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John Harris High School is seen on April 24, 2019 (Sean Simmers/PennLive)

(Harrisburg) — The newly appointed receiver overseeing the Harrisburg School District has eliminated the positions of more than a dozen employees, including the district’s lawyer and its entire business office and human resources department.

The moves were announced Thursday night during a special school board meeting, just hours after Superintendent Sybil Knight-Burney had announced she was leaving the district after 10 years. Her job was one of those eliminated by the receiver, Janet Samuels, who recently took control of the financially and academically troubled district.

Board President Danielle Robinson criticized the moves made by Samuels, calling them “petty and vindictive.” Robinson told that she saw it as the settling of personal scores unrelated to the education of students.

Proponents of the moves saw them as a fresh start and way to move toward improvements in the district.