Former Seattle superintendent Goodloe-Johnson dies

SEATTLE -- Former Seattle Public Schools Superintendent Maria Goodloe-Johnson has died, the school district has confirmed.

Her cause of death was not known; however, WSCS in Charleston, South Carolina reported she had been sick for about a year.

Goodloe-Johnson was fired from her position in March 2011 after a state audit found the school system wasted or misspent $1.8 million on a training program run by Silas Potter.

She moved on to take a post in the Detroit School District.

Seattle School Board member Harium Martin-Morris said some people within the local education community knew that Goodloe-Johnson was ill, but not the extent of the illness.

"It is a humongous loss," Martin-Morris said. "Not only for the family, personally, but for the education community. Maria was a person who was very passionate about education and about helping children."

Despite the way she left the district, Martin-Morris said he hopes Goodloe-Johnson is remembered for more than the controversy that ended her career in Seattle.

"I want people to remember there were a lot of positives and a lot of stability that she brought to the district," he said.

Officials from Seattle Public School released a statement Wednesday night about Goodloe-Johnson's death.

"We are grateful for her years of service to Seattle Public Schools and her efforts during her four-year tenure here to put our students on the path to academic success. The fact that we have seen consistent improvements in student academic achievement is a testament to her leadership. Our thoughts and prayers go out to her husband Bruce and daughter Maya," the statement reads.