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Miller superintendent resigns less than a month after former student files paternity suit

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SIOUX FALLS, South Dakota — The superintendent of the Miller School District resigned from his job and from a seat on the state high school activities board this month, weeks after a paternity suit was filed by a former student.

Circuit Judge Jon Erickson last week ordered Michael Ruth to take a paternity test within 30 days. Erickson said that Ruth indicated through his attorney that he had no objection to the order. Ruth's attorney did not immediately return a call for comment Wednesday.

Jacqueline Maria St. John filed the paternity lawsuit in Hand County on Feb. 26, saying in a sworn affidavit that she met Ruth when he was her superintendent at Miller High School.

"We began a sexual relationship after I graduated high school, and I conceived a child as a result," she said in the affidavit. "I told (the) defendant that he was the father but he denied being the father and refused testing."

St. John said in the affidavit that her boyfriend at the time of her daughter's birth in January 2013 signed an affidavit of paternity, but that he is not the father. She stated that she has medical expenses from the pregnancy and birth and is asking the court to determine past and future child support.

The Miller School Board went into executive session at its March 3 meeting and returned to accept Ruth's resignation with an immediate leave of absence, according to meeting minutes. No reason was publicly given.

Ruth was also serving a five-year term on the South Dakota High School Activities Association, which directs and coordinates interscholastic activities by high schools in the state.

The association's board accepted Ruth's resignation at its March 5 meeting after going into executive session. Board members said they will be accepting nominations for the remainder of Ruth's term, which runs through June 2016.

"The board appreciates all of Mr. Ruth's service to the SDHSAA, and wishes him the best in his future endeavors," it said in its minutes.


Follow Dirk Lammers on Twitter at http://www.twitter.com/ddlammers

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