Carlinda Purcell, Reading schools superintendent, takes medical leave; substitute appointed

Reading school superintendent on leave; substitute appointed

READING, Pa. - Reading's school superintendent has taken a leave of absence, prompting the school board to name a substitute.

Carlinda Purcell recently informed the board of her need to take medical leave for an indefinite amount of time, effective Nov. 7, the board announced Tuesday.

"Because Dr. Purcell provided no timetable for her return to work, the board decided that it needed to take action to ensure that the district had an administrator in place to oversee day-to-day operations," Pierre V. Cooper, the board's president, said in a prepared statement.

The board chose Karen B. Gokay, the district's chief human resources officer, to take Purcell's place until she can return to the job.

In Purcell's absence, Cooper said the board will work with Gokay and other RSD administrators to set priorities for the district.

Purcell came to Reading as superintendent in 2012. She previously served as superintendent of Montgomery Public Schools in Alabama.

Purcell served a 5-day suspension for an undisclosed reason this past summer. Officials provided no further information about her medical leave.

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