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President of Cherry Creek school board resigns after using ‘racist term’ during teacher banquet

Warning: This article contains a racial slur readers might find offensive
Posted: 3:34 PM, May 03, 2019
Updated: 2019-05-03 22:32:28Z
David Willman

Editor's note: This article contains a racial slur readers might find offensive.

DENVER – The president of the Cherry Creek school board has resigned after using a “racist term” during a teacher awards banquet for which he apologized on Wednesday.

In a letter sent to parents and staff of the Cherry Creek School District, Superintendent Scott A. Siegfried said David Willman resigned from his post Friday.

“I respect Mr. Willman’s decision and thank him for putting the best interests of our students and community first,” said Siegfried. “I also want to thank him for his eight years of service on the board.”

On Wednesday, Willman apologized to Cherry Creek Schools staff for using the word "tar baby" when telling a story of a teacher he worked with whose first name was Tar and how he used to call her "tar baby" as a nickname, per a CCSD spokesperson.

In his resignation letter, Willman said the “board needed a strong and consistent leadership message moving forward within our community,” adding his time in the role had come to an end.

“In Cherry Creek Schools, we are committed to creating a district-wide culture that is safe, supportive and inclusive,” Siegfried said in Friday’s letter. “I look forward to working with the board and district staff in our continuing efforts to provide the kind of education that values all students.”

The district will now launch an application process to fill the position. Details of the process will be released shortly, the letter reads.