Bryan County school board members voted 4-3 to oust Superintendent Sallie Brewer during a called meeting Thursday night.
Associate Superintendent John Oliver was appointed to replace her until a full time successor is named.
Chairman Eddie Warren, who cast the deciding vote against Brewer, proposed a $180,000 buyout for the superintendent, who was first elected to the job in the 1980s and then appointed to the job in 2002.
"I'm a lot more expensive than you expected," Brewer responded.
She named "a quarter million" as her price.
Brewer's contract was renewed in 2008 for one year after she reportedly received a perfect evaluation. She made $145,589 in 2008, according to open.georgia.gov, a website which tracks salaries of state and some local officials.
Also voting to end Brewer's reign as superintendent were first-term Vice Chairman Jeff Morton and first-term members Charlie Johnson and Dennis Seger. All three campaigned on removing the superintendent.
Voting against the buyout were school board members Mary Warnell, Judy Crosby and Joe Pecenka. They cited the cost and the manner in which it came to the school board for a vote.
"You're squandering tax dollars and destroying trust," Warnell said.
She later said: "Today is a dark day for Bryan County schools."
Warren, Johnson and Seger left immediately after the vote accompanied by attorneys. Morton stayed around, but chose not to comment. Before leaving, Warren issued a short written statement:
"Tonight, during a called meeting at the Bryan County Board of Education Office, the board of Education voted to exercise its right to buy out Dr. Sallie Brewer's contract. This buyout is effective immediately and Dr. Brewer has been relieved of her duties and title as superintendent. The board recognizes and appreciates the contributions and hard work of Dr. Brewer. Mr. John Oliver has been assigned the duties and responsibilities of superintendent until further notice."
Brewer also did not answer questions, but provided a lengthy prepared statement. It said, in part:
"When you give a superintendent perfect evaluations and then buy out the contract, reasonable people will reach the conclusion that there are personal, political agendas."
Brewer, who has spent more than 30 years in the Bryan County School system, ended her written statement by noting she spent Thursday taking care of teachers and other staff members.
"I spent what I assumed to be the last day of service to Bryan County children signing 500 contracts for certified staff," she said, concluding with: "The best teachers in Georgia have a valid contract for 2009-2010. It is my gift to staff and children."
See full story and the full text of Brewer's statement in Saturday's Bryan County News.