MUSKEGON HEIGHTS, Mich. (WOOD) - The state says the appointed leader of Muskegon Heights schools is being replaced.
Emergency Manager Donald Weatherspoon -- who has been with Muskegon Heights since April 2012 -- has been appointed to consult Pontiac Public Schools through its financial emergency.
Gregory Weatherspoon -- Don Weatherspoon's brother -- was appointed by Gov. Rick Snyder fill the emergency manager role at the Muskegon Heights Public School Academy System.
Gregory Weatherspoon is an education specialist and Michigan Department of Education consultant. He worked in the Lansing school system for nearly two decades. He was also superintendent of Cassopolis Public Schools for seven years.
He will also take over Highland Park's school district in Wayne County, for which his brother was also emergency manager.
Snyder said that after Don Weatherspoon took over the districts in Muskegon Heights and Highland Park, he was able to successfully restructure each district's debt, reduce liabilities and consolidate unused buildings.
Facing a deficit of about $12 million, Muskegon Heights' district asked for an emergency financial manager in December 2011.
While at Muskegon Heights, Don Weatherspoon laid off 158 employees, That constituted every state employee in the district with the exception of some Head Start and preschool staff. He also transitioned the district to a charter format -- a move the union opposed and one that faced criticism from the community.
Gregory Weatherspoon will begin as the new emergency manager effective for Muskegon Heights Wednesday.
Dave Sipka, superintendent of the Muskegon Area Intermediate School District, released this statement Tuesday:
"We greatly appreciate Don's efforts on behalf of Muskegon Heights Public Schools. While his decisions may not have been popular with everyone, Don always had the best interest of the school children at heart. He was focused on what would be best for them in the long term."
"We enjoyed working with Don and assisting him as he processed through some very difficult decisions. We wish him well in whatever challenges lie before him in other areas of the state."
"We look forward to working with Gregory Weatherspoon and assisting him with a smooth transition into our community."
Thirty-three-year-old Ronald T. Smith II was grew up in Warren.
Is tonight the night? Maybe it's tomorrow. Or even Sunday.
Two other people, who were inside the residence at the time, escaped safely.