Superintendent Beverly Hall died after a battle with breast cancer on Wednesday, March 4.
Hall had been battling breast cancer as dozens of educators stood trial for a cheating scandal that happened during her tenure as head of the school district.
Hall faced racketeering and conspiracy charges, but was not been well enough to stand trial.
Her legal team issued a statement that read, “Dr. Hall fought this disease with great courage and dignity. For the last year and a half, Dr. Hall’s directions to her doctor have been simple: get me well enough to stand trial; and to her lawyers: see to it that I get a fair trial. She was never concerned about the outcome of such a trial, only that the process be fair. She never doubted that in a fair trial, with the jury hearing the state’s contentions and her rebuttal, to include her own testimony, she would be acquitted. In the end, she was not strong enough to go to trial although that had been her earnest hope.”
“I’m just saddened by her passing and my condolences to her family,” said defense attorney Gerald Griggs.
Griggs said he thinks Hall’s death will have some impact on the jury, but “I think we have to look past that at this point,” he said.
Current superintendent Meria Carstarphen said, ” We offer our condolences to the family of Dr. Hall. Our thoughts and prayers are with her family and friends during this difficult time.”
Hall’s oncologist argued in court last summer that she had been diagnosed with stage 4 cancer that spread through several parts of her body.
She was first diagnosed with the disease in 2004.
Hall defended her leadership style and denied any involvement in the cheating scandal. She blamed staff for allowing wide spread cheating on standardized tests.
A report by the state accused Hall of ignoring cover-ups during her twelve years as superintendent.
Hall resigned from her position in 2010. The American Association of School Administrators named Hall as National Superintendent of the Year in 2009.
Hall was 68 years old.