Interim Superintendent Dr. Grenita Lathan to leave Houston ISD

Houston ISD Interim Superintendent Dr. Grenita Lathan announced that she will be leaving the district at the end of the school year.

In a statement on Monday morning, Dr. Lathan said she will begin a new position with Springfield Public Schools in Missouri in July.

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Dr. Lathan says she intends to work as interim superintendent at HISD through the end of the 2020-2021 school year.

On Monday afternoon, she told the media, "I respect the decision that the board made to conduct a nationwide search, but I also respect who I am as a leader."

Dr. Lathan was referring to the district board voting not to hire her full-time a few months ago.

She was named interim superintendent in March 2018.

Dr. Lathan also served as HISD chief school officer over elementary transformation schools during the 2015-2016 school year and HISD chief academic officer beginning in the 2016-2017 school year until being named interim superintendent.

"I was surprised. I wasn’t expecting that," said HISD Board Member Anne Sung. "I saw Dr. Lathan’s statement shared to the public. I feel gratitude for her service with HISD the last 6 years."

When asked about hiring someone full-time, HISD president Patricia Allen said they're getting feedback from the district community. "[We’re] listening to the teachers, listening to the parents, listening to the students, we try offer what they’d like."

To track how the search is going and a timeline towards hiring a full-time HISD superintendent, click here.

Houston ISD interim leader rejected despite stellar job review

Documents obtained exclusively by FOX 26 indicate Dr. Grenita Lathan's job evaluation based on meeting seven key challenges, including the pandemic, earned a score of 86, well above the minimum passing grade of 75.

City leaders allege racism influenced HISD superintendent vote

"We will not allow her to be discriminated against because she is Black. We believe that if Dr. Lathan was Hispanic she would be the Superintendent today," said Bishop James Dixon representing the NAACP Houston Chapter.

Dr. Lathan released the following statement on Monday:

"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. 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. I am beyond honored and thankful for this amazing opportunity, and I thank HISD for all the lessons learned, the success of our students, and the commitment of our staff. It has been more than six years that I have worked shoulder to shoulder with our principals, administrators, and teachers to get dozens of schools out of improvement required status and help our students reach their full potential. I intend to work as interim superintendent until the end of the 2020-2021 school year. My new position begins on July 1, 2021."

HISD Board of Education President Patricia Allen released the following statement:

"As president of the HISD Board of Education, I would like to thank Dr. Lathan for her many years of service to the students of the Houston Independent School District – especially for her leadership as interim superintendent since March 2018. From moving numerous HISD campuses out of improvement required status to her strong leadership during several major weather events and a global pandemic, she has truly been a beacon for our students, staff, and families. We wish her well."

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