After three years serving as the interim superintendent of the Houston Independent School District, Dr. Grenita Lathan announced on Monday (March 8) she would be stepping down from her position at the end of the school year and moving to work at a school district in Missouri.
In an announcement shared on Twitter Lathan wrote, “It’s a bittersweet moment as I accept an opportunity to make a positive impact in the Springfield (Missouri) Public School District, while bidding farewell to one of the most remarkable school districts in the country.”
She added, “The students, teachers, principals, staff, parents, and community of HISD are close to my heart, and I leave knowing that they are resilient and stronger together. Their light will keep shining through, and they will continue to be known for their innovation and success.”
According to the AASA, the School Superintendent Association, the average tenure for any school district’s superintendent is between five and six years. During the last six years alone, HISD has seen three different superintendents, including Lathan. Her new position begins in Missouri on July 1, 2021.
She had been with HISD since 2015 and served as the chief academic officer in 2016. When former superintendent Richard Carranza announced he was leaving to head the New York Public School System, Lathan was tapped as his interim successor. However, in a November 2020 vote, the school board voted six to three to not to name her permanent superintendent, despite her steering the district during a global pandemic and numerous weather disasters.
“I respect the decision that the board made to conduct a nationwide search. But I also respect who I am as a leader, and I know what my skills are. And so it was nothing personal. It was just this is the right time to move ahead,” Lathan said.
When she officially takes the job in Springfield in July, she will become the first female superintendent in district history.