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Embattled Oklahoma school district hires new superintendent

PERRY, Okla. – An embattled school district has hired a new superintendent as the criminal case against several employees continues.

Authorities arrested 85-year-old Arnold Cowen after he allegedly inappropriately touched at least 20 students at Perry Elementary School.

Cowen was charged him with 22 counts of lewd acts with a child under 16.

Arnold Cowen

Students as young as 10-years-old complained Cowen fondled them, according to arrest affidavits.

Kenda Miller, the school’s principal, and Jeffrey Sullins, a 5th grade math teacher, also face criminal charges after police say they failed to report the accusations.

According to court documents, Miller fielded multiple complaints from students, but told them they had to be accidental.

When Sullins was told of inappropriate touching, police allege that he told the student she was “making stuff up” and called the victim a liar, documents show.

After Cowen, Miller and Sullins were charged, the school board started discussing the employment of the district’s superintendent, Scott Chenoweth.

In May, Chenoweth resigned.

Now, it seems that a new superintendent has been selected to run the district.

During a special board meeting on Monday, the Perry Public School District hired Dr. Terry McCarthy.

“I’m thankful for this opportunity,” McCarty said. “Perry is a wonderful community with strong support for its schools. I look forward to working with faculty, staff and families to provide an outstanding education for our students.”

McCarty served as the assistant superintendent of operations for Stillwater Public Schools for four years.

He is scheduled to begin at Perry Public Schools on July 5.