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Oklahoma Education Board Meeting Gets Heated (Jan 27, 2011)

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — Oklahoma school Superintendent Janet Barresi's first meeting with the state board of education turned testy with one board member calling her a "dictator" and the board refusing to approve the hiring of three employees she requested.

The board met Thursday and refused Barresi's request to hire Jennifer Carter as her chief of staff, Damon Gardenhire as communications director and Jill Geiger as director of finance.

Board members expressed concerns that the three had been giving directions to Department of Education employees since Barresi took office on Jan. 10.

Board members did approve the hiring of two other employees.

Board member Tim Gilpin of Tulsa and Barresi had several loud exchanges and it was Gilpin who referred to Barresi as a dictator.

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