Preschool director out after investigation into Emporia State facility

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EMPORIA, Kan. (KSNT) – The director of Emporia State University’s early education center has resigned following allegations of misconduct at the facility.

“I’m now doubting myself and my leadership here,” Keely Persinger, the director of the center told families and staff of the center in a letter. “I apologize most sincerely for any hurt I have caused you.”

Investigators from Kansas Department for Children and Families and the Kansas Department of Health and Environment were at the university’s Center for Early Childhood Education to investigate an incident, according to Gwen Larson, university spokeswoman. It involves allegations that came forth Thursday, which the state wouldn’t comment on.

“It’s very important to us … these children we care for … that we do keep them safe and we treat them responsibly,” Larson said. “That’s our number one goal.”

Larson said Persinger is not part of the DCF investigation. She said she was unaware if those involved in the allegations are still employed by the university.

An assistant professor at the university, Heather Caswell, has been named interim director of the facility, which has about 60 students age 1 through school age.

“I will make it a priority that staff members who are confirmed to have had any role in unacceptable conduct will be removed,” Caswell said in a letter she sent to families and staff of the center.

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December 31 2021 11:59 pm