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East St. Louis schools hire Jackie Joyner-Kersee as paid consultant

by Diana Zoga

Posted on April 28, 2010 at 9:24 PM

Updated Wednesday, Apr 28 at 10:29 PM

Olympic Gold Medalist, Jackie Joyner-Kersee, is joining East St. Louis Schools as a paid consultant. Superintendent Theresa Saunders says that Joyner-Kersee will help set up a nutrition and wellness program by the time school starts next fall.

The district will pay the athlete $24,600 over the course of a six-month contract.

Dr. Saunders says that type of program is mandated and the district contacted Joyner-Kersee because the district does not have anyone on staff with the necessary expertise.

East St. Louis Schools have paid various consultants around $3 million since 2005. Dr. Saunders said consultants offer help to the district in a unique position, since most of the students live below the poverty level.

Dr. Saunders said the consultants have improved the district's rating.

However, test scores still do not meet state standards.  Read the district's report card here:

According the the 2008 Illinois District Report Card, the district is not making Adequate Yearly Progress.

You can read the district's budget here:

Jackie Joyner-Kersee Center is from East St. Louis.  An after-school center, bearing her name, has run into financial troubles and closed last year:


Diana Zoga is a general assignment reporter at News4.  You can reach her by email or follow her on Twitter: