Howard schools superintendent has 'rare form of cancer'

Board chairwoman says he is taking medical leave until March 1

February 01, 2011|By Joe Burris, The Baltimore Sun

Howard County Public Schools Superintendent Sydney Cousin is taking a medical leave of absence until March 1 as he battles a rare form of cancer, Howard Board of Education Chairwoman Janet Siddiqui said during Tuesday afternoon's board meeting.

The county schools superintendent since 2004, Cousin has been on indefinite medical leave since Jan. 5. On Tuesday afternoon, the board voted 5-1 to approve the promotion of Mamie Perkins, the superintendent's chief of staff, to deputy superintendent. The school system had been without a deputy superintendent, who would normally assume Cousin's responsibilities in such a situation.

"Dr. Cousin is battling a rare form of cancer and cited the need to focus on his health," Siddiqui said Tuesday afternoon. "Dr. Cousin is asking that everyone has patience, and he's asking for prayers during this difficult time.

"The board will look forward to his speedy recovery," Siddiqui added, "and we will have an update in March on his health."

joseph.burris@baltsun.com

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