 10:07 PM

07/29/2014 8:05 PM

COLUMBIA The John de la Howe School for at-risk youth has a new chief operating officer.

The State Board of Education on Wednesday approved the appointment of Meka Childs to the position, created by the state Legislature, to help the McCormick public school make improvements. The call for reforms came after a state inspector general’s report recommended better management and lower costs.

State Superintendent of Education Mick Zais appointed Childs to the post, subject to the state Board of Education’s approval. The board gave that approval Wednesday.

Childs was a deputy superintendent under Zais, making about $116,000 a year, until she stepped down to run for state schools chief.

Despite Zais’ endorsement, Childs lost her bid to succeed her former boss in June’s Republican primary, finishing sixth in a field of eight GOP candidates.

Childs will be paid $8,000 a month for about four months, a state Education Department spokesman said.

Childs, who attended Wednesday’s state Board of Education meeting, told The State that she is eager to “hit the ground running” in assisting the John de la Howe School, which she called “a wonderful asset of our state.”

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