Sequoyah Schools Superintendent Leroy Qualls, a longtime popular educator and basketball coach in Cherokee County, was sacked by the Cherokee Nation on Feb. 3, according to the tribal newspaper and other sources.

The Cherokee Phoenix reported Qualls' termination Friday evening. He had been hired in August 2012, after a storied career in Hulbert and Tahlequah.

The Cherokee Nation issued a brief statement confirming Qualls' departure, but citing no reason for it. According to the Phoenix, the statement reads: “Leroy Qualls employment was terminated by the Cherokee Nation on Monday, Feb. 3. The Cherokee Nation cannot disclose employee personnel records. An interim superintendent will be named soon, while a search for a new superintendent is conducted.”

CN Chief of Staff Todd Enlow also gave the Cherokee Phoenix a statement: “The Cherokee Nation is disappointed by this turn of events, just as our school family is. Sequoyah Schools has a long tradition of resiliency, spirit and academic excellence, and we want to assure our students, parents and tribal citizens that this tradition will continue as we transition to new leadership.”

Numerous callers to the Daily Press over the past few days indicated a former student at Sequoyah was peripherally involved in the situation.

Qualls coached basketball in Hulbert and Tahlequah, retiring in 2009 after five seasons at Tahlequah High School. The Phoenix cites him as a member of the Tahlequah, Muldrow and Sequoyah Halls of Fame, and he was a Conference Coach of the Year 19 times, as well as the 1998 USA Today Most Caring Coach national runner-up.

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